One of your most powerful inner resources is your own creativity.
Be willing to try on something new and play the game full-out.
~Marcia Wieder

Nancy and Gerald at Celebration Dinner

I must congratulate the residents of Corvallis Caring Place who chose to form a Writers Group where they get together to support each other and offer critique of their works.  It is through this willingness to share their true personal expression of thought and belief that growth occurs and each becomes a better crafter of the written word.

LeadingAge Oregon is the “statewide association of not-for-profit and other mission-directed organizations dedicated to advancing quality aging services in Oregon through advocacy, education and fellowship.”  It is part of the national association, LeadingAge.   In 1993 LA-Oregon began a “Creative Writing Program” with an annual Creative Writing Contest.  Residents of communities belonging to LA-OR may submit short stories or poems which are read and scored in each category by judges who are published writers and poets.  The top 40-50 entries are published annually in a publication entitled “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

This year 3 members of CCP’s Writers Group submitted entries to the contest. Of the many entries submitted all 3 of these writers received recognition for their works.  Two of them, Nancy J. Emery and Gerald Marr, have the honor of their pieces being published in the Reflections publication for 2017.  Both of their works are printed here. The third member, Regina Berman, received a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ for her work.  Gerald and Nancy attended a ‘Celebration Dessert’ at Capital Manor in Salem where they read their pieces to the assembled group.  Thank you to Diana Jones, Activity Director, for assisting them in this process and taking them to Salem for the Celebration Dessert.

~Lorene Hales, Administrator

 Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.
                 ~Lauren Bacall      

*    *    *    *    *    *


by Nancy J. Emery

Swinging from one idea to another
Monkey mind maneuvers,
From branch to branch
In the forest of rationality and irrationality.

As individualized automatons
Life itself becomes so serious
That the outer world appears to run
On myopic judgment, competition, conflict and war mania.

Where ego reigns supreme,
A continuous cycled loop
Causes violence to beget violence
In the age-old war to end wars
Which now endangers life on Earth.

Perhaps an alternative lies with personal transformation,
Born of balance between a quiet mind and an open heart,
While riding the learning curve of memory which flows home
Beyond separation to unity.

*    *    *    *    *    *


by Gerald “Jerry” Marr

Long before earth’s breast took its first breath
The ancient trailing of air caressed
The shores of the extraordinary
In a tidal movement older than birth.

Each morning as I awake,
Something undeniably good
Washes over me like a thin sheet of ocean
crossing the sand.

As my dreams unthread
And softly shred into nothing
I breathe. Drawing in great drafts
Who I really am.

[Breathe in] [Breathe out]

With no call to hope,
I am yet inspired.
With no wish to die, am yet expiring.
Let us conspire in harmony.

Breathe in hope, Breathe out longing.
Breathe in courage, breathe out despair.

Breathe in a question, breathe out the answer,
Even if the answer leaves you breathless.

Do not catch your breath, but let it go,
Infusing yourself into this vast commons,
The element we share with all creatures that respire,
From the soaring condor to the humble grub.

The atmosphere contains every ocean and every continent.

Every life takes part in its exchange
It is the climax which our ancestors resolved
When they clambered out of the dark waters
Onto the fertile ground.

Listen to your breath.

Of the four sacred elements
It is the first to enter the temple and the last
To depart.  The grasping flame follows,
Then the fecund humus and the dark waters.

Listen. Can you hear the breath of another?

A chorus of lives whispering, each respiring
According to its own rhythm,
The design of accidental things,
Sequoia and hippopotamus,
Tigers and hydras and human beings.

Some are taking their first breath,
Some their last.


On the air you inspire
Linger traces of another’s cry
And another’s laugh.

     *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Corvallis Centenarian Fulfills Wish

Frances Holmes, a current resident at Corvallis Caring Place, celebrated her 100th birthday this January. For the full newspaper article, CLICK HERE

ROSES to the Corvallis Fire Department and the Corvallis Caring Place for coming up with a surprise to make a woman’s 100th birthday even more memorable. Frances Holmes had a lifelong dream of sitting in a fire engine and spending time with firefighters. That dream came true on Tuesday, as firefighters traveled to the facility and escorted Holmes inside an engine.

“I wasn’t expecting all this,” Holmes said. “But it’s quite comfortable in here.” She also enjoyed a lunch and a slice of birthday cake with firefighters as well.

If you want to see more of this birthday surprise, check out the video that’s posted on our website at