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04.18.24 | Arts & Culture

Introducing Sage Vibrant Living —The Podcast: A New Chapter in Storytelling

In an ever-evolving world where connection and engagement stand as pillars of humanity, Sage Collective proudly announces the launch of an exciting endeavor: Sage Vibrant Living — The Podcast. This innovative series is more than just an addition to our platform, Sage Advice®; it is a bold step towards redefining the narrative around aging and celebrating the vibrancy of life at every stage.

Why podcasting?
At Sage, we believe in challenging the status quo and embracing innovative ideas that enrich the lives of older adults and the community at large. Podcasting offers a radical new framework where older adults are valued and engaged…where they experience a life lived vibrantly. It is a medium that transcends traditional boundaries, allowing us to connect, engage, and explore humanity’s boundless knowledge collaboratively. From how-to discussions and cultural perceptions of aging to dynamic storytelling and housing as health insights, Sage Vibrant Living — The Podcast covers a broad spectrum of topics that resonates with our mission: to promote a better quality of life for older adults and those who support them, to extend the reach of Sage, and to foster a sense of community and belonging.

Listening to inspirational voices|
Our inaugural series boasts a lineup of interviews that promises to captivate, educate, and inspire our listeners. Each guest brings a unique perspective to the table, sharing their journey, wisdom, and insights into living a life full of purpose, health, and joy.

Episode 1: Barbara Bates | Fashion and Philanthropy: Join us as we dive into the world of fashion with Barbara Bates, exploring how she weaves philanthropy into her work and remains a relevant force in the industry.

Episode 2: Alfred Edmond Jr. | Money & Muscle: Alfred Edmond Jr. reveals his secrets to building wealth and health post-60, offering listeners a blueprint for financial and physical wellness.

Episode 3: Cheryl Woodson, MD | A Journey Towards Joy: Dr. Cheryl Woodson shares her expert insights on navigating the challenges of aging and finding pathways to joy and fulfillment.

Episode 4: Dwain Kyles & Emilie McKendall | Speak Up!: This empowering conversation with Dwain Kyles and Emilie McKendall underscores the importance of self-advocacy and standing up for others.

Episode 5: Dr. Geneva Williams | How to Make Your “Dash” Mean Something: Dr. Geneva Williams discusses the significance of the ‘dash’—the time between our birth and death—and how to make every moment count.

Episode 6: Don Jones | The Power of Storytelling: In this compelling episode, Don Jones delves into the transformative power of storytelling, highlighting its role in preserving history, fostering connections, and inspiring change.

As we embark on this journey, we invite you to join us. Whether you’re a listener, a storyteller, or a supporter, your involvement is crucial to the success of Sage Vibrant Living—The Podcast. Together, we can change the experience of growing older and celebrate a life lived vibrantly, one story at a time.

To access all the podcast episodes, simply click on the link here.

Sage Vibrant Living Podcast
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04.03.24 | Arts & Culture

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Mastering the Art of Storytelling Through Reflection and Reality

In the rich landscape of contemporary storytelling, few voices are as compelling and influential as that of Ta-Nehisi Coates. As part of our ongoing exploration into the art of storytelling, Sage Collective is delighted to spotlight Coates, a writer who masterfully weaves together narratives of race, identity, and the American experience with both grace and unflinching honesty. Coates’ work not only captivates readers but also invites profound reflection on the society we inhabit and the changes we aspire to see.

A Voice for Our Times
Ta-Nehisi Coates emerged as a powerful voice in American literature and journalism through his thought-provoking essays and books. His ability to articulate complex issues related to race and society has made him a pivotal figure in national conversations about racism, democracy, and historical memory. Coates’s writing is characterized by its depth of insight, lyrical quality, and the personal perspective he brings to bear on topics of public concern.

The Beautiful Struggle: A Personal Odyssey
In The Beautiful Struggle, Coates offers a vivid glimpse into his formative years in Baltimore, navigating the complexities of boyhood within the broader context of racial and economic strife. This memoir is not only a tale of personal growth and familial bonds but also a reflection on the broader struggle for Black identity and liberation. Coates’ relationship with his father, a figure steeped in the legacy of the Black Panther movement, serves as a powerful narrative thread, illustrating the impact of history and activism on individual lives.

