Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Please Help Us Produce A New Wrinkle and Shift the Paradigm on Aging

Gaea Yudron

Visit our just-launched IndieGoGo campaign site here.

Laura Rich
Four years ago, I was fortunate to discover composer Laura Rich, a delightful woman with a great deal of soul, humor and musical talent. As it happened, Laura was enthusiastic about my idea to create a musical revue on aging. She wholeheartedly agreed that our society's notions about aging were obnoxious and unreal, and that they needed to change for the better.

So Laura and I began our collaboration. In the process we began to develop a friendship, too. That's been a beautiful bonus of working together.  Now we have nearly finished creating A New Wrinkle, our provocative, witty musical revue.

Carolyn Myers
A New Wrinkle has a mission--to shift the paradigm on aging, to raise awareness, instigate dialogue and propel social change. We would like to see the revue produced in communities across the country, focusing attention on aging much as The Vagina Monologues focused attention on womens' issues.

My longtime friend Carolyn Myers has been involved in theater for decades as an actor, writer and director. Carolyn is magnanimous by nature and has always been very supportive of my creative work. I would not have been able to proceed without her, because when I began I had so little understanding of how to develop material for theater. Her suggestions and observations, always given with such diplomacy, have been  essential to the project.

Gary A. Einhorn

Business consultant Gary Einhorn is part of the team, too. I have been working with Gary for several years. He is practical, intuitive, educated and literate, and from my standpoint as an artist and social entrepreneur, Gary's qualities and his ability to support the project as a work of art have been very valuable, especially at those times when it seemed difficult to proceed. He is a good friend.

Larry and Joy Marshall, partners in Marshall Fundraising and Event Production, have been very supportive as we move forward. Their interest in helping to produce A New Wrinkle has been and is very encouraging.  As I have probably said before in this blog, creating art can sometimes be a bit of a lonely occupation, and it's wonderful to meet friends and kindred spirits who are excited about what you are doing.

In fact, nothing ever gets accomplished in this world without the participation of many people, no matter in what its field of endeavor. Art, science, business, education, medicine, religion, all depend upon the gathering of many people. And it's the same with our project, the musical revue A New Wrinkle, which is like a ship we want to send out into the world to create positive change.

We hope that you are part of that change, that you are part of our tribe, our crew, part of the growing grassroots movement to shift the paradigm on aging from its current dismal state.

We've launched a 40-day fundraising program on IndieGoGo in order to raise money to produce and promote the revue. Laura and I wrote a song for the campaign! You can listen to us and see us singing it on our IndieGoGo site. And you can read our story there.

You can send us a contribution too--hey every bit adds up.  If all you can send is $5, we welcome that and your interest in our work to shift the paradigm on aging. Of course, no contribution is too big, either.

We welcome your contribution, no matter what size--you're changing the world you realize.

So check out our IndieGoGo site and please help us however you can. You can help us to spread the word via your email list, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. We are all in this together. We spend one-third of our lives as older adults, and we will all feel a lot happier as the culture opens up to the blessings and delights of later life, and to the real value of older people.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The season changes

It's been over a month since I blogged here. Why? It's not that I had nothing to say. It is more that I felt inundated with media and not inclined to add to the flood.

Perhaps I will blog less often from now on. We will see.

The full moon last night was so bright. I woke before dawn and went out to gaze at its radiance and the bright display of the constellations. Even a moment or two of that kind of sky gazing fills me with considerable joy.

Tonight we're having a bit of rain. It grew dark early. I lit a candle on the mantle, something I often do in the autumn and winter months.

The squash and potatoes are harvested from the back garden, along with a rather disappointing collection of tomatoes, and I've planted cauliflower, mustard greens, chard and kale, along with some brussel sprouts, which I hope recover from whatever insect attacked them a week ago.

In a few days, we are launching a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo in order to raise money to produce and promote our musical revue on aging, A New Wrinkle. I am sure that the adventure will be full of enjoyable surprises. I will let you know more about it when the launch occurs. Composer Laura Rich and I created a song to accompany the campaign, and it's a lot of fun. Take a listen when I send the link.

My life lately have been focused on developing the creative aging and wellness work I do through Sage's Play. I recently joined the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and have been enjoying meeting an entire cornucopia of members at Greeters meetings each Friday. It feels good to connect this way, meeting many new people, learning about their work, and getting to know them as human beings.

I gave a talk on Buddhism recently at the Rogue Valley Manor, a large residence for older adults here in southern Oregon. There was a great audience of 160 people. It was quite a good experience for me, and I know that many people there enjoyed it, because they told me so. The talk was part of a series called "Speaking of Faith" organized by Father Joel Maiorano, the chaplain at the manor. It's really the first time I gave a presentation on Buddhism, although I've been a Buddhist for nearly 40 years.

The Adventure of Aging, a series of monthly gatherings I lead at Skylark Assisted Living, have grown more and more warm and uplifting, often punctuated with marvelous humor, too. The gatherings include a variety of elements, including meditation, relaxation exercises, poetry, music, reminiscence and discussion of topics that have ranged from childhood memories to writing our own obituaries. It's been beautiful to see a community develop among those who attend. Skylark's population includes many with dementia, and the residents without dementia are in a minority. They appreciate the spiritual and human potential aspects of what we do in the monthly gathering I lead. Sometimes, folks with dementia attend as well and while they cannot participate in everything, they seem to enjoy the camaraderie and good feeling that is shared among everyone.

My individual sessions with older adults (and people of all ages), which I think of as medicine for the body and soul, have also been occupying my attention. I use hypnotherapy and rapid eye technology to help people move through a variety of issues, including pain, PTSD, phobias and addictions, among others. This work is very satisfying. I love helping people create positive results in their lives.

Of course, I spend time watching the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds in the garden and appreciating the graceful way the tendrils of the squash and cucumber plants make their way along fences or onto other plants. That will all be changing now with autumn here. Ah, it has been so delightful, this summer and now it is ending. Soon the leaves will turn golden or red and they will fall. And so it is.