Life, for me, was once punctuated by the regular delivery of letters and packages from a friend I had never met. You must know how remarkable the sender was. A busy, elderly, man he had experienced exalted stations in his long life. He was the late anthropologist, Ashley Montagu—one of the world’s brightest minds to shed light on the human condition. Read more
This is a rather indirect oral history entry–it’s a peek at American writer Jack London’s novel The Valley of the Moon (1913), a semi-autobiographical love drama. His historic glimpse of turn-of-the-20th-century California is compelling. London’s language, especially the slang of the day, is riveting, so too is his strong female character. It’s an important story that speaks to hope and resilience in the face of hardships. My family’s home, way-of-life, and region of land they came to know and explore is depicted in this extraordinary tale, perhaps that’s the true reason I adapted it for the screen. Here’s the logline and synopsis for the screenplay: Read more
Music is a profound pleasure, even for babies–why? As neurologist, Oliver Sacks, explained: “music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species”! Indeed, researchers at MIT recently discovered a distinct region for music, apart from language, in the auditory processing area. Beyond the sharing of similar sound signatures that would integrate language and music processes, music perception resides alone.
Telling stories is a universal phenomenon of ancient origins—it is the heart of our humanity. Every culture continues to weave narratives and enhance the spoken word with ritual, drama, dance, song, and music. On this site you will find: a blog on baby development and caregiving, a diversity of oral histories, larger cultural landscape studies, and this featured article on Narrative, Memory and the Brain: in the Wise Brain Bulletin: narrative-memory-and-the-brain.pdf
Dr. Joyce Knudsen, in her recently released book: Refusing to Quit—True Stories of Women Over Sixty, shows us the way. Her mission is to exalt the societal worth of elder women. With facts, antidotes, her personal story, and 20 contributing writers we can, with fascination, reevaluate the under-told contributions of seniors. Read more