Between the World and Me: An Intimate Letter
Between the World and Me expands Coates’ exploration of America’s racial history through a deeply personal lens, structured as a letter to his teenage son. This work captures the fears, hopes, and realities of being Black in America, weaving personal narrative with historical analysis. Coates’ use of the epistolary form creates an intimate conversation on race, identity, and the quest for understanding in a country marked by systemic injustice.

The Water Dancer: Merging Fiction with History
Coates’ foray into fiction with his debut novel, The Water Dancer, further cements his status as a versatile and imaginative storyteller. The novel combines historical elements with magical realism to tell a captivating story of slavery and resistance in the antebellum South. Through the eyes of his protagonist, Hiram Walker, Coates explores themes of memory, freedom, and the unbreakable bonds of family. The Water Dancer showcases Coates’ skill in creating rich, immersive worlds that illuminate the struggles and resilience of the human spirit.

We Were Eight Years in Power: Reflecting on an Era
In We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates assembles a collection of essays that chronicle the Obama presidency’s significance against the backdrop of America’s racial landscape. The title, echoing a lament from the Reconstruction era, frames the book as a meditation on the cyclical nature of racial progress and backlash in American history. Through essays that examine the cultural and political implications of Obama’s presidency and the subsequent rise of Donald Trump, Coates offers a critical analysis of the forces that shape American society and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

Across his works, Coates’ storytelling artistry lies in his ability to blend the deeply personal with the sweepingly historical. His narratives invite readers into a space of reflection, challenging them to consider the intricate tapestry of American identity and the indelible impact of race on the nation’s conscience. Through his incisive analysis, lyrical prose, and unflinching honesty, Coates has crafted a body of work that is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of contemporary America.

As we celebrate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ contributions to the art of storytelling, we are reminded of the power of literature to illuminate the darkest corners of society, to heal, and to inspire change. His voice is a clarion call for awareness, empathy, and action — a testament to the enduring strength of the written word to move hearts and minds.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Anthology of Rap, 92YTribeca. Photo: 92YTribeca, Flickr Creative Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed
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03.27.24 | Community & Lifestyle

Rediscovering Local Libraries: A Gateway to Lifelong Learning

In an era where the digital world dominates our sources of information and entertainment, the timeless charm and invaluable resources of local libraries stand as beacons for communities everywhere. At Sage Collective, we deeply value lifelong learning as a key component of vibrant living. It’s in this spirit that we explore the local library not just as a building with books, but as a vibrant gateway to endless learning opportunities, cultural enrichment, and community connection.

The Local Library: More Than Just Books
Local libraries have evolved significantly over the years, transforming into dynamic community centers that offer a wide range of resources and services. Beyond the shelves of books lies a treasure trove of digital resources, educational programs, and cultural events designed to engage and enrich community members of all ages.

A Hub for Lifelong Learning
One of the most compelling aspects of local libraries is their commitment to fostering lifelong learning. Whether it’s through free access to books, e-books, online courses, or workshops, libraries provide invaluable resources for personal and professional development. For older adults, particularly, libraries offer programs tailored to their interests and needs, making learning accessible and enjoyable.

Cultural and Social Enrichment
Libraries serve as cultural hubs, hosting an array of events such as author readings, discussion groups, art exhibitions, and film screenings. These events not only enrich our cultural understanding but also provide opportunities for social interaction, helping to build a sense of community and belonging. Engaging with these offerings allows us to expand our horizons, encounter new ideas, and connect with fellow community members.

Access to Technology and Digital Literacy
In today’s digital age, libraries play a crucial role in bridging the digital divide. They offer free access to computers and the internet, along with classes on digital literacy, helping individuals navigate the complexities of the digital world. For many in our community, especially seniors who may feel left behind by rapid technological changes, this access is invaluable in staying connected and informed.

Volunteer and Engagement Opportunities
Libraries also offer numerous opportunities for community members to get involved, whether through volunteer programs, friends of the library groups, or advisory boards. Participating in these activities can be a rewarding way to give back, share your skills and experience, and further strengthen community ties.

