Gaea Yudron

Gaea Yudron photo

RedBox

Ashland
Oregon

“Old has a purpose; Old knows how to make things flourish; Old knows what a gift it is to nourish.” These lyrics come from A New Wrinkle, Gaea Yudron’s musical revue on aging.  Besides writing a musical, Gaea is a champion of social causes. Her childhood love of whales was manifested when she moved to Bolinas, California (Bolinas means whale in Portuguese). There, she met a woman who started Project Jonah, a save the whale initiative, leading to Gaea’s first venture into social awareness campaigns. Gaea became the first Westerner to visit Japan as a spokesman for the save the whales initiative in the 1970’s. Her desire to save the whales later transformed into a passion for changing society’s views on older adults. Her inner work on aging began writing her memoir at the age of 55. Fifteen years later, her memoir is still a work in progress but she has a lot of life left to live and record.

An interesting chapter (or two or three) may include her current project, her musical. Gaea “feels very passionate about the need for a new vibrant, more life affirming view on aging in our society.” Her musical focuses on topics relevant to society’s view on older adults such as a fear of aging and the attempt to stay young through plastic surgery. Gaea hopes her musical will inspire people to recognize the creative potential and the hidden pleasure of aging. A musical was a natural medium for Gaea to portray her intense ideas especially since many of them are considered provocative and irreverent. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of getting older, Gaea wants her work inspires others to welcome aging, and recognize what a potent and pioneering time of life it is.

A New Wrinkle is also part of Gaea’s work as the director of Sage’s Play located in Ashland, OR. Gaea began Sage’s Play in 2008 to promote pro-aging awareness through programs that support creative aging, wellness and spirit.

When asked what advice she would give to those older adults who are not involved in creative aging, she advised to open up, remember and day dream about experiences you had as a child. To remember days that were full of wonder and exploration, where you were never afraid of making mistakes. Take those feelings and find what you are drawn to. Creativity can take so many different forms, but use this time of your life for self-discovery and find what you enjoy. “The process of aging brings people many challenges. One of the beautiful parts of aging is rising to those challenges using all of one’s accumulated life experience.”