10 September 2011, Danbery, Connecticut, USA
This is a Christoph Niemann interpretation of the Terry Gross NPR interview with Maurice Sendak, that appeared on The New York Times website.
I'm happy about becoming old. I'm not unhappy about what must be. it makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me. And life gets emptied. I don't believe in an afterlife but I still fully expect to see my brother again ...
It's harder for us non believers.
There's something else I find out as I'm aging. That i'm in love with the world. And I look right now as we speak out my window of my studio, and I see my trees, and my beautiful beautiful maples that are hundreds of years old ... and I can see how beautiful they are ... I can take time to see how beautiful they are.
It is a blessing to get old. It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music. You know, I don’t think I’m rationalising anything. I really don’t. This is all inevitable and I have no control over it.
I have nothing now but praise now for my life, really! I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more... but I have my young people here who are studying and they look at me as though I know everything! Poor kids.
Oh god there are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.
I don't know whether I'll do another book or not. I might. It doesn't matter. I'm a happy old man. But I will cry my way all the way to the grave.
I wish you all good things. Live your life, live your life, live your life.