Rediscovering Your Local Library
Rediscovering your local library is as simple as walking through its doors or visiting its website. Explore the catalog, inquire about upcoming events, or ask the librarians about resources and services available. You might be surprised at the wealth of opportunities waiting to be discovered.

As we advocate for the enriching practice of lifelong learning at Sage Collective, we recognize local libraries as our vital partners, providing gateways to new experiences, avenues for personal growth, and the joys of community engagement. Not familiar with your local library? It’s easy to find! Use this handy website — libraryfinder.org/ — to enter your address and get information on locations, hours, and reviews from others.

Library books on shelves
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03.20.24 | Arts & Culture

Photography as a Mindful Hobby: Capturing Moments with Intention

In the vibrant tapestry of hobbies that enrich our lives, photography emerges as a uniquely compelling practice, blending art, technology, and mindfulness. At Sage Collective, where we cherish activities that enhance our well-being and connect us to the world in meaningful ways, photography holds a special place. It’s a powerful tool for capturing the beauty of the present, and a medium for expressing our unique perspectives.

The Mindful Art of Photography

Photography, at its essence, is an act of observation and appreciation. It encourages us to slow down, to see the world through a lens of curiosity and wonder. Each time we frame a shot, we’re not just capturing a moment in time; we’re engaging deeply with our surroundings, noticing details we might otherwise overlook. This attentive observation is a disciplined practice, fostering a state of presence and awareness that can be both calming and exhilarating.

Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes

One of the most remarkable aspects of photography is its ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Through the camera’s lens, mundane objects and everyday scenes can become subjects of beauty and intrigue. This shift in perspective encourages us to look at our world with fresh eyes, finding joy and interest in the familiar. It’s a reminder that beauty and wonder are all around us, waiting to be noticed and appreciated.

this-still-life-composition-features-a-single-piece-of-fruit-on-a-white-surface
Photo: Ralph, pixexid

Expressing Creativity and Emotion

Photography also offers a powerful outlet for creativity and emotional expression. Whether it’s capturing the nuanced play of light and shadow, the vibrant colors of a sunset, or the candid emotions of a street scene, photography allows us to convey feelings and stories without words. It’s a form of visual poetry, where each image reflects a piece of our inner world, our joys, sorrows, and everything in between.

Connecting with Others

Beyond its personal benefits, photography is a medium that fosters connection. Sharing our photographs can spark conversations, evoke empathy, and build bridges between diverse experiences and viewpoints. In community settings, photography projects can bring people together, creating shared experiences and mutual understanding. It’s a way to communicate deeply felt experiences in a universal language that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.

Embarking on Your Photographic Journey

Starting with photography as a mindful hobby doesn’t require expensive equipment or technical expertise. It begins with a willingness to explore and observe. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Start Simple: Use whatever camera you have, even if it’s just your smartphone. The best camera is the one you have with you.
  • Pay Attention to Light: Notice how different lighting conditions affect your surroundings and experiment with capturing them.
  • Focus on Composition: Practice framing your shots, playing with angles and perspectives to find interesting compositions.
  • Be Present: Allow yourself to fully engage with the process, focusing on the act of taking the photograph as much as the outcome.

As we explore photography as a mindful hobby, we discover that it’s not just about the images we create but the heightened sense of presence and connection we experience. Photography invites us to celebrate the moment, to express ourselves creatively, and to share our view of the world with others. At Sage Collective, we encourage you to embrace photography as a pathway to mindfulness, a practice that enriches our lives and reminds us of the beauty in the everyday.

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Credit: Tyler Sakil on Unsplash
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03.13.24 | Sage Advice®

Interfaith Dialogues: Understanding and Celebrating Religious Diversity

In a world that is as beautifully diverse as it is interconnected, Sage Collective recognizes and celebrates the myriad ways in which individuals express their spirituality and faith. One of the most enriching avenues for promoting understanding, peace, and unity among this diversity is through interfaith dialogues. These conversations are not just about exploring the beliefs and practices of different religions; they are about weaving a tapestry of shared human experience that transcends individual faiths.

