So if I don’t get this out today, it won’t get out, and then I’ll be even more behind. The truth is, I’ve wanted to post for a long time. I’ve been so busy! New boyfriend who lives half an hour from me. These not-very-long-distance relationships take up an enormous amount of one’s conscious and unconscious life.
At any rate, I’ve been doing other things, teaching yoga, volunteering with the elderly, and, best of all, starting up the motor on the book boat. It will launch. Just give me a bit of time to get her sea-worthy.
What I want to talk about is–are– the seniors I’ve been working with. I love them. It feels weird to me to call them “seniors,” as though they belonged to a separate species or something. They are women and men, aged about 70 to 87, and I love them. Each one of them is a beautiful human being, each one of them has taught me an enormous amount about my life and myself. What will I do without them?
I ask the question because the program I’m leading, called “Brain Builders” at the Pittsburgh Jewish Children and Family Services, lasts for only eight weeks, and we are just starting week 7. I spend three hours with them every Tuesday and Thursday, teaching them creative writing, yoga, and computer skills. I’ve gotten them all started on writing their autobiographies. Or so I like to think. My belief is that they have important stories to tell, and what they put on paper now will be an incredible gift to their descendants. This is my approach to the realizing the aims of the course, which are to stimulate and foster the cognitive, physical, and emotional health of people who are getting older.
They are eight in number and their names are Sibyl, Shirley, Bill, Jerry, Barry, David, Betty, Louise, and Vera. We begin at 9:30, although lately Shirley and Louise have been coming later and later each time. I suspect them of meeting for coffee beforehand and losing track of time. They must be Vata. The PItta in me is irked by this laziness but the Kapha side of me totally understands.
We start the day with one or more of them reading from the work they wrote in the period before. They have usually responded to a topic that I have suggested. In my next posts, I will be sharing their stories.