The Arts and Crafts Dignity in Care is a European project to enrich the lives of those who tend to be excluded from the general run of life. These individuals may be young, elderly or disabled and the project will try to make use of the special skills of artists of all types to overcome feelings of isolation and, with their carers, make their lives important again. At a conference in the magnificence of the town hall of Roubaix in France a group of about thirty of us continued our good-humoured deliberations about how to bring this about. I was recording little snippets of conversation in one of the discussion groups and I came up with this little poem which may give a flavour of the day.
I am a connector.
Choice is my purpose.
I connect with you and we are we.
Feeling what we do
Is what we do
Feeling To Do.
Our cultures are our stories.
We may not understand
Our story differences
Cultural difference is what we do
We reflect on the reversed picture
In the mirror.
One touch is the warmth of sun
We don’t need more complication
We can reach each other with a low tempo,
Simple basic human interaction.
More activities mean more sunshine.
We care for those we work with and we care with them.
we all have a need to care for each other.
Confronting what it is to be you.
We have been young
We have not yet been old
(When does being young finish
And being old begin?)
As we walk the care full path from young to old together
we are both care givers and care receivers;
An arm, a touch, a shoulder
If I could stumble half a mile with your tension,
I would find there is no cup of tea at the end.
And when we reach the other place
We should not think about forgetting
But be here in this time of memory
And here we are people and in this space
We will accord each other our own Dignity.