Sunday, July 19, 2015

Getting Up in Front of People

I met Harry Moody, gerontologist and author, at the Sage-ing International conference in 2012. I liked him immediately for his intelligence, empathy and easy humor. I've talked with him a few times since then, and consider him a mentor. When we first met, he was very appreciative of my performance work and told me that I should "get up in front of people."

In terms of fears, public speaking is at the top of  the list for most people.  I used to be afraid in that way, but not any more. So that is not one of my problems, though I still do have a few problems. I am trying to recall when it shifted. Hmm. It must have been at the very moment that I recognized how powerful it is to be vulnerable, make fun of yourself, and be a Fool. An awareness that has appreciated over time in my case. I don't want to make it my main shtick of course, but I always find it a reliable way to deal with mis-steps, or even deliberately orchestrate a pratfall or two. In other words, I used to be very serious, and now I am making up for it. In addition to the holy rascal play,  I love the performer-audience interaction, the collective energetics of it, the business of establishing rapport and connection, the potential there is for uplifting and opening up the field of energy.

But I have to say even though I always enjoy and am invigorated by getting up in front of people, I have not done enough of it, in terms of following Harry Moody's advice, or in terms of really enjoying myself. So I am planning to do more. Because old women want to have fun. At least this one does. She wants to have fun, most certainly, and she wants to fly into meadows of heightened awareness with others, to plunge into the deep waters of the psyche and spirit, to come up for air drenched and ecstatic, and of course she wants to Set a Good Example (SAGE).

I loved giving a talk at Unity in Ashland last Sunday, and today I am going to perform a wonderful collection of poetry at the Ashland library in a program I've been calling "The Poetry of Aging." I got a nice writeup in the local paper the other day about it. If you like you can take a look at Angela Decker's article here.

I plan to present "The Poetry of Aging" again this fall at the Medford library, and I would love to give my rousing talk in praise of old age at more churches. But to really get up in front of people, it looks like I am going to have to write and produce my one-woman show Bolder and Wiser. I still have the gypsy wagon fantasy, and I can imagine doing a road trip and performing Bolder and Wiser in various places. Yes, I can imagine that. In fact, it feels like it would be wonderful fun. So stay tuned.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
             --Pablo Picasso

This evocative painting was posted on Facebook the other day.  Its title is "Evening Seed Bubbles," and it was created by British artist Emma Sian-Pritchard. You can view some other paintings of hers at this site. If you are a fan of decorative art, you will enjoy Folt Bolt a site created by Hungarian artist  Kriszta Kemeny who currently lives in Australia.
Eighty Year Old Pop Idols
Okinawan pop idols in Japan
Dahlias, zinnias and lavender from Kate's garden
Another article that bemused me recently is one from The Guardian, a British paper.  It tells the story of a group of women from Okinawa who have become pop idols in Japan. All of the group members are over 80!  Click on the link to read the Article about a group of older women 
from Okinawa, a place where people live a long time and apparently know how to enjoy themselves in the process.....I do suspect those two things are linked. Don't you?

Difficult Vegetables
To change the subject ever so slightly, my last blog regarding using difficult vegetables in a tasty way elicited two responses from readers--one was a great recipe for chocolate zucchini cake and the other a suggestion to make zucchini chips. The second reader told me of her fondness for lavender butter over green beans. Some people are so exotic. I wish she were cooking for me, at least occasionally.
Thanks to both of you for sharing your difficult vegetable suggestions.

Friends,  I hope that your artful life is going well. Keep in touch!


  1. What a great article Ms. Decker did. And I absolutely love "Evening Seed Bubbles." Makes me think of lying in the tall grass and watching nature do it's thing.

  2. yes, Celia that painting makes me think of magical evenings and fireflies...