Here is the dream-
A Grandchild sits down before Grandma and looks deep into her eyes.
The child does not want to be anywhere else, and looks at Grandma's face and hands and sees the twists and turns of long life in them. The child is curious, not afraid.
Grandma looks at Grandchild and sees bubbling life.
There is so much Grandchild has still to learn and so little time left for Grandma.
The child sees knowing in Grandma's eyes.
Grandma looks into Grandchild’s eyes.
She fears the wasting of time and life- wants to prevent this.
She doesn’t call this Wisdom, but I do.
Grandma understands what wisdom lives in her bones.
Love, she learned long ago, is simple, it's just letting yourself understanding another.
Wisdom- that is a bit tougher-
Wisdom is understanding of life through failure,
understanding how life itself echoes through our human container and through the precious time,
of one lifetime.
Wisdom is applied love.
Grandma knows no one is interested in her wisdom, or even wisdom itself anymore. They have not been interested for a long time...
In my dream the Grandchild, pulls up the Alive Inside App and says,
“Grandma, lets find your ‘Alive Inside music, so we have it, if ever we need to call you back to us, if ever you drift far away, if ever you get lost!”
“Ok, my beloved,” Grandma says, “but only if you let me tell you the stories of my ‘Alive Inside songs’ and all I learned from those times! Then you will have my stories, to guide you, if you ever drift away, if you ever get lost!”
The Grandchild considers this and then replies,
“I want to share your music with you Grandma, I want to know the songs you danced to, when life first echoed through you!”
Grandma smiles and the child continues,
“I may seem very young to you, and kind of foolish and obsessed with my phone and my computer, but I do understand more than I want to. I understand the greedy visions of those who've come before me is forcing my generation to be the generation to heal our species. I do understand a lot. The world is teaching me that I am a raindrop and life is the river, that all the pain in the world comes from trying to stand apart. I understand many are lying to me, and that being near you can help me with my confusion, this is your gift, you can save decades of me being foolish...!
I want you to know you are more interesting to me now, than any of my games.”
In my dream, Grandma smiles, she has been waiting for a long time to be asked this kind of questions...
The child opens the Alive Inside App. It is free. It is just there to connect people to their music. The child pulls out a list of questions and begins to ask them...
“Grandma, what was your favorite music when you were 15?
What were you struggling with then?
What have been your greatest joys in your life?
What were your greatest sufferings?
Is there a song that makes you think of them?”
In the end the Grandchild finds all of Grandma’s “Alive Inside music” and has heard her stories.
and I wake up with a smile... That's my Dream.
If you have an elder who needs their Alive Inside music and can not afford it- write to me.
Director- Alive Inside
Executive Director- The Alive Inside Foundation
Help us fight Ageism, and create human connection
for elders living with dementia
Schools and teaching institutions- Teach the Alive Inside Story!
*A special note from the Alive Inside Foundation staff:
Thank you for joining us! In the months to come, you will be hearing from our community partners who are engaged with the Alive Inside Project all over the United States. This intergenerational program is the first of its kind – a transformational human service learning project that focuses on training youth to interact with elders living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias- through music. The Alive Inside Project empowers youth through empathy training, dementia simulations, meditation, music detecting and other creative learning activities that help them “re-think” their worldview and what it means to age in 21st Century America.