And so, with the launch of a new website and blog, Kristian Partington and Partington Writing Studios enters the 21st Century with the force of a small child tentatively tip-toeing into the frigid waters of a swimming pool in early spring.
So here we go, one step at a time . . .
Who am I, and why does anything I say matter in a world saturated with tweets and links to thoughts and opinions in a pulsing sea of technology?
I suppose I’m just another person with opinions and thoughts constantly in search of a way to sustain a career centred on my passion for people and their stories. This quest has led me down many paths, and I’ve struggled through as the penman that would take any assignment, often working for wages comparable to a Panamanian sweatshop.
But through that struggle I discovered experience, knowledge and an understanding of the power of the craft of storytelling.
I’ve written since I could hold a pen, but only recently have I discovered my voice, and in partnership with a beautiful organization called Schlegel Villages that voice is describing how we can restore the place of the elder in our society.
Last August, I met a man who helped me discover the power of this voice. Barry Barkan is twice my age and I met him while covering a conference in Jacksonville, Florida, hosted by the Pioneer Network – a group dedicated to changing the culture of aging as we know it today in the Western world.
Barry was my age when he found his life purpose. He told me about the epiphany he had under the shade of an Oak tree in a park in Berkeley, California when he was 35.
He and his wife, Debra, started the Live Oak Institute shortly after and their life since has been all about helping people understand that our world is stronger when we include the wisdom of our elders in it as opposed to discarding that wisdom and beauty in the nursing homes of tradition.
We spoke that day about the writing I did as a generative journalist with Axiom News, especially that which focused on elder care. He told me my voice was not only part of the movement he helped found – it was on the leading edge. He’d only just met me, but Barry is the type of force that you can’t help but heed.
I couldn’t ignore what he said – Barry was part of my own epiphany. As we rolled into 2013, I made the decision to spend the bulk of my energy describing the culture change movement in the only way I know how – through the art of storytelling.
There is still music and art in my vision, and thankfully there are places for me to use my voice in that world. I suppose this is another of those places.
But the culture change movement is a great place to be. In it I see all of humanity: compassion, wisdom, love, life, death, laughter, sorrow, new beginnings, memories and loss of them, generosity, grief, faith. I see our past, present and future converge in way that a few years ago, I never would have imagined.
It’s funny where you find yourself.
Just another voice of another writer, I suppose, but I hope it resonates somewhere.
Thanks for visiting.