Archive for “Life Enrichment” Categories

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “A Physicist Confesses” by Murray Kaufman

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced publicly on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

We have received notification that the following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

  • “Uncle Izzy” by Sam Berry
  • “Friday, December 14, 2012” by Florence Blitch
  • “Waiting” by Diane Budner
  • “A Mother” by Alice Cahana
  • “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch
  • “Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha M. Pomeranz
  • “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

Here’s the fourth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“A Physicist Confesses (a quantum physics poetic paradox)” by Murray Kaufman

It seems like ages ago, but it was only yesterday,
That under great duress, I must confess
I had my biggest failure:
my mathematical construct-
the quantum physics paradox
where an atom is conceived as both a
particle and a wave-
did not secure a rave,
because that ornery atom did not behave,
and I could not resolve his contradiction-
I was accused of lapsing into fiction-
when my mind became chaotic
this was ironic; for the atoms that were me
began to dissolve into
dancing strings of particles
that fluttered on wings
pretending they were kings!-and went into their
magic act, and viola,
they flowed as wine, and thought they would shine
as waves of light-
and what a sight!-
but not to be outdone,
they switched back into
particles and joined the fun!
and that’s when I had the illusion
that I fell, landing, I think, in
a philosophical hell,
where I humbly learned it is
not enough to think like a cunning fox
when you’re lost in this quantum box,
for physics, at its best,
provides this nightmare of elation and
hope, as you chase Einsteinian elegant
universe to no avail,
but for now all’s discombobulation and
dissonance, and alas, perhaps it’s best,
that for the physicist there is no mental rest,
for the world of physics has a mysterious
unfathomable beauty and the ultimate test is-
yes, to find it, and make the atom act
reasonable: do you want to be a particle or a wave?
alas, I expect no answer, so we physicists must
start over again, keeping the chutzpah-and the burning
hunger to discover, but perhaps,
without the arrogance.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “A Mother” by Alice Cahana

As every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

Here’s the third of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“A Mother” by Alice Cahana

The colors of the early dawn changed softly. The sun seemed to be ashamed to announce a new day in Auschwitz. We stood in line outside the barracks since early in the morning…the cold intensified our hunger and pain.

“I was married just two years ago.” The woman next to me whispered softly. “Last night I gave birth to our son–to my first child. There in the barracks of Auschwitz. My first child they took him away even before I could touch his soft skin and say to him, ‘Welcome to the world my beloved son…your Father would have been so proud of your round cheeks and long gentle fingers. Welcome to the world.”’ She muttered to herself, her tears falling on the unpaved ground mingling here with her slowly oozing blood.

We stood there to be counted like sheep by the white-gloved, well-groomed S.S woman. Her hair coiffured in the latest style. Her perfumed scent intensified the feeling of our own neglected bodies.

“I so wanted to be a mother”, the woman continued through her tears… “Care, patience and love would have been our child’s diet. I would have nourished him with the tales of the past. He would have grown to be a good man.” She paused a bit and whispered even more softly.

“If I survive…I want to love the world around me. The spring. The forest and people. All people.” She whispered, almost like reciting a prayer and clearing her soul from hate and revenge.

Her face turned toward the sky. Her alabaster skin looked translucent in the early morning light. The mystical rays of the dawn mingled with the smoke of the crematorium.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Two People, Etc.” by Marcia Wilson

As every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

Here’s the second of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Two People, Etc.” by Marcia Wilson

I was sitting outside an office building in Wheaton, Maryland, one Saturday where there was a very big shopping area, restaurants, movie theatres, and other businesses. I had gone for divorce counseling with my husband. We were having a rocky time and I had told him to go home and then called my son to come get me. It was a heartbreaking time and I sat in the sun trying to collect myself.

I looked over and saw two people in their late 50’s, maybe 60 or so, and they came out of the building holding hands. They were a pleasant looking lady and a nice looking man and looked as though maybe they were out on a Saturday to enjoy lunch and a movie. It was a sunny day-not too cold and not too hot (unlike many D.C. area days) and they just seemed to be content going about with their plans. I could not help staring at them and thinking that will never be me and my husband. We were in our 40’s and did not stroll around hand-in-hand and could not get along. How nice it must be to grow old together and have fun together and that was not in the cards for me.

I have never forgotten that scene though it was more than 40 years ago. Just two people coming out of a building.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Lunch Out” by Mordechai Rubin

As every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

Here’s the first of several submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Lunch Out” by Mordecai Rubin

Where to bury love grown cold?
Without the shroud of ifs and buts
Peopled with interstices
Vibrant and superfluous
No flowers building artifacts
No matter fleet the vision.
No stone will mark the spot
But I will know.

Launching “Scholar in Residence” Program

Lecture Series for FBThe Rose Schnitzer Manor Life Enrichment Department has launched a new program: “Scholar in Residence” brings various academics to the Cedar Sinai Park campus to share their research. The first SIR scholar, Natan Meir, presented his findings on Eastern European Jewry on Saturday, November 17.

The event took place  with the generous support of Bob and Marla Weiner and in collaboration with the Institute for Judaic Studies. Currently the Lorry I. Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the Portland State University, Dr.Meir spoke about “People of the Poorhouse: Tales of the Destitute, Orphaned, and Mad in Jewish Eastern Europe.”

Community Life Director Kathy Tipsord said, “Many of the 40 residents who came told me that they found the academic focus engaging and refreshing. We’re hoping this was the first of many Scholar-in-Residence events.”

In his research Dr. Meir focuses on the social and cultural history of Eastern European Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is currently working on a study of vulnerable and marginalized groups within those populations.

An additional, informal presentation discussed “Hebrew and Yiddish Documents from Eastern Europe: Voices from the Archive.” The event concluded with a guitar recital by Peter Zisa, Coordinator of Guitar Studies at Marylhurst University.

We plan to hold a Scholar-in-Residence program at least once per year.

Wishing You a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

In a pre-Thanksgiving writing activity, Adult Day Services participants shared what they’re thankful for:

  • Everything! For being alive and for my country.
  • My father, who was a great man and who taught me to drive when I was 16.
  • My 3 boys and 6 grandchildren who are well and healthy now, even though we’ve had our setbacks.
  • My mother who spent time with me while my father was at work.
  • The privilege I’ve had to travel all over the world with my dear friend Gloria.
  • The people who have taken me in.
  • My youngest son who was born prematurely and for the medical staff at OHSU that helped him live.
  • The live turkey my mom used to bring home for the Thanksgiving meal…in addition to her lasagna!
  • My daughter going grocery shopping with me.
  • My mother and for helping her in the kitchen when I was young. Knowing what was going on and not taking for granted what people did for me.