The Essence of Interfaith Dialogues

Interfaith dialogues are conversations that aim to bring people of different religious beliefs and backgrounds together to discuss their faiths, beliefs, and practices in an atmosphere of respect and understanding. These dialogues are pivotal in breaking down barriers, dispelling myths, and fostering a mutual respect that is crucial in today’s globalized society. They remind us that beneath the surface of our diverse expressions of faith lies a common quest for meaning, purpose, and community.

Why Engage in Interfaith Dialogues?

Promotes Understanding: At their core, interfaith dialogues are about understanding. They provide a platform for individuals to share their beliefs, listen to others, and learn from each other’s experiences. This understanding is the first step towards building a more cohesive and harmonious community.

Fosters Respect: Through open and honest conversations, interfaith dialogues cultivate a culture of respect. When we take the time to learn about the beliefs of others, we are more likely to respect those beliefs, even if they differ from our own.

Encourages Unity: By focusing on common values and shared experiences, interfaith dialogues can highlight the unity that exists amidst diversity. They remind us that, despite our different paths, we are all part of the larger human family.

Supports Peace-building: In a world often divided by religious conflicts, interfaith dialogues serve as a powerful tool for peace-building. They help in mitigating misunderstandings and tensions by promoting a message of peace and coexistence.

Creating Meaningful Interfaith Dialogues

Creating a space for meaningful interfaith dialogues starts with an open heart and an open mind. It requires participants to listen actively, speak respectfully, and approach each conversation with empathy and curiosity. Here are some ways to foster these dialogues:

Educate Yourself and Others: Begin with a willingness to learn about other faiths, and share knowledge about your own in a way that is informative and inclusive.

Participate in Interfaith Events: Join interfaith councils, forums, or celebrations in your community to experience the richness of diverse religious traditions.

Encourage Inclusivity: Advocate for inclusivity in your own religious or spiritual communities, encouraging leaders and members to engage in interfaith initiatives.

At Sage Collective, we believe that interfaith dialogues are essential for nurturing a society that values diversity, practices inclusion, and seeks unity in the beautiful mosaic of human spirituality. As we embark on these conversations, let us do so with the intention of not just coexisting, but thriving together in mutual respect and understanding. In celebrating our differences, we find our greatest strength — our shared humanity.

Sage Collective Interfaith Dialogues
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03.06.24 | Community & Lifestyle

Volunteering: The Art of Giving Back

In the heart of every community, there lies a powerful force of growth and transformation — volunteering. We touched on the subject of volunteering in a post on January 27, 2022, but today we’re returning to the subject to take a closer look. Because at Sage Collective, we recognize volunteering as an act of service and as an art form that enriches both the giver and the receiver. It’s a manifestation of our core belief in vibrant living, an embodiment of compassion, and a testament to the strength that lies in community.

The Essence of Volunteering

Volunteering is the selfless offering of time, energy, and skills to make a positive impact on the lives of others and the world around us. It’s a practice deeply rooted in the understanding that every individual has the power to effect change. In this giving, we find a profound connection to the wider community, creating ripples of kindness that can transform society.

Why Volunteer?

The benefits of volunteering extend far beyond the tangible outcomes of the tasks at hand. For older adults, especially, volunteering offers a myriad of rewards:

Community Connection: Volunteering places us in the heart of our communities, allowing us to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. It’s a pathway to understanding the diverse tapestry of experiences that shape our world.

Mental and Physical Well-being: Engaging in volunteer work has been shown to boost both mental and physical health. It can lower stress, combat depression, and provide a sense of purpose. Physically, staying active through volunteering can enhance mobility and overall health.

Lifelong Learning: The act of volunteering offers endless opportunities for learning and growth. Whether it’s acquiring a new skill, understanding a different perspective, or discovering more about a cause close to our hearts, every volunteering experience is a chance to expand our horizons.

Legacy Building: Volunteering allows us to leave a legacy of kindness, compassion, and active citizenship. It’s a way to pass on values of community service and social responsibility to future generations.

With so many avenues for volunteering, finding the right fit can be a journey in itself. Consider your passions, skills, and the causes you care about. Whether it’s mentoring the youth, participating in environmental clean-ups, or offering your expertise to non-profit organizations, there’s a niche for everyone.

