For the past two years, I've been working in Recreation at an aged care facility. I've had many experiences I could write about, enough to fill a book (one day?) and a lot of insight into human behaviour that I had not witnessed in such detail before.
To keep it simple for this situation, the body can fail, but that spark can remain.
Skin like cake dust
Lustre long dimmed
Of lives once lived
The human art
Faded into the dusk
The only remaining constituent
The colour of the past
Written in glass
Gleaming to the last
One final time
The eyes still have it.
Wow - his eyes are beautiful. Your words are too, Anthony.ReplyDelete
Thank you Robyn.Delete
Your poem had me thinking about the last time I can remember me and my father's eyes meeting - he was in a nursing home with full blown dementia. His eyes had the contentment of a puppy dog, but seem totally devoid of authority, or maybe that was just how I read them. Most of the time he would not look at you. He would be busy going somewhere else. I only wish there could have been some sign of recognition in his eyes. I gather you're probably working more with those whose minds have not decayed beyond their bodies. I can imagine there would be a lot of lonely people who want to talk to you there. The staff asked me to volunteer at the home my father was in because they saw the ways I was trying to interact with him, but I found it such a depressing place, I did not want to be there. I hope the one you work in doesn't get you down too much.ReplyDelete
Sorry you had to go through that Graham. It is quite depressing. And there's as many variations on dementia as people. It's all indidivual. Some people do light up when you talk to them, whether its some sort of recognition or a response to your face. Many seem to react positively to me - dont know why, but if I can bring a smile, even if they've forgotten it a minute later, then I've done my job.Delete
It's also the only day of the week where I feel really happy, as I'm not thinking about myself. I have purpose, meaningful purpose.
Having said all that, sometimes, such as this week, we have a new resident who has cancer and is dying and is in his mid 50's - so that got to me. Its hard sometimes for sure. Brutal. Puts things into perspective.
I glad you get enjoyment from the interaction.ReplyDelete
Sometimes mate. But its not about me. Im there for them, no matter how im feelingDelete
Is it you who photographed this old man? It's a great shot! I wonder what he did for a living in the past... And if he is mentally healthy?ReplyDelete