“But Mum you could be!”

Los Angeles. This crazy sprawl of a city where the art of mindfulness is totally essential for negotiating the freeways. I’m visiting the Burbank Seniors Colony. It’s an apartment rental as they say here where the possibility of making art is built into the fabric of the building. There are living spaces and creating spaces: ‘a creative ‘art inspired’ environment’. There are apartments, art studios, a theatre and numerous open air courtyards and meeting spaces. In Brazil they talk about ‘re-imagining’. Here they talk about ‘re-inventing’. 

The Colony backs onto a school; a school for kids who find it difficult to go to school. I am invited to join a guitar class. A group of about eight seniors and having their first introduction to the guitar with a group of young people from the school. It’s a mentoring project. Nothing much happens music wise -the guitars are all new and untuned so there is an hour of tuning and just learning how to hold the instrument. Feels like there is a lot of waiting around but that doesn’t matter. It seems to enhance the quality of what is happening in the space. This shared ‘doing nothing in particular’ type of moment. They have such courtesy and respect for each other. It’s not insignificant that the encounter is happening in the theatre space of the colony -this liminal space that allows for people just to come together as themselves.

2 thoughts on ““But Mum you could be!””

  1. I also was present at the guitar class and I came away with a powerful image I wanted to add to David’s description.
    A lanky fifteen year old boy, with restless blond hair, was on his knees in front of a woman with a guitar lying on her lap. He seemed transfixed, kneeling, looking up into her eyes as she spoke softly to him. They had only met once before and yet the bond between them was palpable.

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