Green House Blog

A Theatre Metaphor for The Green House model

By Ann Wagle, Illiana VA, Danville, IL

As I was thinking about The Green House Model of care relative to the Clinical Support Team (CST), the professions who support the wellness of the elder in partnership with the self managed work team, I was taken back to a recent experience in community theatre where my role in a production of “Hello Dolly” was that of pianist.

As I accompanied, I felt supportive of the cast, yet realizing that my goal was to be “invisible” while facilitating life and character to the music. If a cast member stumbled or forgot their line or musical note, I would cue them and offer additional support until they regained their place in the musical. If they increased the tempo, or took unexpected liberties with the music, my role was to follow them as they led the way through the story of the musical. Of course there are many individuals who are also backstage contributing to the success of the cast. There are those who stand at the edge of the stage providing the necessary prop just as the actor walks on stage. And where would we be without the light and sound folks who assure that those on stage can be heard and seen?

The CST in The Green House Model of care has a similar function to that of the stage/musical pit crew of a theater production. We must be always supportive to the elders so that their voice can be heard and their meaningful lives seen and respected by family and friends. We are to add spirit and hope to their days and provide them the ability to interdependently create the most of each day. The elder is the one in the spotlight, and those who support them, although invisible, are critical to the success of the lives of each elder. In addition, the supporting team finds tremendous gratification in enhancing, sustaining, and providing nurturing hope to the elder.

2 thoughts on “A Theatre Metaphor for The Green House model

  1. Bravo! This is a perfect analogy. Your dedication and servant leadership is an inspiration to all of us engaged in the Green House Project.

    Joyce Ebmeier
    Tabitha Green House Project
    Lincoln, NE

    1. a0a0a0a0a0a0 This review is from: Beauty : The Invisible Embrace (Paperback) I diesrvcoed John O’Donohue this past year (see my review Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom ) and have been working ever since to bring him to San Francisco’s East Bay to speak and conduct a retreat. Unfortunately, as I was putting pen to paper to write my review of The Invisible Embrace Beauty, I learned he died in his sleep, January 3, 2008, on vacation near Avignon. He was just 53. O’Donohue was an original thinker, a gifted writer, and a philosopher that fully understood the human condition and emphasized the triumphal power of divine love. Beauty outlines another encounter with the divine. The majesty of beauty is its gracious wholesomeness. The Beautiful unifies feeling, thought, and dream. The book endeavors to mirror this one-ment. This acquaintance coaxes the soul to the land of wonder where the journey becomes a bright path between source and horizon, awakening and surrender. O’Donohue begins Beauty with the the call of beauty; where it dwells; its music; its color; and the joy of its shapes. He then explores imagination (beauty’s entrance), attraction (the eros of beauty), and the beauty of the flaw. He concludes with beauty’s relationship to death and God. When we lose sight of beauty our struggle becomes tired and functional. When we expect and engage the Beautiful, a new fluency is set free within us and between us. The heart becomes rekindled and our lives brighten with unexpected courage. The cry of our times is to awaken beauty as we feel most alive in the presence of beauty for it meets the needs of our soul. And once awakened, there is a great sense of homecoming as beauty is God. Love of the beautiful is a secret and sacred passion of all as it is embedded in our search for God. O’Donohue has written another Beautiful book that will serve as a reference guide for years to come. For those who want to learn more about John O’Donohue and his literary contribution, I have included a number internet posts made on the event of his death: *I too was touched so deeply by John O’Donohue by his writings which my wife shared with me a few years ago. *I’m very saddened by the passing of John O’ Donohue. Though I never had the privilege of meeting him I felt I knew him through his work. He was truly a beacon of light and love. God bless him on his eternal journey. *I am so saddened by John O’Donohue’s passing. For over eleven years I have absorbed his books which have made me understand and appreciate my Celtic-Catholic roots. Slan agus beannacht leat. *He was a breath of fresh air and sunshine enfolding wonderful wit and wisdom with a passion for the Eternal. *When I read Anam Chara, I was stunned by how much I was moved by his words and ideas. It was at once comforting and thought provoking. I am so very grateful that John shared himself with the world. *John constantly called us to awaken to the great mystery of which we are apart and to become more and more aware of the intimacy we share with all I am deeply grateful to him for the way in which he affirmed the deep longing with the past, present and future. May we honour him by living our own individual lives as authentically as he lived his. *I have often turned to his writing and recordings for solace and guidance through some difficult times in the last few years and had hoped to go on retreat with him in Connamara this May. *When I heard the news of O’Donohue’s death, I cried. His books, especially Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes, were personal favorites. His knowledge of Gaelic and rural Ireland, combined with his philosophical training, gave his writings a special beauty. His poetic perception and spiritual wisdom made his writings a wonder of insightfulness. *John O’Donohue’s brilliant and beautiful wordcraft has touched my heart and helped bring about great peace and growth in my life over the last decade. May his legacy of beauty and courage reach far into the future and bless many generations to come. *He brings, and will continue to spread through his writings, a timely, universally spiritual message of interconnectedness and common humanity to a troubled world. *His Anam Cara Celtic Wisdom returned me to that world within that opens us to the universe.

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