Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gray Haired Ladies AND A New Wrinkle Update

Ashland, Oregon boasts a great many beautiful women with silver gray hair. A local band NAKED IN PUBLIC posted Gray Haired Lady, a playful song about them on YouTube.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis

According to some of their PR, "NAKED IN PUBLIC is the brainchild of bassist/vocalist/songwriter Doug Fergus, whose passionate hobby is heating and air conditioning." Okay Doug!

Take a look and listen. The song is a lot of fun. I have seen many of these gorgeous women around town, and always admire their hair, confidence and beauty. What a neat tribute to older women who choose not to dye their hair.

And photographer Vicki Topaz has created a beautiful gallery of photos of older women titled SILVER: A STATE OF MIND. It's well worth it to take a look at her beautiful images.  It is on exhibit now at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California.

Model Cindy Scarf

The majority of older women do dye their hair. According to Anne Kreamer, 51, author of “Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity and Everything Else That Really Matters,” statistics show that 65 percent of women over the age 40 color their hair. Many women feel that they need to color their hair to maintain their status in the workplace and compete with their younger colleagues. Some feel that in order to be hired for a job or be promoted, they cannot have gray hair.

Last year, I posted a link to Dominique Browning's article for the New York Times on older women with long silver hair. The article elicited an enormous amount of reader responses--1,253 to be exact! I enjoy Browning's writing and observations, and if you have a few moments, you will enjoy reading what she has to say on the subject.


We re-filmed the video for our upcoming IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, which we hope to launch in a few weeks.

We still have to put together some fun pro-aging donor perks. Our fundraising goal is $15,000 which will allow us to produce a staged run and film of A New Wrinkle, our paradigm-shifting musical revue on aging.

Enjoy this beautiful holiday weekend! I plan to go see the Marigold Hotel movie, and expect to enjoy it! Bring on more pro aging flicks that deflate stereotypes!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It takes longer to develop things than it does to imagine them

Of course it takes longer. What kind of dumkoff is she? She is the kind who even at 71 years wishes that creative projects Would happen more quickly and easily.

(In fact, I will leave this blog layout just as it decided to configure itself despite my most valiant efforts-- because this crazy mess will give you a taste of what I mean. Is this new Blogger program wacky or what? Maybe it's just the Universe trying to teach me some new lesson. Grrr... Do you ever feel this way? )

Often things take a long time. People shake their heads empathetically and say, "Yes things always take longer than you think they will." And of course it is the journey, not the goal they remind you. A saying that trips off the lips so nicely. "Just keep at it and enjoy the journey," my dear friend Frannie advised me the other day. I like enjoying the journey. Just that the glitches sometimes get in my way. She not only gave that good advice, but being a nurse, she surmised that part of my headache/muscle ache/fatigue problem might be a severe allergic reaction. She gave me some meds to take to see if she was right. She was! I feel much better--even though the glitches that insist on appearing on this blog are rather annoying. Being irritated must be part of the journey, hey?

Thank goodness for the support and caring of good friends, including Artist Conference Network, the motivational coaching community I belong to. And thank goodness for the garden, so full of beauty and nourishment.

Peonies are such glorious flowers.

Even the mechanics of writing this blog provesmy point about things taking longer and raising difficulties,
like right now, when the type decides to be the size of
the caption rather than the general text.

One has to be flexible, patient, and it also helps to have
a sense of levity.

My work right now involves rewriting the script for
what I will say to introduce A New Wrinkle on
our IndieGoGo fundraising video. I wasn't
content with my presentation style or the overall
length, so here I am back at work to edit it down and
rehearse it so that it goes easily.

Difficulty provides learning  and motivation. It can be useful
to take that up as part of the game plan.

Meeting Malcolm King Fontana, the videographer we are
working with, gives me hope for the future.

He is such a great person--mature, professional, humorous,
respectful, centered.  I hope he achieves all of
his life dreams and goals.

I spend a lot of time thinking about social and political
issues and topics about aging. Meeting Malcolm has made
me realize that I want to spend more time around
young people.

The separation of the young and old is not good for any of us.

I want to share the link to my monthly Sage's Play newsletter. I
just published a great issue yesterday.Time for a Paradigm Shift on Aging! -

Red mustard greens and chard 

This is the videographer Malcolm King Fontana

It's wonderful to take a break from my work on A New Wrinkle and Sage's Play by playing  out in the garden.

It's more reliable than this danged blog technology!

And so I bid you adieu for now, with the wish that your work and play flow ever so nicely. Or that you have a good sense of humor when the glitches tangle things up.

As for me, I am going to make some tea and rehearse my rewritten script.

P.S. I never can get the link to my monthly newsletter to work as I am a sincere Luddite. So please go to to subscribe to it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Moving Pro-Aging Messages out into the Culture

No photos this time. Sorry. Feeling very basic and unadorned at the moment.

This week was a busy one. Medifecta Healthcare Training, the company where I have worked for the past 12 years (now part-time) developing educational materials to train caregivers of elders was sold last week. We've been getting oriented to the excellent, upbeat new management and its dynamic programs. That feels really good -- and this kind of transition is also something that really gets your attention. There's a lot of new information, people and goals to learn about. Stirs things up.

Sage's Play was busy, too. Moving the pro-aging messages of A New Wrinkle out into the culture for me means not only being an artist, but also engaging in social change, fundraising, public relations and program development. Right now it's all about our upcoming fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo, which is an Internet-based crowdfunding platform. Our goal is to raise $15,000 in order to produce and film A New Wrinkle.

