Saturday, August 19, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
we did another paint class at the adult daycare. I guess we had 30 people, spread over a bunch of large and small tables. it made for an intense time. there's a great deal of energy aroused as people apply themselves. many are resistant but even as they demur they're getting sucked in in some way. art therapists use a clinical tool called kinetic house-tree-person. the therapist asks the client to draw a house, tree and person in a scene. in talking about the scene, the client can safely (from a distance) speak of traumas. obviously, you can write books about what I boiled to a weak sentence. many of the people in our class do k-n-t-p scenes of their own accord. I always ask whose house it is, who the people are. really just to affirm the realness of their expression. many of the people suffer dementia or Alzheimer's but younger people are there as well. I was really surprised by a young woman. she may not even have been in her twenties. she went along with whatever was offered. I gave her paper, paints, brush and water. she took the brush in hand and hovered it over the paints. as if putting paint on the paper was just too far. I always ask the hesitant what their favourite colour is, and suggest that they start with that. she chose red and made a 'C'. she spelled out CARL. the man across from her had just done the same thing. when I came back she somewhat eradicated the word and tried to develop it into a design. she spoke very quietly, with a garble. and was so wary and wounded. it haunts to think of such loss and sadness. Carl on his 2nd efort painted LOVE with hearts, one with an arrow thru it. his third was simply a message: To Hell With Hitler. a woman who works there brought her grandson, a 4 or 5 year old. he did a perfect k-h-t-p. the person was his brother, who had hurt himself and was bleeding. at least three people did scenes with tulips. one was a scene with a house and a large Easter basket as a centerpiece. and a Star of David in the sky. I know this all sounds lalala, but shuffle aside my ego contribution. something is biting and true in the extent here. the losses these people live, and the memories that stay. it's the grand forget-about-it that swallows these people into some unnoticed parenthesis. marginalization is a terrble way that people hide. children, elders, "retarded", 3rd world [endless list], all devitalized in the world debate. I'll back off from the heroic tone. aesthethics often seems like a weapon. sometimes it's the 'bad' stuff that really has the resonance. it's not just about fine tricks for the appreciation of Harvard grads. Maria Damon has written a book about I guess you could say outsider poetry, and she's on to something. there's something powerful in the raw expressions.
Monday, August 14, 2006
been listening to "Devil in the Kitchen" by Ashley McIsaacs, several times o'er. punk Celtic I suppose he's been called. it's a traditional tune, presumably from Cape Breton, but played at a ferocious speed. so fast, in fact, that it took me a while to realize that Rare Air, a wonderul sui generis Canadian group, have done the same tune, which itself had a pretty peppy tempo. speed is exuberance. props to the drummer who manages to put fills where there's hardly room to put them.