Thursday, September 10, 2009
Dog for Dave
One of my students in the Alzheimer's ward is nearly silent. He sits, hums, and shakes his hands and head "no" when you offer him a pencil or brush. But he had a dog once, and one week picked up his brush and painted a dog. So I brought in dog photos this time, just for Dave, but he shook his head and hands. "Can't see. All fuzzy. No thanks."
So when class was almost over I came back and asked permission to try. When I looked up, the entire class was watching, and, then, briefly, talking happily: about painting, about dogs they'd loved, about family.
When class was over, a nurse came to escort Dave, tall and unsteady on his feet, back down the hall. In the doorway he stopped. "It was really good of you to come today!" he called out. The nurse just about sat down in surprise.
Art is a gift.