We are being lived by powers we pretend to understand    W. H. Auden                                    

Creative Aging   from The Casual Alchemist                                 2019

Creativity is not about “art” but about finding ways to keep making our lives meaningful.

In what ways can we become regenerative for ourselves, our families and  our community?            

Practicing creativity eases the difficulty of the many, tidal transitions of being human

from birth through growing up, aging; the bumps of jobs, war, physical and spiritual wounds.

SYMPTOMS of Transition: PORTALS  SHIFT.  There's an Imbalance.

There are changes in mood, sleep, body, vision, hearing, memory, centrality, responsibility, visibility.

A hunger for something more, yet different.  The Third Eye blinks     The Top Chakra Opens   

Who am I when I am no longer doing, no longer productive,

no longer indispensable to so many others?

No longer wearing the masks? Where does my attention go?

Am I shedding objects, clothes, books, body? 

Am I grumpy, angry, annoyed, foggy, sad?”   

That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. 

Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower.

We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.          William Wordsworth

WHAT TO DO?    There’s been a loss, yes, but what’s opened up, awakened?  

Needs are Changing. There’s a Spiritual Hunger. It can be fed, adjusted.  You Can Do It.                  

                                                                  

Trust Curiosity.            Distrust Discourse.       Trust the Body.

Be with Children.         Be with Nature.            Make Things.    

Take Small Risks.        Make Order.                   Make Time for The Holy.

EARTH guides this time of Aging          from the North

"the time to give yourself away, to learn to dwell in timelessness and to tend the youth." (Andy Fisher) . 

The Time of Balance, Autumn/Winter, Body, Material Abundance, stability, health, hearth, home and Quietness.    

Earth Energy is Cool, Dry, Feminine: Venus, Saturn, Earth, onyxjade,, amethyst, lead:  Dull,  no sparkle, heavy           

Evoked   by any stone, dish of soil, salt, ochre, ivy. brown-black-green, darkness, thickness, bile, melancholy 

Divinities     DemeterCeres, the HoraePersephoneProserpinaHadesPluto.                            

Spirits:  gnomes, Fauns, Goblins, Satyrs, DryadSylvestres         

Animals:  Owl, Cat, sphinx, bull, stag, dragonwolf,                                                                                

Plants:   earthy-smelling, Grains grow near or in the soil: nourishing, hi-calorie, stored a long time      

 

Try this Four-Fold Approach           Start Anywhere!

 

Be Quiet: introspective, interior, patient. Remember dreams. This is private, meditative activity. It’s a form of Mindfulness.

 

Be Active:  intuitive, expressive. Find things to make, fix, build, care for. Learn a new skill. Use your Body

 

Be Public: engaging, explorative; Work and Play with others; Mentor, Volunteer. Share a skill you know.

 

Be Digestive: reflective, incorporative; Revisit these other activities. How did they work and feel? Keep a record. This is a “Grimoire”  Look it up.

 

Find Activities that feed you:     ASK, if what you are doing or who you are with:

1. Quiet Musings

via curiosity, memory, imagination, patience, solitude, hunches, accidents…

Do a Thumbnail Description of YourselfJust 50 words, or less           

      YOUR earned history. Take responsibility. For better and worse

Be with Nature  Wander  Bare Feet?  Notice Seasonal Changes:

“the enticing beauty and repellent brutality of nature”  Francis Jammes

Explore Organic language (vs non-organic, heroic, egoic technical, binary)

Where Mysteries, confusions, anomalies, ambiguities not Problems but normal growth:

a Fruiting. Ripening, decaying, a dormancy, Welcoming Experience with:

   The Chthonic of the Earth, below, hidden, alive, decay/compost. Just outside Ego control

   The Feral = Illicit, marginal, outsider, animal, off-center, out of comfort zone

   CHAOS: rising/falling action,  disorder, decay, through which the next form emerges.

   Transformative  All are affected.  There are no sidelines   

Stay casual   This is an exploration, not a debate or argument or sales pitch.

Recall Stories of your experiences in Nature: with animals, insects, weather…

The gods are in the diseases    Your Symptoms? What Spectrum are you on? 

Follow Present ThreadsWhat’s presenting? What lingers, vexes, haunts, peeves, annoys ?   

     Welcome Them as Directional,s Clues, Puzzle Pieces to your Unconscious.

       They are not “Problems”. They are Your Familiars.

Survey Needs: for Story, Awe, Feral, Making,       

Consider New Ways, Models for Thinking: The Mosaic, The Kaleidoscope, The Loom, The Tapestry,

       Organic Thinking,  Browsing, Cooking, The Ellipse, Tides

Review your Lineages: Who are your people?  Ethnic, family, spiritual, karmic, archetypal, clan.

    What tasks were you born with?  What doe you know about your Birth Experience?

2. Matterings: A wordless language of Material into Meaning via pattern and re-pattern

    to bolster/adjust/materialize Stories from The Unconscious, 

    Allow for the power of the indistinct to emerge as tips, clues, hints. 

    It’s cooperative participation, not control of the process. This is MAGIC:

     ways to access playful, provocative, hidden energy

Make Marks    Use Pounded Pigment from stones, mud or flowers. Try Rubbing on various  textures;  

     Try: mark-making with the smoke of a candle.  

Make Tools  (Wands/Talismans)  Find 2-3 Things: feathers, shells, leaves, sticks,

     Connect with yarn, dental floss, rubber bands; Add color,

Make Things to Wear    Particularly Hats, Masks, Jewelry

Make Gifts    for friends, family, enemies     Just Leave Them Somewhere

Use Fragments and Empties:  Blocks, Jars, Envelopes.  What can you put in them?

Simple Activities :    Twist ties, Blocks, Rubbings, Balancing, Make Piles, Bundles

3. Launchings: Public Ways to share discoveries, Make The Story Visible;      

Find Ways to Share Your Stories  Vlog? Website? Pinterest?  Give Gifts to kindle Others. 

Find others who share your sensibilities?

Find a Community Volunteer Project   a mural or a deck of cards that many people contribute to?

Go Visit 3 Pines at the Community Center and see how you can engage

4. Review/Digest Often  

What’s Repeating/Appearing? Are familiar themes appearing? 

Do Family members/memories appear?  Remember, it’s all about MAterial/PAttern

Light Touch! not full arguments, but allurements. Take Small Risks

         Poetry often enters through the window of irrelevance.   M.C Richards

Try Small Scale Objects: How little of something is needed to make meaning? 

Find Your Surreal name  an anagram of the letters in your name.

Start a Grimoire:  your record, journal of your Casual Making. Your discoveries.

    In what Ways are you a Legacy Carrier?               What Talents Emerging!

Recognize/Welcome Emerging CLAN    Your Greenman, Caretaker      Archetypes

PLAY! Seek Children as Guides But Aging is not a return to being a child.          

Let Go of Words   try Maps, Images, What’s on your cellphone?

    Instagram,     Pinterest    Try Haiku   Now-mood-contrast- with Objects        

MORE GUIDES/PRACTICES  to the powers of the Creative Unconscious

Suggestions for play/work at Home

Ikigai  the source of value in one's life;  the things that make one's life worthwhile   see visual                 

hikeintohistory   MakingMeditations.  CreativeAging     Grimoire     

David Brooks, The Second Mountain                aarp.org/health/dementia

www.thecasualalchemist.com                  James Hillman, The Force of Character

Donald Hall, The Third Thing                         Robert Frost, The Road not Taken

Robert Atchley, Everyday Mysticism            Andy Fisher,   https://andyfisher.ca/