Saturday 21 July 2012

Look closer, see me

Margo helped by moving the chair up to the table. When another chair was needed, she moved that first chair up to a new spot. And another. She still had a pronounced drawl to her voice.

'Are you from North America, Margo?'
'San Francisco. Yep. America.'

There is a trending verse on FaceBook by a 'Crabby Old Man' who dies in hospital, leaving nothing but this scribble. Here is the last part of it, with adjustments to suit Margo:

What do you see people? .......... What do you see?
What are you thinking ............ when you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman ............... not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ............... with faraway eyes?

I'm just an old woman ............ and nature is cruel.
'Tis jest to make old age ........ look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles ............ grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone ............. where I once had a heart.

But inside this old body ......... a young girl she still dwells,
And now and again ................ her battered heart swells.
She remembers the joys ........... She remembers the pain.
And she's loving and living ...... life over again.

I think of the years ............. Too few, gone too fast.
And accept the bald fact ......... that nothing can last.
So, open your eyes, people ....... open and see.
Not a crabby old woman ........... Look closer. See ME!

My contribution to the Weekend in Black and White community.


HansHB said...

A great portrait, - and a perfect B&W post!
Have a nice evening!

Dragonstar said...

Such a fine portrait! The words fit well too.

Lachezar said...

Haunting portrait Julie!

Joe said...

I like the expression you have caught here Julie. A very thought provoking verse.

Cloudia said...

thoughtful post!
Warm Aloha to you from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Anonymous said...

Makes silent. Thank you. Please have a good weekend ahead.

Kay L. Davies said...

This is beautiful, Julie.
Sorry I haven't been commenting much lately.
I've been somewhat in shock because one of my school friends has become blind due to temporal arteritis. The second eye could have been saved, with speedy intervention, but one ophthalmologist told her it would clear up; another prescribed prednisone to deal with the swelling, and it wasn't until she had her husband drive her to the hospital that she was tested and correctly diagnosed. There was surgery on Wednesday, but it may have been too late.
I read your post and thought again how grateful I am to be able to see.
My friend will never again take photographs, sew, make quilts, or even read. She says she isn't ready to give up gardening, however, bless her heart.
I've spent hours on the phone with others from our group of school friends, and we're all devastated, and feeling so helpless, because we love her so much.

Birgitta said...

Great portrait and interesting words!

Marleen said...

Fine portret.

Joan Elizabeth said...

"She's loving and living ... life over again." I like that. It is only as the years have passed that I now understand why Ian's parents used to enjoy just sitting.

You are making be begin to think again that I missing out on something but not doing portraits.

brattcat said...

Julie you are clearly inspired by these faces, and consequently inspiring the rest of us. Thank you for these posts. I look forward to the other images you took on this visit...and the ones you will take when you go back to visit your brother.

Julie said...

BC: There may not be another session. I do have more for this session, however. This was a special occasion as it was Barry's birthday and one of the carer's asked me if I would take photos, as they do not have photos of many of them smiling. She assured me that the 'informed consent' was on file. It gave them an extra pair of hands, as the carers (perhaps 6 of them) were busy with the residents, and I simply had to mill looking for a good shot. Of course, quite a few of them are no longer able to smile.

So, I do not expect the stars to align like this again for a while. I was up there again today, and will go up again next Thursday. We are trying to put in place an activity routine so that he is not sedated. He jumps the fence unless he is busy, or unless he is sedated. We have argued strongly against any sedation whatsoever. I would prefer he jumped the fence and got hit by a car.

anemonen said...

I love the photo of th old lady. I can really see her experience.

Gemma Wiseman said...

A poignant post! I have read it several times and admired the beauty of this lady!

diane b said...

"Look closer. See me" says it all. Sad story about Barry.

brattcat said...

if the stars aligned only for this one occasion, it was a stunning alignment. advocate for your brother with every ounce of your strength. if you don't, who will? and take care of yourself.

Julie said...

Yes, who will. There are three of us: my younger brother Ross, his wife Robyn, and myself. We all are working toward the same end. And the staff, are too. They just need to know that we are the vanguard of the future of aged care. It is astounding to see the power that nurses wield vs therapists, ie medical vs social. Sedation is a method, but not a solution.

We are looking after each other. Thanks, BC/KH.

NatureFootstep said...

a beautiful post. The words so true. And a very lovely lady. :)

raf said...

A powerful post, Julie. Thank you!

Gunn said...

Bravo, Julie!