Artists: Lorraine Hilland, Brian Bulgin, Amita Gabriel, Jemima Gabriel, and Lola-Dawn Fennell
This word works really well for this group. They start by affirming seniors are GREAT. And inclusive, too, as they smile at the “youngster” in their midst. They see themselves, foundational; bringing voice and strength and focus and value to the world and where it is going. They are the threads that tie the past to the future, that weave understanding into hope. Yet, at large, the perceptions of seniors aren’t always so positive. Seniors are seen as being in descendance, heading down the staircase when in fact they are in ascendance, standing transformed at the top of the staircase and coming in to the greatness of your life, into extraordinary wisdom, extraordinary power. The arrival at this place, this great place takes a lifetime. This is the gift that seniors encounter often unexpectedly, after a lifetime of learning, a lifetime of not being perfect, of learning every day that you are not perfect, a lesson you have to practice every day. They begin to circle key ideas, the idea of movement in memory. That memory is not static or frozen, trapped, or a simple passage forward through time, but movement inward and outward, physical and spiritually too.
They are beginning to settle, on the Mobius symbol and its eternal cycles of birth to death and back again that seems to offer the complexity they are seeking. Layering it, they think will allow them to symbolize the depth and breadth seniors bring to culture. Associating colours with each layer could uncover the complexities and intersections, the fracture and unities that scar and strengthen the life trajectories of seniors standing in the world today. The concept of chakras and the colours associated with chakras represent the multiple journeys involved in arriving at the deep knowledge of self and world. Somebody points out the Mobius symbol is woven into Metis Culture. And other mentions how many cultures around the world focus on four.
Now, they have moved on to the gifts that seniors can bring to the world. They visualize hands curving around the Mobius, cradling it. Underneath all the complex layers, almost hidden, will be the word great, because the gifts seniors bring are so often hidden in the shadows. And of course, further back in those dark shadows is death hovering.
The word, the action, of great is underneath, shadowy and shadowed, difficult to see. This will be, intentionally a hard tile to see. People will have to search, and look deeply, and think, and question. All of which is all that seniors and Elders are asking of those following behind.