The Art of Giving Back

Volunteering is indeed an art form — a delicate balance of giving and receiving, teaching and learning, speaking and listening. It’s about approaching each opportunity with an open heart and mind, ready to contribute but also to grow from the experience.

At Sage Collective, we encourage everyone to explore the art of volunteering. It’s a key component of vibrant living, offering a fulfilling way to engage with the world. As we give our time and talents, we receive immeasurable gifts in return: joy, fulfillment, and the knowledge that we’ve played a part in making the world a little brighter.

As we embrace the art of giving back, let’s remember that every act of volunteering, no matter how small, contributes to a larger tapestry of community and compassion. We invite you to join us in this journey of service, to explore the many ways you can contribute, and to experience the profound rewards that come from volunteering. Together, let’s continue to weave a vibrant tapestry of connectedness, one volunteer moment at a time.

Volunteering-and-the-art-of-giving-back
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02.29.24 | Health & Wellness

Family Fitness Fun: Activities for All Generations

At Sage Collective, we emphasize the importance of wellness and community in our journey towards a full, happy and high-quality life, as seen across our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living. An engaging way to combine these elements is through family fitness activities. Participating in physical activities as a family promotes health while strengthening bonds across generations, creating cherished memories and shared experiences.

The Benefits of Family Fitness

Family fitness activities offer a multitude of benefits. They provide an opportunity for quality time, foster healthy habits, and can be tailored to accommodate the abilities and interests of all family members, from the youngest to the oldest. Physical activity is essential at every age, and doing it together can make it more enjoyable and sustainable.

Here are some of our favorite intergenerational fitness ideas:

Nature Walks and Hikes: Exploring local parks or nature trails as a family is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and get moving. These walks can be leisurely or more challenging, depending on the family’s fitness levels.

Gardening Together: Gardening is a wonderful way to be active, enjoy the outdoors, and teach children about nature and nutrition. It can be a relaxing and rewarding activity for older adults as well.

Dance Parties: Organize a family dance party in your living room or backyard. Dancing is a fun way to get everyone moving, regardless of their age or skill level.

Yoga Sessions: Hosting a family yoga session can be a calming and bonding experience. There are various yoga practices suitable for all ages and abilities.

Biking: A family bike ride is a great way to explore your neighborhood or local bike paths while getting a good workout.

Team Sports: Engaging in team sports like soccer, basketball, or even simple games like tag can be fun for the whole family and foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation.

Tips for Successful Family Fitness

For successful family fitness, it’s essential to embrace inclusivity by selecting activities that cater to various ages and fitness levels, ensuring everyone can participate. Establishing a regular routine for these activities can help in building a lasting habit that becomes a cherished part of your family’s life. The key is to keep these fitness sessions enjoyable and light-hearted; the primary goal is to have fun and enjoy being active together. Additionally, safety should always be a priority, particularly when activities involve children or older family members. By considering these factors, family fitness becomes not only a means of staying healthy but also a source of joy and bonding for the entire family.

Incorporating fitness into family life is more than just an exercise; it’s an investment in your family’s health and relationships. Finding activities that everyone can enjoy is crucial, and it creates a foundation of healthy habits and precious moments together. Choose activities that can be modified to suit different ages and fitness levels, establish regular family fitness times to build a habit, and most importantly, keep the atmosphere light and playful. Always prioritize safety, especially when involving children or older family members.

As we embrace family fitness, we’re not just moving our bodies; we’re strengthening bonds and creating joyous memories. It’s about enjoying the journey together, one step, stretch, or pedal at a time, and fostering a lifestyle that values health and togetherness. Let’s make family fitness a delightful and essential part of our vibrant living journey.

SageCollective_FamilyFitnessFun
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02.22.24 | Health & Wellness

What is Wisdom in Aging? Exploring the Sage Collective Perspective

As we journey through life, the concept of aging gracefully isn’t just about the physical aspect; it’s profoundly intertwined with the accumulation of wisdom. At Sage Collective, we cherish the process of aging as a unique opportunity for growth, learning, and sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience that comes with it. But what exactly is wisdom in aging, and how does it manifest in our lives?

