Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movies about Children and Older Adults

Photo by Kevin Dooley.
After watching well over 130 films featuring older adults, I noticed that there are many that explore inter-generational relationships. 

Often the tension and opportunity for growth comes between older adults and their grown children. 

However, a few films focus on the possibility that older adults have something to offer children two generations removed from them--either their grandchildren, a neighbor or a complete stranger. 

The older adult sometimes offers nurturing, acceptance, and guidance that the parent is not providing. 

Sometimes they offer a window into a world the child has never seen--the beauty of nature, a new culture, a vocation, a hobby. 

And the children have something to offer the older adult. 

Frequently, the older adult finds a sense of wonder, new-found energy, and playfulness through his or her relationship with a child. 

Here are a handful of films that depict older adults and young children forging a mutually benefiting connection:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Calcium Carbonate

Photo by HBarrison.
I have not had the opportunity to visit the White Cliffs of Dover, part of England's coastline. However, I have been taking 1 antacid pill daily, so I feel some affinity to this natural beauty. Why?  The chalky whiteness of the soil is due to calcium carbonate, the same ingredient in my antacid.

I have recently learned that I have osteopenia, a weakening of the bones.  I am trying to improve my bone health through diet and exercise.   Women ages 51 to 70 years old need 1,200 mg of calcium per day.  But too much calcium can cause problems, so don't exceed daily recommendations--or your doctor's prescription, which may differ.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quantifying Wisdom

Photo by jinterwas.
Wisdom is an elusive trait.

It's easier to provide examples of wise people than it is to provide an abstract definition of this characteristic.

Nevertheless, scholars have tried defining wisdom.

For example, Paul Baltes and and other experts from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany have been pursing a more empirically based definition of wisdom.

Their project is termed The Berlin Wisdom Paradigm.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jamison's Memoir on Love & Loss

Published September 15, 2009.
A close friend of mine from high school stronger recommended Kay Redfield Jamison's earlier book An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (1997).  So when I saw that she had a book out about love and loss, I put the title on my "to read list."

A recent plane trip granted me the opportunity to finally read Nothing Was The Same: A Memoir (2009).

I spent the last twenty pages trying to cry as silently as possible in order to keep from disturbing my seat mates.

Jamison describes her relationship with her husband Richard Wyatt as it developed throughout many stages:

Their courtship and early marriage--where they had to work out a dynamic for how they could both address her manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; his diagnosis and treatment for cancer over a three year period; and Jamison's grief in the wake of Wyatt's death.

Friday, April 4, 2014

May Sarton: Poet

Photo by
Dead Poet's Society of America.
Poets tackles the big, complex themes such as truth, beauty, love and death.  After decades of exploring such themes, poets in late life continue to explore these topics.  The poets work is never done.

April is National Poetry month in the United States.  This gives me an invitation to consider poetry of mature poets.  If you have not had the chance to read poems by May Sarton, I invite you to do so.

Sarton was born in Belgium in 1912, but with war raging in Europe, her family moved to Boston in 1915.  She initially was interested in being an actress but soon turned her talents to writing.

She published fiction and autobiographical nonfiction. However, it's her poetry that is her greatest legacy.  She also taught creative writing at several universities and was a life-long Unitarian.

Here is a sermon by Rev. Peg Boyle Morgan that celebrates Sarton's work and quotes from a number of her poems.