Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Healing Power of Memoir and Life Review, Septuagenarian Vitality and more....

 I am a big fan of Dr. Bill Thomas's work to provide  liveable alternatives to what we currently call nursing homes. Dr. Thomas does this pioneering work through The Eden Alternative and The Green House Project. Are you aware of his work? If not, check it out. It's marvelous and needed.

His blog Changing Aging is a platform for sharing news about his very important work and the work of others, too.

I am very pleased that I have had two guest blogs published on Changing Aging recently. My first blog was about our musical revue A New Wrinkle. How glad I was when Changing Aging Editor Kavan Peterson emailed me to tell me that he had listened to the mp3s of songs from the revue, and had read some of the lyrics on our website as well and that he found the songs funny and wonderful. As I've said before, the artist's life can sometimes be a solitary endeavor, and it is very encouraging to receive positive response from one's audience.

This morning, I had another guest blog published at Changing Aging, on the healing power of memoir and life review. 

In it, I describe the value of life review to older adults and share some experience of my own life review over the past 17 years, which has resulted in my new book Songs of the Inner Life.

Life review is considered one of the important tasks of later life. It allows us to examine, let go, forgive, understand and integrate our life experience.

On another note, Mick Jagger turned 70 and 71-year old Paul McCartney gave a big concert in Seattle. Both of these music icons' ages resulted in New York Times articles. The articles are very different from one another.

Gail Collins took a friendly retrospective view of what rockers including Jagger said about aging when they were younger, and how they feel about it now that they have entered the territory of aging. Her opinion piece is warm and engaging. Enjoying your life has a positive effect on the aging process as Collins points out.  "... if you’re doing something you love to do, you can rise above it."

The article Septuagenarian Strut by Timothy Egan is another story entirely. Egan's reflections on Paul McCartney's recent concert were unsettling, a  flagrant display of the kind of disgust many people feel about aging and older adults. It's a rather sad read. Egan himself is in the demographic he writes about so scathingly.   Such repulsion and aversion to aging--it cannot be healthy. Here's one excerpt.

"Milling about Safeco Field in Seattle under a nearly full moon, I loathed my self-loathing. Demographically speaking, I’m smack dab in the middle of a generation that refuses to acknowledge age or get off the stage. Where is the off-ramp marked grace, dignity or class for the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964?"

Readers sent over 200 comments on each of these articles--the comments make for fascinating reading.

That's the news today from southern Oregon, where wildfires are raging all around, making the air very, very smoky. Air quality is rated as unhealthy and we are urged not to go outside at all. We are all hoping for the fires to be contained and the air to clear soon.

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