On Christmas Day, I returned to Pitman Manor with Bill and my sister, Lisa. We were invited to visit with the residents on the 2nd and 3rd floors - those who were more incapacitated than our Ladies drumming group but as much in need of the beat of the rhythms of relationships. When we stepped out of the elevator, there were about 15 sets of eyes, each watching us in some way, wondering who we were and why we were there. Planning ahead, I took a CD player and CDs with different kinds of music as well as my Native American drum and some other percussion instruments. Scrap the plans for a group drumming session - remember I said to be adaptable!?! In fact, scrap the plans for a group anything. What happened was a unique connection with each person sitting and waiting. I was undaunted by a nurse's comment that 'they won't respond to you' and brought my heartfelt spirit of belief and compassion to the forefront.
Through talking and gentle touching, sometimes stroking a hand and sometimes a touch on the shoulder, we connected with each person in her own unique way. One woman said to me, "I have never drummed before." That was after she had just stared into my eyes for a long time. Words coming out of her mouth were a surprise but valued! Two things really affected me in very positive ways:
1. Most of the people looked directly into my eyes - I felt like there was a silent soul connection though they could not use their voices/words.
2. I was awed by the character of every one of their hands. Some were gnarled or twisted; some had blue veins or sores; but all were soft and willing to be touched. I realized that I have been taking pictures of shoes for quite awhile and now it is time to focus on HANDS. Here is yet another expression of the uniqueness of individuals. I intend to post more often on this blog and focus on people and their hands - the character of them and what they are doing. Then I looked in My Pictures and realized I have already begun! Let the adventure continue. It's fun to have a focus and a purpose for a project!!
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