An Introduction to Creative Reminiscence

Ode To Age

I don’t believe in age.

All old people
in their eyes
a child,
and children
at times
observe us with the
eyes of wise ancients.

      Pablo Neruda

Starting by reading a poem like this brings everyone closer together by turning age on its head.

The Name Game
Unusual creative methods of learning everyone’s names. eg: Take an adjective that begins with the first letter of your name and describes how you feel today, such as: Jaunty Jane, Catastrophic Clare, Tendentious Tony.

The poem below stimulates lots of discussion about names we are called at different times of life.

She was Eliza for a few weeks
When she was a baby –
Eliza Lily. Soon it changed to Lil.

Later she was Miss Steward in the baker’s shop
And then ‘My love’, ‘My darling’, Mother,

Widowed at 30 she went back to work
As Mrs Hand. Her daughter grew up,
Married and gave birth.

Now she was Nanna. ‘Everybody
Calls me Nanna,’ she would say to visitors.
And so they did - friends, tradesmen, the doctor.

They used the patients’ Christian names.
‘Lil,’ we said, or ‘Nanna’,
But it wasn't in her file
And for those last bewildered weeks
She was Eliza once again.

       Wendy Cope

Then we play a piece of music, eg: Through the Eyes of a Child, sung by Ian Wallace, and read memories of former participants' 1st experience of music, and ask the audience for some of their own.

Explain what we do with their memories - make poems, movement, stories, one-liners, songs etc.

A former group member tells of their experience of being in the group. We read part of their monologue.

We explain the creative element of the sessions. eg: group games that inspire poems such as the following:

Blue haiku
the scent
with water
and touching the blue grass

Scarf Poem
After the birth of the seventh FitzGerald,
when the paternity payments outweighed his means,
Just Gerald left Surrey (in a hurry)
for a short holiday in Mexico.
He saw a card in a shop window
for a job as a bandit and decided to stay.

Words in a box
Like a lucky dip, people choose single words out of a box and reveal a memory stimulated by the word.

Where were living when you were 10 then 25?
One memory for each age about the place.

Play selection of music from earlier eras such as:
In a Persian Market
Glenn Miller
Kathleen Ferrier

Questions and tea to end the session.

For more details

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