There is great stuff, encouraging research coming out of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) that I thought you’d love to know about. Yes, you my old lady friends! When we are all grown up and become old women we are going to be able to do the things we like to do; the things we have longed to do. And you wanna know why? Because these things are good for our health, longevity and sanity.
Archive for February, 2012
Pandora is pounding out Christmas tunes, the computer database is open, cards are sprawled across the workspace and with pen in hand I address the envelopes that will soon be filled with sentiments of love and Christmas wishes.
Writing Christmas cards is a time of reflection and connection, something I do each year as the fire dances all around and music surrounds me.
With each card I write, I draw closer to a friend or loved one in hopes of keeping that special relationship alive and well amidst all the noise and distractions that come between us.
It all begins with that moment.
I started my career as a writer in fourth grade. My most powerful short story was about a chasm in the earth near Mount Kilimanjaro that set off an elephant stampede which killed my parents.
At the age of 11 I pretended I belonged to a writers group comprised of stuffed animals and oversized dolls.
I was given amazing opportunities to travel the USA, Mexico, Europe and the Soviet Union. With the Dave Barry motto “Do things, not think things” and an overactive imagination coupled with a dysfunctional childhood, I never lacked for material for my short stories and poetry.
I’m a doer every bit as much as I’m a writer.
I have often thought of joining a writing support group, but I didn’t want to sit around and shoot the breeze; I wanted to write about it, feel and and try to help others experience the breeze.,,,
“Knowing a lot of writers doesn’t make you a writer, writing does.”
I make time to write anything and everything.
Most of what I have to write is unimportant or of little consequence. But my writing is a snapshot, like that photograph, a point in time moment. It is an opportunity for growth and self-reflection.
‘Honored’ journalist, Kelsey Timmerman posed this question: “What do you do and what has your work done to help people you write about?
I write grants. To respond that I am just the writer is like a doctor stating that he or she just treats a patient.
Seeing another’s suffering without action increases the pain.
Hearing someone’s symptoms without feeling the pain does not mend the hurt.
Treating the sick without repairing the hurt cannot heal the brokenness.
God given gifts bestowed upon me are rooted in responsibility. Just as I am called to duty, I am charged to write such that I am to raise you, my friend, my reader, to raise you up. If my written words do not stir within you to do, to pay it forward, and yes if only to facebook “Like” then time spent on my work as a grant writer has been wasted.
A waste of time or wasting “face” time?
For all of the reasons there are to dislike facebook, there are more than enough reasons to extol its relevance, if not its importance in any given day.
What started out as a way to stay in tuned to technology has turned into an important immediate form of communication.
Today, as an example, with facebook, I learned a friend had to take someone to the hospital and was in need a prayers and support. It became a call to action and a way to connect virtually “firsthand.” A moment later I was introduced to one fascinating young modern artist! I was able to join a cause and show my support for an issue dear to my heart that is half way around the globe. I was able to share a job lead with someone- instantly providing a friend with a jumpstart on her lonely search. I learned that two friends have recently started blogging and so I shared in seeing a side of each previously never witnessed. The list goes on.
Just slice of facebook life:
- article from Christian Examiner
- updates from CNN
- hot off the Huffington Post
- UCLA parents news
- a movie review
- a tempting recipe for tonight’s dinner
Step on foreign soil, the harsh reality is that life of the garment worker is hard.
Damn the industry, cry the worker’s rights advocates.
Lead them out of poverty, shout the consumers.
But what do the people want? Work, and the right to a decent life.
Developing countries want business. You want it cheap; the cheaper the better.
“Globalization is good-Globalization is bad.”
How do you make better choices? How do you sort through the acronyms? DWCFC, what does that mean to me? MFA, I don’t know what to say. Is NGO or ILO the way to go?
It was the first day I travelled without my camera. It was the day I needed it the most. The morning drive had proven ripe with once in a lifetime out of the ordinary images, in what was a rather ordinary day on an ordinary street.
Conservative talk show host, Dennis Prager filled the air waves with his weekly special of “The Happiness Hour.” I was ready to be happy. And to quote Prager, “happiness is a moral obligation.” Generally speaking, I was keeping my happiness obligation.
Southbound on the boulevard a tall, clean, Chassidic Jew stood at a busy intersection. Getting up the courage to step into the crosswalk, his blackness, his orthodoxy was most out of place. I wished I could have stopped for a photo shoot and an early Shabbat greeting.
I couldn’t help but being happy. I hoped that the clearly “marked” Jew was happy too.
I drove through another neighborhood or two when a most unusual sight caught my attention. There were three middle school aged boys riding on bikes… each carrying fishing poles. In a rural setting that may have been commonplace. Certainly not, however, in this upscale part of the suburbs. These Mayberry boys looked happy and carefree.
I was sorry not to have my camera to capture this Rockwell moment, but I was happy nonetheless.
Crossing through the shopping district a man wrapped in several coats, a hat and clutching a fully loaded shopping cart, appeared to be asleep on the bench at the bus stop. His rugged face and bent fingers showed the wear and tear of the elements. I watched him rock back and forth, moaning in discomfort every now and again.
Glad that I didn’t have my camera, I was unable to shake that image. If beauty lies in poverty, this homeless man was a man of beauty. I wondered if this man was morally obligated to be happy. At this moment, I could not help but be unhappy.
I admired her from a distance. California to Poland. Polish poets we two. She made ideas simple. I was complicated by words. A weaver of irony was she. I simply seek it out. She loved her cigarettes until the her flame was extinguished by lung cancer. 88 now free.