How I met my Elder Group
AS a 68 year old I do not spend much time around people of the same age until recently. Prior to it I hung around the Conscious Community Melbourne scene. I made chai for ecstatic dance full with 20 to 40 year old wanna be gods and goddesses. Then I was placed in KAW, 1231 Plenty Rd, Bundoora as an involuntary mental health patient for 4 weeks and met a lot of people over 65. Dennis, Guisseppe, Margaret and Maureen re-educated me into why having friends who had grown up in the same era as myself made perfect sense.
Same schools, same footy players, same songs, there are times our stories hold us back: Here is what my friends Marc annd Angel Chernoff say about that- “She barely makes eye contact. Instead she looks down at the fround. Because the ground is safer. Because unlike people, it expects nothing in return. The ground just accepts her for who she is. As she site at the bar next to me, she stares down at her vodka tonic, and then the ground, and then her vodka tonic.”Most people don’t get me,” she says. “They as she speakssk me questions like, “What’s your problem?” or “ Were you mistreated as a child?” But I never respond. Because I doWhat do you feel now?” I askn’t feel like exlaining myself. And I don’t think they care anyway.”
The music is getting loud and I can see she needs to talk. I ask, “Want to get some fresh air?” In the chilly night air she tells me her story. As she speaks, jer emotional gaze shifts from the ground, to my eyes, to the moonlight sky, to the moon, and to my eyes again. When she finishes, she says “WEll, now you know my story. “You think I’m a freak don’t ypu?” “Place your right hand on your chest,” I tell her. She does”Do you feel something?” I ask
“Yeah, I feel my Heartbeat.””Now, place both of your hands on your face and move them around slowly.” She does. “What do you feel now?” I ask. “Well, I feel my eyes, my nose, my mouth…I feel my face.” “That’s right,” I reply “But unlike you, stories don’t have heartbeats, and they don’t have faces. Because they are not alive…They’re not people, they are just stories.”
She stares into my eyes for a long moment, smiles , and says, “Just stories we live through.” “Yeah…and stories we learn from.”
They will find out in the end though.
My sister Ruth became the matriarch of our family when our parents passed.
Technology does not need to frighten an elder, you were well trained on IT over the years.
Are you an Empty Nester or a Solataire elder?
Not everybody makes it to the older person category!!!
o many,many times, how did i make it?
he less of these you allow to land the stronger your eldership will be.
Elders have learnt the above koan in a powerful way.
As an Elder I try to remember this each and every day.
his is a great book, gifted to me on my 60th by my little sister Jann I think.
ts a journey to become an elder, rough bit and good bits, even extraordinary bits.
I love the wisdom etched in this elders face.
Social media has a lot to answer for in what eldership has to offer to society, it has belittled it.
ou are an elder, express the guidance you have been given. It takes a village to raise children.
Its a long time I have been back to my eldership wisdom. Financial mania does that to you. Love and Respect for all, Everybody Included. It’s up to Us, Because we can, Its our time. The two favourite slogans I created over the years. I used to fantasise that Greta T would take the second one on for the school strikes campaign, Yes, I did send it to her. It feels great to write my first blog after my release from KAW 10 days ago. I wrote Is Neil Young God in there. I have a sense the next one will be on my restored conversation about faith and the words of Jesus from chatting to my two friends of faith, Karina and Margaret.
Until we meet again my friends that read I am an Interculturalist around the world, whichever of the 160 countries you live in, I thank you.