July 25, 2015 admin

PURPOSE: 387 Different Operas

by Carole Berglie

Age 69. Sea Cliff, NY

Character builds slowly.  First, parents who loved one another and applied commonsense and intelligence, and love, to raising me as an individual, a girl in a lower middle-class neighborhood, of lower middle-class parents, where I was the only girl (Queens, NYC) to go to college.  But mostly, my character was built through a partnership with another woman that lasted over 30 years, 26 of which we had with the Sword of Damocles overhead, called breast cancer.  When life’s on the line, you learn what’s important.
Also, going freelance (editor) early on taught me “you lower your life requirements but you live a better life.”  Time is the greatest asset, far better than any material thing.

“You lower your life requirements but you live a better life.”  Time is the greatest asset, far better than any material thing.

Lastly, a second very wise, second partner (after death of first)taught me to inject “a little fun” into every day.  And as a scholar, she taught me the thrill of autodidactism, the pursuit of an idea purely for its own sake.  In my case, it was opera–to learn all I could about it and see as many performances as I could in my lifetime. (Pretty good so far–387 different operas.)

Have always been an eager, wide reader with strong lit background, and enjoy Conrad, Dickens, Eliot, Balzac, and Nabokov. I continue to read the classics mostly. Revelations come as epiphanies–the juncture of ideas is, perhaps, the most euphoric experience ever, when that “connection” happens.

I take philosophy classes with other oldsters; we thrill in the exploration of ideas without the trivialities of youth

Now old (69), I take philosophy classes with other oldsters; we thrill in the exploration of ideas without the trivialities of youth.  The Ancients dealt with “character”; it’s part and parcel of their worldview.

Yes, I have found purpose in life and am very happy; my goal now is to be a well-thinking person who tries to see the best in others, and to help those who have difficulty coping with life’s stresses.  I volunteer, and I help my friends.  My sources of strength are my memories of having been influenced by good people in my life.  Books give strength, but people give even more.  (And I say that as an editor.)

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