What the heck is Wabi Sabi?

Conscious Aging

Opinion: Columns

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By Staff

Better yet, what the heck is the Wabi Sabi Film Festival? 

At the Lake Theatre in downtown Oak Park! Friday morning, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.

On Golden Pond. Tickets are $2 each. Yup, $2.00.

This is a film festival about aging, a film festival for older people, and everybody is welcome to attend. Following the film, stay in your seats; we'll have an interactive discussion about topics from each film. Every three months we'll show a different film connected to the theme of aging, with a guest celebrity, followed by interactive discussion (we reached out to Jane).

And the Lake Theatre popcorn is mouth-wateringly delicious!

The first film to be shown in the Wabi Sabi Film Festival is On Golden Pond, starring Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda (with Jane).

By the way, wabi sabi isn't the green spicy stuff at the sushi restaurant. It is the Japanese world view that appreciates the beauty of impermanence. As I write in my current blog on the IONS website (https://noetic.org/blog/aging-is-inherently-noetic/): The Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi is an appreciation of the beauty of impermanence — like the wooden banister in an aging house, stroked by thousands of hands over the years, wobbly, chipped, out of alignment, yet oh so beautiful. Teenagers strive for instant wabi sabi by buying already torn and ripped blue jeans, but they fall short. Wabi sabi takes time, as does reaching our noetic phase of life.

And like that aged wooden bannister, older people can be wrinkled and wobbly and still be beautiful people.

So, mark your calendars. Friday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m., at the Lake Theatre in downtown Oak Park. The premiere of the Wabi Sabi Film Festival. On Golden Pond. Bring a friend. Bring Jane!


Help make Oak Park a
dementia-free community

Join community leaders in learning about and discussing dementia and its impact on Oak Park, 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct. 17, 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Please RSVP to: pmahn@oakparktownship.org. 

Sponsored by: Dementia Friendly Illinois, village of Oak Park, Oak Park Public Library, Park District of Oak Park, Oak Park and River Forest Township Senior Services


Mind your body

Practicing yoga calms both mind and body. A recent study found that 11 weeks of regular yoga reduced participants' systolic blood pressure (an indicator of cardiovascular disease) by 33 points. 

My friends William Hunt and Annie Walter teach a terrific over-60 yoga class at the Yoga Centre, 266 Lake St. Also, you can visit a local gym or park district or YMCA to sign up for a class.



Flint Taylor, author of The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago, will be speaking at the Oak Park Public Library (main branch) on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

I have the honor of introducing the program. I hope to see you there.

Finally, I want to tell you about an upcoming free online webinar that I am co-presenting on Thursday, Oct. 3, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. The webinar is titled, "A Taste of Conscious Aging," and it is part of the collaboration between A Tribe Called Aging and the Institute Of Noetic Sciences (IONS). With my colleague Evalina Everidge, we will be hosting an interactive session outlining the ideas underlying the IONS Conscious Aging Workshops. 

Using the Zoom platform, we will all be able to see and hear one another, break into small groups, and make comments or ask questions in the larger group. This webinar and our blog postings are building toward the upcoming online IONS Workshops that begin Oct. 17. Please visit https://noetic.org/event/taste-of-conscious-aging-webinar/ to register for this free webinar.


Marc Blesoff is a former Oak Park village trustee, co-founder of the Windmills softball organization, co-creator of Sunday Night Dinner, a retired criminal defense attorney, and a novice beekeeper. He currently facilitates Conscious Aging Workshops and Wise Aging Workshops in the Chicago area.

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