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Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute, Boston

In The Ever After -- What Fairy Tales Tell Us About the Second Half of Life

with Michael Connolly



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This course will take place at the Arlington Counci on Aging (27 Maple Street, Arlington) every Tuesday (10/17 - 11/14) from 10:30 AM to Noon.


For at least 6,000 years humans have told and retold Fairy Tales; they number more than 5,000 world-wide. Portraying universal dilemmas and challenges and their resolution (happy endings), Fairy Tales have endured because they have universal appeal. And yet, they focus overwhelmingly on youthful heroes and heroines. Jungian therapist Allan Chinen estimates that 10 percent of fairy tales feature middle-aged protagonists while barely 5 percent feature elderly protagonists. To some extent, this reflects modern commercial civilization which values innovation and evolving technologies. Allan Chinen, in “In the Ever After,” presents 15 tales featuring elder protagonists along with insightful commentary. In contrast to heroic tales of audacity, strength, and achievement, elder tales offer lessons in maturity, self-knowledge, and wits. The path from mere old age to being an Elder involves significant developmental challenges and brings the boons of agency and the return of innocence and lightness. As we read Chinen’s tales we will journal, harvest our experiences, honor the sages we have met, and be alert to helpers and resources that may be hiding in plain sight.

Course Leader:

Michael Connolly has taught, coached and led staff retreats for over 50 years. Settings and topics include university freshman French, daily living skills for developmentally-delayed adolescents, teamwork and innovation in non-profits and educational institutions, cross-cultural communication in the workplace, and meditation. In 1991 Michael wrote and published the story of his friend and colleague, Bob Rimer, living with AIDS and managing the topsy-turvy world of HIV treatment while keeping a sense of humor. In 2007 he led the founding of Stonewall Communities Lifelong Learning Institute. He is passionate about languages, cultural and intellectual history, memoirs, creative aging, gardens, Paris, Jung, and golden retrievers.

Course Materials:

In the Ever After - Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life  by Allan B. Chinen

Assignment before the first class:

Read pp 1 - 30 in Chinen, In the Ever After.

  • Oct 17 - Nov 14th, 2023
    Tue for 5 weeks from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Will run

Arlington Council on Aging

27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476 Get directions

Location map for Arlington Council on Aging

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