Friday, October 05, 2007

Not just words

I went to see this book launched at the Wigtown Book Festival. I've written about the book before here

It is a compilation of poems and words from the staff and patients at the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

A man called Alex Berry read this poem yesterday. He is a volunteer at the hospital, and has volunteered for over 70 years in one capacity or another. He told me at the end of the event that his son is a doctor doing important cancer research in the States. He is a pure soul and no mistake.

The final parting

I'd love to make love again,
gently,tenderly,the way we used to do.
To see my reflection in your warm loving eyes,
your lashes like moist, soft petals. Your lips
like warm marshmallows,your deep
throaty giggles,your velvet
hair gleaming,rippling.

Let's pretend as you lean over my bed,
lie together for the last time.


It was a really good event that should have had wider coverage. Judi Benson read very well too and spoke movingly and powerfully about the ability of words to empower and restore people who find themselves dealing with extraordinary life events.

There was also a discussion on what future a project such as this has, like so many good ideas it relies on committed people to fight for it and to keep making it happen.

I think we should all look more closely at how to plug the arts right into mainline health care, far beyond the limited use of music therapy services in mental health care.

As someone said yesterday, "if your hands need physiotherapy why not prescribe pottery?"

It was a tiring day, a three hour drive each way, but well worth the effort and a day I won't forget in a hurry.

7 Comments:

Blogger f:lux said...

Sounds great, and definitely deserving of support. There actually are organisations and funding streams specifically for arts in healthcare, but they're not that easy to access - proof being I've just spent half an hour chasing round the internet in search of info I could pass on...

http://www.hi-arts.co.uk/arts_health.htm
http://www.voluntaryarts.org/cgi-bin/website.cgi?tier1=scotland&tier2=home&fp=true
http://www.publicartonline.org.uk/practical/healthcare/arts_in_healthcare.html

cheers!

2:27 pm  
Blogger PI said...

I have proved to myself a number of times that all kinds of pain and disease are dormant whilst one is on stage.

2:55 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thank f:lux, the trouble is these things are all projects, they erupt and die away just as quickly. It needs to become common place, not something you have to bid for.

Pi I think you're right distraction is better than a placebo.

4:54 pm  
Blogger Colin Will said...

pi: In my acting days we used to call it 'Dr Theatre'. Cracked rib? No worries. Temperature of 102 ? A mere detail.

5:29 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

That's a great quote about the pottery and hands! Hear, hear - that's the holistic approach, solve the whole not just the symptoms :)

8:43 pm  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Sounds like an amazing enterprise. From personal experience, I can think of no better way to boost health than through creativity.

5:58 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

It's so obvious really, isn't it?
The poem is very touching.

7:28 pm  

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