Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And age shall not weary them...

If it is best for the young and beautiful to remain young and beautiful, and not to experience the vicissitudes of old age, it is best for us that they persevere and grow old ahead of us, casting rose petals as they go, to show the way.

Last night at a dinner to honour volunteers at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 89 year-old Elizabeth Scholtz, Director Emeritus (top, right) bestowed upon her friend, Esther "Faity" Tuttle, 99, an award for a lifetime of service to the BBG.

What both of these women seem to have in common, is a capacity for joy. They are interested. Willing to be pleased and consequently, pleasing. To both, the concept of retiring is anathema.

On the other hand, a psychotherapist at my table (she introduced herself as: Hello, I'm so-and-so and I'm a psychotherapist) asked me, Why would you volunteer at the BBG to do what you do every day, anyway? This with a cold gleam in her eye, before she tore her chicken dinner apart in her hands.

Because I enjoy it, I said.

It seems like a busman's holiday, she said, looking as though she had scored a point.

I smiled and thought, busperson?

But tell me so I understand, she persisted, speaking while gnawing, Don't you have enough of it, every day, for your work?

No, I said.

And continued eating my chicken. Neatly.


  1. And perhaps you will look as good, at 99, as that wonderful Mrs Tuttle. I bet the sour psychotherapist with the vile table manners won't.....

  2. Sounds like the therapist may be unhappy at work. Not having enough of it is one of the delightful things about earning a living doing what you love. I see it in a lot of plant people - cheerfully gardening as soon as they get home :)

  3. I believe the point she missed was that when you actually LOVE your work...it's not work anymore

  4. Glad she's not my shrink. Oy.

    Why is she even there?

  5. She's probably so focused on making money that it would never occur to her to GIVE AWAY her time or expertise. Talk about out of touch with reality!

  6. such a great story, from beginning to end.
    I'm just a gardener at home, but I never get enough of it either!

  7. Great answers, Marie. One can only guess about the psychotherapist's job satisfaction. And lovely photos of the two lovely ladies!


  8. perfect answer marie. but i disagree with the above comments. i think she sounds delightful actually. delightfully interested...xoxo


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