Why Middle Age is a Blessing for Writers
'A curious thing happened to me, personally and as a writer--I do make some slight distinction--when I entered my late forties, that time zone I reluctantly acknowledge as the onset of middle age. Quite suddenly, at least so it seems in retrospect, my relation to my own past changed. How can I describe it? It was as if that past, especially the events and feelings of my younger years, has taken a half-step back, had overnight, with no effort on my part, arranged itself into a perspective. No, 'perspective' is not quite right, for that suggests a fixed, even static arrangement. Rather, these materials had, without losing their animation or their savor, become available to me. They were there to be looked at and handled without emotional murkiness, complicating regrets, sadness and so on.'
--Sven Birkerts, in the current issue of Poets and Writers