Play and collaboration and spontaneity and complexity and creativity and rebellion are at the heart of the Gero-Punk Project.
At today’s Gero-Punk Salon we engaged in a communal writing project, a version of what the Surrealist André Breton called the “Exquisite Corpse,” a collaborative creative process that taps into the collective unconscious. In our version of the process, we wrote eight line poems, with each of us writing a line on a sheet of paper and then folding the paper so the next writer could only see the line immediately preceding. The poems emerged through each writer’s response to the line before, without knowing anything about the shape of the overall piece. We were all working within the broad themes articulated in the Gero-Punk Manifesto, but each with our own ideas about what those themes might entail.
Starting today and over the next seven days I will be publishing the eight Gero-Punk Poems that emerged from our creative play together.
What will it take to change age segregation?
Will the fear of dying forever be tied with old age?
Or is there a way to embrace what I can’t quite imagine?
I call out to my future older self.
She says, “I’ve been waiting for you, Dear One!
Sorry for being so late. My dog was sick this morning.
And my life is full of complexity and challenges.”
I shall embrace all that appears before me, with wisdom and fierce grace.
By Libby, Glenna, Cyndi, Jackie, Masaki, Aisling, Jenny and Simeon
Gero-Punk Salon, 12/11/16
About Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.
I am a freelance educational gerontologist, writer, community activist and facilitator.
I am former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University. I joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, I've been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate I attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. My dissertation became part of a book published in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee--Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Over the past twenty (or more!) years I have been involved in inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; older women's embodiment; sexuality and aging; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and inter-generational friendships and cross-generational collaborative inquiry.
I am co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (now in its 10th edition!) and first author, also with Moody, of the recently published Gerontology: The Basics, as well as author/co-author of several book chapters, articles and essays.
I am on the Portland Community College Gerontology Program faculty.
A great experience, Jenny — thanks for nudging us all forward in our personal and social journeys!