Thursday, July 20, 2006
we did a paint class at the adult daycare again today. we used to do smaller classes but now people are being herded in. that sounds bad but people, especially elders, reach a point where everything is beyond. falling asleep in a chair is easier than connecting, the world around Alzheimers or strokes or Down's syndrome tells you so. you write poetry now? make it your life, pour into it, not for art but your life. art connects, desperately. poetry, knitting, whatever, the adventure into something where value is measured in the most human terms, that's art in life. not to say it won't all go away, life is tenderly risky, but give yourself the best opportunity. several of the people we meet are regulars and have a ball. others need coaxing. one woman, who has been to every class we've had, is very lively, a hot ticket even, absolutely supportive of everyone, but she's often quite stumped what to do herself. she's lost some connections, tho she sees their shadows. her husband keeps her supplied in material and frames what she finishes. I like to see that understanding. one woman really gets me. she sometimes uses a cane but is one of these quick moving people. I'll place her age safely at 70+. as an infant she was left on a doorstep. I think later she was reunited with her family. I don't know if she was ever married or other such facts. I just see this bright tough woman still inquisitive and energetic. today she did a rainbow with flowers growing at each end. a simple but pleasing form. she worked painstakingly. there's something terrific about her strength, which you notice just talking with her. whatever her losses, she has learned to comprise them. is art about bitchy, ambitious dickheads with the self advertisements and paranoia displayed right and left? whoop, rhetorical quetion. no wait, what does your theory say??? nemmind, I don't want to hear. I think art has something kindly in it, something to the left of its commodity. I urge the painters to sign their work, take credit. several signed with a jumble of letters, synapses misfiring. woman told me, as she did the last time, that her parents had died last night. and she cried and cried. loss, yes, but what she lost was something else. we saw this with my father, who frequently wanted to go home, which was not just Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge, but 70 years ago. all gone. this woman was the same. she felt that she had no home, no friends or family. of course that could be literally true, uncomfortable propositions often are shunted aside, but no doubt there was an internal and physiological loss involved as well. I could go on, and send some snideness to the promoters of discord but I'll just leave this snapshot. I do know that I've been wrung.