On Tuesday we got together with a videographer. He filmed us for a video that will introduce our IndieGoGo campaign. Before we met with him, I spent hours writing the script for the video, locating still shots and identifying music files to include in it. I am certainly curious to see the finished product. Will it be everything I hoped it would be? Even 80% satisfaction is good. Suspense. Curiosity.

Now I have to write the text that viewers will see when they visit our campaign site on IndieGoGo. I mulled that matter over while I pulled weeds and planted some snapdragons in the garden. But it will take more than mulling. I will have to sit down and write it. Very soon.

This week I also met with Gary Einhorn, my business advisor, and he helped me develop an action plan for the IndieGoGo campaign. It has a lot of items on it. Of course. It's an action plan. I've already done a few of the items on it, just to get a feel for all that action.

Gary and I met at the university library. When our meeting was done, we passed an old woman who was dragging her coat along. She seemed terribly tired. Her walk was slow and a bit erratic. I wondered if she was about to faint. I spoke to her and mentioned that her coat was dragging.  I asked if she was okay. She said she was though I had my doubts. What a lovely old face she had.

Later I realized that she had been a neighbor of mine when I lived briefly on Morton Street. I would see her ripping down the hill on her bicycle. Wow, I thought to myself then watching her fly down the hill, her helmet firmly on her head and a look of rapt enjoyment on her face. What a wild old woman. Now here she was all bedraggled, having gone on the bus to nearby Medford and then come back on the bus to Ashland. "I live five blocks away on Morton Street," she told me. "I'll just sit down here for a minute then go the rest of the way."

I offered to drive her home.  I thought she needed to drink some water and sit down and rest. She still rides her bike everywhere. She's 81. Ten years older than I am. I've been thinking of her since then, and thinking about how much change occurs in each decade of human life.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Two women I enjoy are coming to visit. They are volunteering to help with the IndieGoGo campaign. There are actually three volunteers, but the third is at a conference presenting a paper on women in the global community. I decided to call the volunteers the Sagesse Squadron. They are all marvelous individuals and I am looking forward to our collaboration.

The roses, peonies and love-in-a-mist are about to bloom in my garden. I hie myself to sleep, hoping that some bright dreams illumine the hours. Tomorrow is another day, as my Mother was fond of saying. Bless mothers and mothering.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Full Moon and Mythic Presence


 The door is open,
the cricket is singing.
Are you going around naked
in the fields?

Like an immortal water,
going in and out of everything.
Are you going around naked
in the air?

The basil is not asleep,
the ant is busy.
Are you going around naked
in the house?
---Juan Ramon Jiminez

We are living two lives at the same time, the inner life and the outer life. This beautiful Jiminez poem speaks to the lyricism and nakedness of the inner life at the time of the full moon. Two days ago, I saw the moon rise big in the sky even before darkness fell. What a beautiful sight it was.

Then two days of rain and clouds obscured its display. I hope that the weather clears and we are granted a sight of its rise and the sweep of its arc tonight and tomorrow night. It is a big moon on both outer and inner levels.

Today we are filming a 4-5 minute video that will be used on Indie GoGo. Our goal is to raise $15,000 to produce and film A New Wrinkle, our paradigm-shifting musical revue. Have you ever heard of IndieGoGo? It  is an Internet-based crowdfunding platform. That's a mouthful of a new term if you've never heard it before. IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are both wonderful ways that artists, activists and individuals are raising money for all types of projects and causes.

We are excited to move toward our own IndieGoGo campaign launch. Once we finish the video, we will be assembling a variety of perks for donors, a great way to say thank you and provide folks with more pro-aging messages. We're in the process of gathering a group of helpers that I call the Sagesse Squadron to support this effort, which will include a local launch event in Ashland, Oregon. I will continue to post information here about this effort as it develops.

I hope that you will be inspired to help us shift the current paradigm on aging with all of its noxious stereotypes and prejudice. You can support our effort to broadcast the pro-aging messages of A New Wrinkle widely. In fact, we are depending upon your help to spread the word and meet our fundraising goal. Your help might also include connecting us with possible radio show appearances and telling local theater companies, philanthropists and elders about our work.

Riding the Age Wave

That's one way I like to think about the aging process.  I like the playfulness and pleasure of the phrase.  I celebrated my 71st birthday the other day. My daughter Sophia brought me this extravagantly lovely bouquet and baked delectable little truffle cakes. She presented them adorned with a few sliced strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream, and a bit of coffee ice cream. We enjoyed each other's company and I thought to myself, "This girl of mine sure does know how to do it up right."

I had a long conversation with my friend Angie the other day. Her birthday is a few days away from mine. Our talk ranged, but its main theme was our engagement in actualizing our work as we age. We've slowed down some, but both of us feel vividly involved in our work. Angie developed Kentro Body Balance, a wonderful system of postural healing and integration. (Visit her website to be inspired, and learn more about how to maintain a healthy back and body in later life).  Angie writes poetry and paints, too--she appreciates the beauty of the artist's life.

In the Works, the Whole Works

I met with another Taurus, Steve Scholl, whose birthday is one day after mine, and as usual got excited by our exchange. Steve is the founder of White Cloud Press, a mid-sized publisher of some wonderful books. Steve told me about A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness, a book by Martin Shaw. I have nearly finished reading it. What a wonderful book! One of my favorite quotes from it is this one:

"The job of the elder is to be nuttier, more curious, occasionally fierce and more connected to the eccentricities of wildness than the youth every dreamed. More than anything,the elder has seen some  rough patches to their life and knows how to express it in a story. This carries tremendous hope with it."