In the spring of 2021 I participated in “Elder Circles: Fierce Words of the Third Age”, StoryCenter’s ( first workshop for those over 60. I joined founder and Executive Director Joe Lambert and Linda Parris-Bailey, playwright and Founder of, who also served as the Executive/Artistic Director of the Carpetbag Theatre for 45 years, in a six-week workshop to examine stories of life as an older adult. The screenshot (above) of the Google Site I made for the workshop explains the approach we took.

The first four weeks we responded to the prompts and shared our stories of each facet of our experiences in a virtual writer’s circle using Zoom. For example, I shared these thoughts on “Invisibility”:

I’ve been thinking about invisibility this week. I’ve always felt hypervisible, especially outside of my native coastal California. Only now, being older, do I experience invisibility. In this new cultural environment, I feel more erased than invisible. I even have a term for it from my ethnic culture. Scotched: to be canceled, or erased, or diminished.
I imagine the English came up with this use of the word. Once the Scots helped Unite the Kingdoms, they were erased from history. They became British. At different times their language, manner of dress, and other cultural expressions were outlawed. The image we have of the kilt wearing military soldier or bagpiper was invented by Walter Scott for the amusement of an English king visiting Scotland for his first and only time. Erased were the sheepherders and weavers that had been forcibly removed during the preceding century so the English Lords that owned the land could replace the peasants with sheep and move the weavers closer to the London marketplace. Perhaps this is the origin of the use of scotched to mean cancelled or removed. Thus you can scotch a person, an idea, or a people.
I recently read HG. Wells The Invisible Man for the first time. I’m glad I waited, as many of the references would have been opaque to my younger self, being written in the late 19th century. Some say it is the first science fiction story, who knows? As one who has studied optics, I can confirm it includes an accurate description of the physics of light and color and refraction.
I was disappointed in the protagonist Griffin’s use of his invisibility as a weapon.
I’m thinking about the possibilities of invisibility. Being able to move between groups or places unobserved. What opportunities would be presented? To be helpful, by being unrecognized.
What I want to consider is the affordances of this new invisibility, and how it can be used to contribute to the common good.

The facilitators selected one piece from each workshopper for our Zoom ‘performance’ the final week. They chose my COVID poem, “Breathe.”