Art Heals day 11 :: When Memory Fails Us

acrylic + oil pastel + prayer in journal. (from earlier this year)  


This video is a tribute to the maker's mother, who doesn't even remember who she is.

It is not only an uplifting look on aging - that even without our stories, we can delight in the day and the moments we have, one moment at a time - but it is also an incredible visual testimony to how it is never too late to tap into creative flow and the inherent beauty that spills forth from within.

When I worked with elders who had dementia and alzheimers, it was ALWAYS a creative approach that enabled connection and comfort. Creativity was sometimes found in art/craft-making, sometimes inspired by music or the work of music therapists, other times evoked by a little sunshine & nature, or just a patient, loving touch or a shift in tone.

Whatever approach evoked the most response or peace, it was always rooted in letting go of expectations and being fully Present with that person, as an individual spirit with history, experience, wisdom and dignity; a person having just as much to offer as any one of us - and perfect just as they are in each moment - with or without memory or etiquette, dexterity or 'appropriate' verbal language.

When given the space to be how they were, feel what they felt and express how they could - to have playful or angry or quiet moments - and to be seen and honored for that... well, those are what I would call true healing moments.

The kind of healing that may not be able to change or fix or cure an undesirable situation, but that definitely relieves suffering within the experience of it.

That was the key, perhaps - whatever the creative container, it was always about response to the living art of the moment.

That's what I love about my own prayer practice of intuitive art-making, as well - it is really an art of Creative Presence, and a practice that overflows into every area of my life.



* This post is part of a daily celebration of Arts & Health month right here at Hali Karla Arts. Be sure to stop back for inspiration, giveaways, guest posts, more fun info about art & healing, and special announcements and offers. Or you can sign up for my mailing list, for occasional updates and exclusive offers.