Gero-Punk Collaboration: What to make of changes?


Play and collaboration and spontaneity and complexity and creativity and rebellion are at the heart of the Gero-Punk Project.

At the most recent Gero-Punk Salon — this past sunny Sunday afternoon —  ten of us 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, together we composed three eight-line poems, starting with three different prompts.  Our writing prompts were inspired by our explorations of the broad theme of the Salon: the complexities of traveling through the life-course — and experiencing adult aging — as gendered beings.

What to try it? First, take a blank sheet of 9.5 x 11 inch paper and fold it length-wise as if making an 8-paneled fan.  Unfurl the fan, so that there are 8 rows. Next, a brave soul writes the first line of the poem at the top of the sheet of paper, across the first row, and then passes the paper on so that the next writer can add the second line; they then fold over the top of the page, hiding the first line, so the next writer can only see the line immediately preceding what they are about to write.  And so forth, until all 8 lines are complete.

Ta da! As if by magic, a lovely poem emerges!


geropunk poem small speck

Mystified that I am here

or what to make of changes

or want to not make change but be content

amongst the thousand witnesses of trees,

I am but a small speck of life.

Life so precious that to be a speck is a gift

and each speck is connected in infinite ways to all other specks.

No matter how long we study the connection, the answer is still inside us.

–Created by some combination of: Erica, Simeon, Ken, Terri, Alison, Teresa, Diane, Karen, Mary, & Jenny

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Gero-Punk Poem

Crouched at a lonely sunny corner:

Old white dog,

tongue out, hoping for water;

Old white man,

thumb out, hoping for a ride.


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Gero-Punk Salon Reminder: Come Play!

reading bitmoji

Hello!  How are you doing?

What new ideas or experiences are you excited about?

What new questions are swirling around in your beautiful mind?

Read any inspiring books lately?

Well, I’d love to hear all about everything!

If you live in or near the Portland, Oregon metro area, why not hang-out with me at the upcoming Gero-Punk Salon on Sunday, June 9th, 1-3 p.m. PST. at the Multnomah County Library Sellwood-Moreland Branch. 

And just so’s you know, it is quite unlikely that I’ll have finished reading Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age, by Mary Pipher, in time for the salon. (In fact, I may not finish it at all, ever.  It turns out it isn’t really my cup ‘o tea.)

If you have finished reading this book, I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts about what inspired you and what left you yearning for more (or different) insights and information about women’s mid- and later-life experiences. And if you haven’t finished nor even started this book, no worries! Come one, come all!

I was thinking it might be fun to spend a portion of the salon engaging in a show-and-tell. Feel free to bring your list of must-reads (and must-sees?) about gender and aging, as well as any other topics related to our complex travels through the life-course.  (And not only as pertains to cisgender women, but for all human beings in our exquisite, wild variety!)

I might also bust out a collaborative creative activity to shake things up a bit. Play and collaboration and spontaneity and complexity and creativity and rebellion are at the heart of the Gero-Punk Project. Have I piqued your interest?

I hope to see you there!


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