Maira Kalman, Optimist


An artist and writer best known for her Pursuit of Happiness blog in the NY Times, Maira Kalman is also the author/illustrator of  several absurdist picture books for children, the illustrator of Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” and Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style,” and the co-creator of the famous post-9/11 New Yorkistan New Yorker cover.

At age 63, she contemplates the sad and the crazy-sweet in aging.

“The older you get the more you grapple with the idea that time is lessening, and what is it that I’m supposed to be doing here and how much happiness am I achieving on this planet?  The idea that you’d have to say goodbye to all this even though it’s infuriating and maddening and frightening and horrible some of the time,  is even more infuriating and maddening and horrible. How do you spend this time without perpetually being so brokenhearted about saying the eventual goodbye? I usually say in the end, it’s love and it’s work. What else could there possibly be?”


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