To be a Gero-Punk is to live experimentally, to live in love with emergence, with the unexpected, the chaotic, the improvisatory, to live with your arms wide open to complexity, guided by your own star, fueled by a good measure of playfulness and well-intentioned rebellion.
To be a Gero-Punk is to bravely and critically reflect upon, interrogate, and create new ways of thinking about and experiencing the aging journey. A Gero-Punk resists normative aging ideology, and challenges others to do so as well, or at least to better understand the implications of normative aging ideology before they live by its rules. We resist simple states of consciousness about aging and later life and choose, instead, to dwell in the messiness, the undeniable complexity, of deep human development and aging.
To be a Gero-Punk is to explore the art of time-travel, to learn how to be grounded simultaneously in the present while respecting (and learning from) the past and dreaming the future.
Gero-Punk “self-care” isn’t about perfecting one’s self or trying to prevent becoming old. If Gero-Punk “self-care” is anything, it has to be about freedom, about discovering what works for each of us in terms of feeling good, doing good, and enjoying this precious human life.
Here’s part two in the series of reflections and take-aways from the Gero-Punk Salon on Self-Care. This one – a Gero-Punk Poem — is by another regular contributor to this blog, Melinda E. Pittman. Poems are meant to be read aloud — see what happens when you do.
—Jenny Sasser, with Dana Rae Parker
Westminster Quarters Calling
A Community Inquiry in Four Crochets
A Poem inspired by the glorious Gero-Punk conversation on Self-Care, 2/21/16
Melinda E. Pittman
The doorbell of mindfulness chimes in.
Is it a present? Or a tautly taped box intent for future Tense?
A care package awaiting Time.
Ask… Is it Present time now or later?
Momentous thought, that.
Standards shift and sway ‘shoulds.’
cleared for Arachne’s weft.
Re- membering the tale: be Aware who knocks upon the door.
Is it Time to burnish base-boards? To order Chaos around?
Basis un-bored. Un-wholly. Desire, relief refrigerated.
Sky-light the limits.
Sandwiches- gratitude stuffed and mustard spiced- for just the right Present when Now arrives Later.
Now and Then, there be shoulds to sing to sleep,
perchance to dream…
A nice belly-rub for a little dog-
Would that we may make requirements wait another nanosecond!
After all, every good laugh requires set-up and twist
The punchline’s liminal. Would that it might conform to the irrealis left.
The joke’s in you.
Gigs of giggles delivered to your door. How’re your humours?
Shall we/I/they/thee/ye sign for the package
with full formality and care
or merely an initial chuckle?
How to accept a Moment of Delivery
as Westminster’s Quarters chime?
~ From Poems Aloud (work in progress)
Melinda E. Pittman is an essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, composer, musician, singer, theatrical director, producer, stand-up and sit-down comic, and community activist. She performed with the infamous parody comic quartet, the Fallen Angel Choir, then founded and toured the original comic musical theatre company BroadArts Theatre, serving as their Artistic Director for 14 years. Author of 15 full length musical plays, her work WonderBroads won the Angus Bowmer Oregon Book Award for Best Drama in 2000. She earned her B.A. in Theatre from Virginia Tech in 1975 and her Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University in 2013.