Wisdom isn’t merely a collection of knowledge, but a deeper understanding and application of that knowledge in ways that are thoughtful, compassionate, and beneficial to ourselves and others. It involves insight, judgment, and the ability to see beneath the surface of things. In the context of aging, wisdom becomes a guiding light, a beacon that illuminates the path for ourselves and others that is informed by:

Empathy and Compassion: With age comes an enhanced capacity for empathy and compassion. Wisdom involves understanding others’ feelings and experiences, fostering connections that transcend superficial differences.

Emotional Regulation: Wisdom in aging is characterized by the ability to navigate emotions with grace. It means not being swayed by every gust of feeling but understanding and managing emotions for greater harmony and peace.

Reflection and Insight: The reflective quality of wisdom allows us to look back on our experiences, learn from them, and gain insights that guide our future actions. This introspection is a hallmark of true wisdom.

Acceptance: Wisdom brings with it the acceptance of life’s impermanence and the serenity to embrace change. It’s about understanding what we can control and letting go of what we cannot.

Sharing Knowledge: Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of wisdom is the desire to share it. This generational transmission of knowledge enriches our communities and strengthens our collective understanding.

Cultivating wisdom is an intentional act. It involves mindfulness, continued learning, and staying engaged with the world around us. It means seeking out new experiences, listening more than we speak, and opening our hearts to the lessons life offers us. At Sage Collective, we also believe that community plays a crucial role in fostering wisdom. Through shared experiences, dialogue, and support, we can nurture a wisdom that is not only personal but collective. Our community becomes a repository of shared wisdom, a resource that enriches every member.

As we embrace aging, let us also embrace the wisdom that comes with it. Wisdom in aging is not just about what we have learned from the past; it’s about how we apply that knowledge in the present and how we share it for the future. It’s a gift, one that enriches our lives and the lives of those around us, making the journey of aging not just a passage of time but a passage of growth, understanding, and profound connection.

In celebrating wisdom, we remind ourselves that every moment, every experience, and every lesson is a step toward a deeper understanding of what it means to live fully and richly at every age.

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02.14.24 | Arts & Culture

Embracing the Art Haiku: A Window into Mindfulness and Creativity

At Sage Collective, we appreciate the power of expression in its many forms, and one of the most enchanting and accessible forms of poetic expression is haiku. Originating in Japan in the 17th century, haiku is a brief, structured form of poetry that offers a window into the world of mindfulness, simplicity, and the beauty of the present moment.

The Essence of Haiku

Traditional haiku is a three-line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable structure, often focusing on images from nature and emphasizing clarity, intensity, and directness of expression. This poetic form is more than just a set of rules; it’s an invitation to pause and observe the world around us, to capture a fleeting moment in a few simple words.

Richard Wright
Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Contemporary haiku, while still rooted in the traditional form and essence of Japanese haiku, often explores a broader range of themes beyond the natural world, including urban life, human emotions, and social commentary. In fact, one of the greatest practitioners of contemporary haiku was the legendary novelist and short story writer, Richard Wright. In the last two years of his life, Wright, best known for seminal works like Native Son (1940) and his autobiography, Black Boy (1945), turned his artistic expression to the haiku form, writing nearly 4,000 poems. A magnificent collection of 817 of Wright’s haiku was published in 1998 entitled, Haiku: The Other World.

These contemporary haikus reflect the evolution of the form, embracing a wide array of subjects and emotions while maintaining the essence of haiku — capturing a moment, feeling, or thought with depth and clarity. Wright’s works honor the tradition by conveying powerful images and insights in just a few words, demonstrating the enduring appeal and adaptability of haiku poetry.

Haiku as a Mindful, Creative Exercise

For us, especially as we embrace the golden years, writing haiku can be a meditative and insightful practice. It encourages us to slow down and notice the small details of our environment — the dew on a leaf, the play of light and shadow, or the quiet stillness of the early morning. In focusing on these details, we engage in mindfulness, which can enhance our mental clarity and emotional balance.

