Stage Spotlight

The Second Half: Wisdom in the Spotlight

Tracey Columns

If you live locally, or are willing to make a couple of trips to this beautiful part of the world, take note. I want your wisdom! Curious? Please, read on.

Those of us with some living under our belts recognize that we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. It’s called ‘wisdom’ and where would we be without it? Whether it’s knowing the futility of “sweating the small stuff” or that one of the best gifts we can give someone is our time, collected wisdom makes life a little bit easier.

The value of wisdom has been with us since the beginning of time, when it was the elders of every group who held the answers. It was the oldest people who knew when to plant the crops or how to cross a swollen river in the winter. Experience was their teacher and it was their responsibility to pass on their knowledge to those who followed. 

It is only within recent history that passing along wisdom from one generation to the next has become something of a lost art. While there are still cultures around the globe who rely on and respect the value of wisdom, most western, modern cultures have sadly relegated older people and their knowledge to the sidelines. 

As someone who writes about the aging process every week I’m fortunate to hear from wise people all of the time. Typically, they write to offer a different perspective on an issue I have addressed. Often, they are reaching out to support and reassure someone else. It’s always so gratifying to discover yet another generous and very wise spirit! Time and time again, I marvel at the wisdom we humans accumulate over the course of our lives. 

Like many of you in the second half, I have found myself wondering why this unique knowledge wasn’t celebrated? Then it occurred to me that it didn’t have to be that way and … I had an idea! 

I will be hosting “The Second Half: Wisdom in the Spotlight,” a benefit for OLLI, HSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program for adult learners. This one-of-a-kind event will be comprised of ten original stories on the complexities, the joys, and the challenges life throws in our path. It will be an entertaining look at life’s best lessons from some of our wisest teachers … people over 50! It’s all happening in the fall and your wisdom is needed!  

Sound daunting? It’s not! Take a moment to consider what you know now that you wished you had known when you were younger. There’s plenty, right? What little pearls of wisdom have value for you and would be worthwhile to share? 

Next, write about the wisdom you want pass on. Just like in life, your story may be humorous, serious, or even mysterious … as long as you can tell it in 750 words! (This equals approximately five minutes of speaking.) You certainly don’t need to be a professional writer or performer. Your wisdom is your qualification!

Submit your piece by Sept.12 to: Or mail your (preferably typed) submission to me at: 665 F St., Arcata, CA 95521. Be sure to include your name and contact information. 

If your written piece is selected, my friend and trusty sidekick, Valerie Gillett Bourne and I will meet with you for a friendly interview on Saturday, October 27. All pieces will be read by the writer (or, if preferred, a selected reader, who must accompany the writer to this interview.) Following these readings, the final line-up for the show will be determined. 

Our wisdom rich ensemble will be announced the week of October 6. (Please note that there will be two rehearsals, October 18 and your choice of either October 28 or 29.) The shows will take place at The Arcata Playhouse,Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.  

No cold feet! Remember, we will coach and support each person selected every step the way! Come on, you’re old enough to know that new and/or different experiences can be quite gratifying! Take a deep breath and jump into the fun!

Shining the spotlight on wisdom is a good thing! Won’t you consider sharing what you’ve learned by being part of “The Second Half: Wisdom in the Spotlight.”

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