"All the grownups in my family relative to me just flat out stopped behaving like grownups for a while. For years, actually." Unshaken Wonder book explores what it takes to become the kind of elder that we—and our world—need when all of the adults and elders around us appear to be failing us.
"A playful elder is a collective being who sheds all faith in the belief that human beings can be unimportant or disconnected from life, because playful elders are reminded daily that life herself doesn't work that way. That's the lie of human adulthood that playful elders—playful anyone really—debunk."
City-dwelling-researcher-turned-island-dwelling-essayist-and-poet, Lori Kane, EdD, stays with the unhidden joy, unapologetic pain, and undaunted curiosity within herself and others to encounter a powerful form of wonder that many adults too-rarely notice and so fail to believe in. Kane defines unshaken wonder, broadens and redefines playful elder, and explores what it takes to be a playful elder in an age of increasing connectedness and polarization. With a mix of deeply personal research, community storytelling, practice and game sharing, essays, humor, openness, and poetry, Kane demonstrates letting go of an angry, exhausted self into the always-present embrace of the playful elder community.
The book follows her journey as she moves deeper into the spiritual heart of the playful elder community. Emboldened by others as she goes, Kane uncovers much-needed reminders of the brave connected beings—creators, namers, listeners, learners, unlearners, noticers of the invisible, truth speakers, game makers, playmates, empaths, violence dissipaters, voice lifters, friend ships, poets, and planet changers—we really are.
This is not a distant planet spun from the brilliant mind of Ursula K. Le Guin. This is right there, on earth, woven from the threads of Kane's own neighbors, friends, family, muses, and their communities. "Playful elders live a different truth. Life herself listens. She learns and unlearners. She speaks. My friend Bernie DeKoven calls her 'all-embracing life.' We're all important and connected here. All loved. All listened to. All lifted up by others. All mourned for when we go. We all hold powerful wonder within us. The earth supports us all. Even when we can't see it and feel it for ourselves, life is embracing us. That's how life really works too. Life wants us here. And she wants the real us: playful, well-rested, and calling BS on the stale beliefs and practices of adulthood that sink us when we believe the lie that we can't let go of them. We're being called now to hold on to what matters most and to let go of all the rest together. We can do this. I've seen it. I see it every day now. We are this world, and we're amazing."