boogie at the old folk’s home

yesterday I went painting again to an old age home here in Sydney.. as I have written about before you never quite know what to expect.. and to be honest.. I was feeling slightly jaded about the whole experience.. and was anticipating the usual unfiltered abuse.. that I sometimes get.. of course.. there is often the warmth I get.. but this was what I was carrying with me this time.. I went in.. I looked around the room.. all the old folks were sitting in the circle.. I set up in the middle… and started painting.. making my life as difficult as possible by using a long rectangular canvas.. there was Rose.. resting.. eyes closed.. good I thought.. this may be peaceful.. David.. was there.. he had just turned 100… and his son.. visiting… there was a therapist.. Scott.. who suddenly started singing old Yiddish folk songs on a ukulele.. I was not expecting that!.. then  a little later.. a male nurse.. who was from Mauritius walked past me and muttered .. hmmm.. I must get my bongos… I thought he was obviously joking.. this is a serious home for the elderly… and obviously not a carnival.. but he showed up a minute later with his bongo drum.. and then the party started… he starting singing Bob Marley songs with this gentle sweet voice.. one of the old guys… who just had so much life in him… life.. I realised should never be quantified by age.. because you miss the whole point of it.. and it gets cheapened that way.. but he started singing old Yom Kippur hymns… and more bob Marley followed that… and of course hava nagilah.. all the while I was spinning in the centre.. painting in one direction.. then turning a bit and changing my point of view.. all in time with the music.. it was one of the most beautiful and gentle experiences… and it showed me you just never know where the beauty lies… and my sister was there too (she works there).. and it was beyond magic to be able to be there with her while all this was happening.. I am deeply grateful to have been able to be part of that experience… just to seal the deal.. Rose… the lady who gave me such a hard time the last time.. did eventually wake up.. and I said.. ‘aaah.. Rose.. it is so good to see you’.. she got up.. came over to my painting.. looked at me… in my eyes.. with her eyes that must have seen so much already.. and  she smiled… and then shuffled on… Image

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