Bill and I have been collaborating the past couple weeks on an article for Generations, the quarterly publication for American Society on Aging.
Truth be told, the research and writing has been going on for 2 years. In the summer of 2006, with my 6-year-old twins Ben and Hannah in tow, we flew to upstate New York to Bill and Jude’s Summer Hill Retreat. With the kids off to day camp, I spent the day teasing out the concepts of “Aging in Community” a phrase to describe the grassroots movement of people creating new communities to intentionally nurture and support growing old, together. To describe and document in quasi-academic terms a new social phenomenon blossoming out of complex demographic, economic and social changes in 3000 words is not an easy task. Especially with Dr. Bill!
When writing about a new idea, one may find books and articles that define one aspect or another. But to describe the whole, requires something that one may or may not find in writing. In this case, it was in talking about community with Bill, Jude, and other colleagues that the principles and elements of this paradigm shift began to emerge. I found the most insightful conversations were not the scheduled times to hash out ideas in the office, rather the impromptu chats on the big porch swing.
It is a beautiful thing when two or more people gather informally together to articulate a new way of being in the world – and it needs no referencing!
Cheers – Janice Blanchard