Glimpses

At 3:45 I climb down the stairwell to the Alzheimer unit. I unlock the heavy door, to enter a world of altered consciousness. A world where time stretches and ebbs forward, where lost boys live, where women are mourning injustices.

As I walk down the hall I greet the usual explorers, pacing their way through this strange world. How did I get here?

 I wonder where they are.

He meets my eye. His screaming out for help. Our gaze locks and I prepare to do what I am here to do.

He fires off in Mandarin, showing me a piece of paper listing his morning meal. At the bottom there is his name. He points to it and repeats it. And again.

I maintain our gaze, softening my eyes, inviting him to find peace there. I ask him to tell me what is wrong, but in order to understand he will have to speak in English. He takes a deep breath, stammering, “I Have Forgotten Everything” he manages.

My heart trips over itself and I have to grasp for that calming gaze. Tears threaten to push through and I fear they will tell him: You should be scared.

We share a moment of silence. “I know you are afraid. I am here to help you.” I believe it. This phrase means little if you don’t believe it. In a world of lost boys and girls I believe there is hope for enjoyment.

It is heartbreaking to sit with anyone affected by dementia. Especially in those moments that they realize that something is terribly wrong.

A name. A fleeting recognition of a past life.

A revelation that you have been forgotten.


It is terrifying. As a caregiver, part of my work is to remember this person. To memorialize a spirit is the height of ritual. This collective ritual enables us all to live on in each others memory.

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All the best ones are

Mary Lou,

I conjure up an image of the three of you, Hawaii bronzed, and laughing. Surrounded by waves…and this memory glitters against the landscape of my mind. Our greatest relationships give us images we keep, and sometimes share, for that perfect moment. And it’s a gift we pass on in honoring you, in honoring friendship.

xx

rain//shine and sunny//fog

I am my happiest 

when I get to

spend some quiet moments with the people I love.

In the sun,

    perhaps some wine…… and perhaps some gentlemen will grab me with a transfixed gaze and exclaim, “You have beautiful eyes!…….aand decent bangs.”

                                And I will fall in love with San Francisco indefinitely. 

I Want The Top

photo

This weekend Hippie Hill taught me some lessons:

1. Climb to the top of everything, take in every view.

2. Share laughter.

3. Keep the redheads close, they’re special.

4. Show up.

5. Let go of the outcome, you have everything and nothing to do with the outcome.

6. Composition is important.

7. Hoola Hoop.

8. Write poetry, then fold it.

Hippie Hill: I will always hold your memory with the warmest of hearts,

xx

Cris de Coeur

I believe in courage,
will and intrepidity – fearlessness in the face of non-being.

Derived from coeur meaning heart,
courage is derived from love.

A pull that tells me;
“where you are headed you have been before.”
First only a shadow,

dreams, being the unexamined life you choose to experience (but I’m not the only one)
but what a world I can dream!

And on a Sunday
love can just be there
with no hurry
no worry
no rush.

That’s why you’ll always be my favorite thing
on a Sunday afternoon.