Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wisdom Speak, Elder Wisdom, Elder Stories

         The convergence of this and that often leads me along a path not yet fully visualized, but a path that feels at once possible, exciting, and comforting.  And here I am now.  I drove, a couple of weeks ago, to the Mendocino Coast to attend a writers conference.  As is often the case for me, processing takes a bit of time and I allow myself the unconscious doing before I tiptoe into the conscious part.  The conscious part means wrangling with how to do what I want to do, and often leaves me feeling whelmed (can I be?),  if not overwhelmed to some degree.
        Before I left for Mendocino I became part of an online class to collect required continuing education units for a clinical license.  The online class had to do with activism and deep storytelling.  Not the rah, rah kind of activism that makes my palms sweat when I think of making cold calls or knocking on doors, but a kind I can make my own by championing an idea that can be helpful in the world.  I can do this in my own way, which, to me, means starting small, and writing.  At the end of the class the challenge was to pick an area.  I left it to marinate before I began to work with it.
      The convergence led me to write about wisdom speak, which I defined as ways of knowing, ways of understanding, ways of being when open to the knowledge of the world and gathering it in and sifting through those inner workings of self.  This is the experience of wisdom, and the speak comes through putting the wisdom into the world through stories.  I most particularly want to focus on wisdom speak when it comes to elder wisdom.  The story is the vehicle.
     Elders in many parts of the world are valued for their wisdom.  In the United States the voices of elders are often overlooked.  The culture of youth and the idea of obsolescence in general underpins this disregard.  Elder stories provide a myriad of experience to connect generation to generation through feelings and subtext, through commonality of life's struggles.  Elder wisdom through stories provides the circularity of life, interweaving the hope from the past to the hope for the future, providing and verifying the interconnectedness of life.
     I take the small steps along the path, uncertain of where I'm going, of where to go.  What will I do to enlarge the idea?  Who will listen?  Who will join?  And yet, here is the path.  I take a step.

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