Joan Erikson

Joan Erikson (1903-1997) was a writer, weaver, dancer, occupational therapist and long-time collaborator with her husband Erik. Together they created a schema for how human life unfolds from infancy to old age in the face of challenges specific to each stage of development. (1)

In Her Own Words

Writing about Despair and Disgust vs. Integrity, Wisdom:

“In our final definition of “wisdom” we claim that wisdom rests in the capacity to see, look, and remember, as well as to listen, hear, and remember. Integrity, we maintain, demands tact, contact, and touch…If you are filled with the intensity of being and hope for what may be further grace and enlightenment, then you have reason for living.” (2)

“A good life is like a weaving. Energy is created in the tension. The struggle, the pull and tug are everything.”
“Vital lives are about action. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight until you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.”
“No matter how hard you dance, not everyone will clap.” (3)


Featured Media

On Old Age I: A Conversation with Joan Erikson at 90
On Old Age II: A Conversation with Joan Erikson at 92

Sign-up today for the FREE stories, devotionals, and essays about living in the evening of life...