Elder Writing

Ultimately, all that we have is our story -- perhaps, our most potent legacy.

How many of us would love to lose ourselves in our grandmother’s and grandfather’s letters, diaries, musings and notes about themselves and their lives? How much could be gained through the sharing of successes, regrets, adventures and challenges -- the loves and losses, favorite moments, and even the very worst times of their lives and how they got through or didn't!

People love this workshop! They blossom and their writing skills skyrocket.

With our older writers, we notice a spontaneity and playfulness, and yes, sometimes a bawdy humor mixed with a deeply serious approach to writing their lives.  The stories are often poignant, containing a bitter-sweet quality as well as some very wise commentaries and the humor -- this truly is where Life as Our Treasure really lives.  As Ashlar writers give time and words to their personal story, the  highlighted moments, the years, the life stages come together in a whole that gives coherence to what had previously been experienced as unrelated fragments. As people and events in personal and collective histories are juxtaposed, new meaning emerges. This is an opportunity for Life Review in its very best guise.

"...I was very ill a few years ago and listened to my gathered children (and grandchildren) as they talked about my life (I could hear them from my bedroom) – there were errors, people put in where they didn't belong, others left out, incidents that didn't really happen, or those that did were set in the wrong place in the wrong time.  So many times things that were important to me were not important to them - or maybe they just didn't know about them but what I did see was how much they enjoyed sharing my stories as they remembered them -- even if a kind of fiction -- but then maybe "memory" is a kind of fiction. It was then I decided to write my own story and first encountered Ashlar. I swear this desire to tell my story helped my personal healing, and as I thought about it, I wished I had my parent’s and grandparent’s stories in a form I could hold in my hands and read. Our children need to know where they come from; if they aren't interested now they will be eventually, and then…whoops, too late." --- Helen Tyrrell

 

For your continued blossoming: a suggested Reading List.

  • Aging Well, by George Vaillant, MD ( 2002 but best so far -- your throughts?)
  • The Art of Aging, Sherwin B. Nuland, MD.
  • The Force of Character, James Hillman.
  • The Soul's Code, James Hillman.
  • Still Here, Ram Dass.
  • The Mature Mind, Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD.
  • The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, MD.
  • The Mindful Brain, Daniel Siegel.
  • Close to the Bone,  Jean Shinoda Bolen.
  • Crossing to Avalon: A Woman's Midlife Pilgrimage, Jean Shinoda Bolen. 
  • In the Ever After: Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life,Allan B. Chinen.
  • Creating a Life: Finding Your Individual Path, James Hollis. 
  • The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife, James Hollis. 
  • Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places, James  Hollis.
  • Old Age: Journey Into Simplicity, Helen M. Luke.
  • Coming To Age: The Croning Years and Late-Life Transformation, Jane R. Pretat

If you have any books to suggest contact us.

 

Useful Links:

  1. Persimmon Tree - Online literary magazine by women over 60
  2. www.PositScience.com to review The Brain Fitness Program