Despite its apparent simplicity, crafting a haiku can be a delightful creative challenge. It pushes us to distill our thoughts and feelings into their purest form, to find the essence of an experience or emotion in just a few words. This creative process can be incredibly rewarding, offering a sense of accomplishment and joy in our ability to capture the beauty of the ordinary.

Sharing and Connecting Through Haiku

Haiku writing can also be a means of connecting with others. Sharing our haiku with friends, family, or within a community group can spark conversations, forge bonds, and offer insights into each other’s perspectives. It’s a way to communicate deeply felt experiences in a concise and poignant manner.

Embarking on the journey of writing haiku is simple:

  • Start by observing your surroundings or reflecting on a recent experience.
  • Focus on sensory details and the emotions they evoke.
  • Experiment with the 5-7-5 syllable structure, but don’t feel bound by it. The essence of haiku lies in capturing a moment or feeling.

Embracing the Art of Haiku

In the art of writing haiku, we find a blend of mindfulness, creativity, and connection. As a form of expression accessible to everyone, it holds a special place in the world of poetry. We encourage you to try your hand at this beautiful, contemplative practice and discover the joy and tranquility it can bring into your life.

Embracing the Art of Hailu
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02.08.24 | Arts & Culture

The Art of Storytelling: Langston Hughes

In our continuing series on “The Art of Storytelling,” we’ve journeyed through the narratives of luminaries who’ve masterfully woven the fabric of their experiences, cultures, and imaginations into storytelling. It’s an honor to now delve into the legacy of Langston Hughes, a pivotal figure whose poetic voice became a cornerstone of the Harlem Renaissance and a beacon for the African American experience.

Langston Hughes: A Storyteller’s Storyteller
Langston Hughes was a towering figure in American literature, known for his prolific output and for the depth and breadth of his influence. He rose in prominence during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance — the emergence of black intellectual, literary, and artistic life that took place in the 1920s across urban America, particularly in Harlem. He focused on lived experience as the basis for his unique storytelling, resulting in a vibrant tapestry of jazz rhythms, social commentary, and a profound exploration of the human condition. Hughes had the unique ability to distill complex emotions and societal truths into accessible poetry, stories, and plays, making him a true artisan of the narrative form.

Embracing the Human Experience
Hughes’s storytelling was deeply rooted in the African American experience, capturing its joys, sorrows, and resilient spirit. He celebrated black culture in his work, took a defiant stance against racial injustice, and shared a heartfelt portrayal of the everyday lives of black Americans. Through his famous jazz poetry, Hughes incorporated the rhythms and improvisations of jazz music, creating a dynamic and immersive narrative style that resonated with a wide audience.

The Power of Simplicity
Hughes used simple, yet profound language when he wrote, which became one of the hallmarks of his storytelling style. He believed that the power of clarity and accessibility would enable his stories and poems to speak directly to the heart. This simplicity was one of his greatest strengths, allowing him to convey deep emotions and complex societal critiques in a way that was both relatable and moving.

His approach to message, language, and cadence are powerfully rendered in the poem entitled, “I, Too,” which was published in Hughes’ first volume of poetry, The Weary Blues in 1926. To read this poem, and other examples of Hughes’ work, visit the Poetry Foundation.

Legacy and Inspiration
Langston Hughes’s legacy is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling to effect change, build community, and celebrate culture. His work continues to inspire new generations of storytellers, poets, and artists who see in Hughes a model for using narrative as a tool for social commentary, cultural affirmation, and personal expression.

For us at Sage Collective, Hughes’s storytelling is a reminder of the profound impact that stories can have on our understanding of ourselves and each other. His life and work encourage us to explore our own narratives, to find beauty in our experiences, and to share our stories with the world.

Inr Langston Hughes’ work, we are reminded of the transformative power of storytelling. His ability to capture the essence of the human spirit, to challenge societal norms, and to celebrate the richness of the African American experience is a beacon for all who believe in the power of words to shape our world.

Let us take inspiration from Hughes’s example, weaving our own stories with honesty, empathy, and a deep appreciation for the diverse tapestry of human life.

Langston Hughes by Jack Delano, 1942
Portrait of Langston Hughes by Jack Delano, 1942. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Collections.
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