Ninety three years old. Gladys speaks so softly that it's hard to make up her words. I sit by her side, and ask if she would like to paint. She nods a timid yes. When presented with an assortment of colors, her sinewy hands go straight to the green and blue tubes. No hesitation there. Her daughter told me she used to paint a lot "before".
Watching the artist come out of Gladys as she effortlessly pushes her fine brush on the white paper is quite a treat. Something important is taking place in her brain, that's giving her back the confidence that normally eludes her. After one long green stroke, she lifts her brush and hands it over to me.
|Gladys's painting dance with me at Zen Hospice
I look at her with surprise. Me? Does she want me to join her? She nods. I pick up where she started and complete the green line, then give the brush back to her. Pretty soon, she and I enter into a trance, dancing together in silence on an 8 by 11 sheet of paper. Until the whole surface gets covered. "It's beautiful" says she.
Being present for each other. It was beautiful indeed . . .