'Growing and Aging' series at Open Eye

Margaretville — The New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, to offer “Growing and Aging,” a monthly reading and discussion series that runs from February 26 to June 11.

Pre-registration is Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 7 to 8 p.m. at The Open Eye Theater.
“With its thematic focus, this reading and discussion program offers an unusual twist on the standard book group format by making time for thinking deeply about one idea, over time, from a variety of perspectives,” says Sara Ogger, executive director of the council.

Numerous topics
Group participants will come together over the course of four 90-minute sessions to explore questions about entering middle age, growing older, caring for aged loved ones and finding peace and satisfaction in the later stages of life. The discussion facilitator is Gail Lennstrom.

Lennstrom graduated from Columbia University College of Physical Therapy and has worked for over 40 years in a variety of settings including O’Connor Hospital in Delhi, nursing homes, home care agencies and also completed training as a Hospice Volunteer. She trained as a Spiritual Director in a two-year program at Mercy Center in Madison, CT, and has facilitated a variety of programs exploring Health and Wellness.

Lennstrom intends to approach the topic of aging with a holistic theme. “Our personalities are a compilation of physical; mental; emotional and spiritual aspects,” Lennstrom stated. “People often tend to manifest one aspect more strongly than others. This focus often changes as we grow and age.” One key text in the program is “Literature and Aging, An Anthology”. Over 60 short stories and poems reflect these differences. Salman Rushdie is quoted in the preface; “Literature is the one place in any society where…we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way.”

Authors assist
Authors including Anne Sexton, Kurt Vonnegut, Harold Pinter, Robert Frost and Katherine Anne Porter explore the endlessly variable ways people approach aging and dying. “Great literature, by asking extraordinary questions, opens new doors in our minds,” added Rushdie. The Pulitzer Prize winning short novel “Tinkers” by Paul Harding explores the intertwined memories of a Maine watch repairer as his time winds down with those of his peddler father and Methodist preacher grandfather. The third text, “A History of Old Age” edited by Pat Thane, is a very visual and artistic compilation exploring the concept of old age through time.

The program is free and open to the public, although pre-registration is required. The program is limited to 15 participants. To pre-register, please phone The Open Eye Theater at 586-1660 or e-mail openeye@catskill.net. The four reading/discussion dates are Tuesday, Feb. 26, Wednesday, March 27, Tuesday, May 14, and Tuesday, June 11, all at 7:00 - 8:30 p.m..
For further information, please phone 586-1660.