On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
On account of his Beaver Hat.
For his Hat was a hundred and two feet wide,
With ribbons and bibbons on every side
And bells, and buttons, and loops, and lace,
So that nobody ever could see the face
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.
The first of six verses from the famous Edward Lear children’s poem. You would be hard pressed to find a more captivating poem and one beloved by my Grandchildren; especially when Granny reads it with her perfect English accent!
This blog is a special chronicle, indeed a mission moment. Every now and again, and happily quite often, we have not just a good day in one of our Club programs, but a simply amazing and memorable day. Last Thursday’s Connection Club program was such a day.
It started well with Cathee working on synonyms. How many words could we find that were synonymous with “friend” and “run”. Then how many animals could we name starting with the letter P and then A and later S. We were doing great until your volunteer correspondent foolishly opened up the choice of letter to the Club Members. So we struggled with the letter Z and then another Club member, who I will call Bob, put the pressure on with a call for animals names starting with Q. Thankfully one of the Club Members called out “Quail”! Then we were stuck until someone gave us the name “Quangle”! Seizing the moment Memory Care Specialist Cathee grabbed a pen and drew a Quangle Wangle’s Hat and Volunteer Mike googled the poem and read it aloud. From this small beginning came the amazing drawing by Cathee that details the Quangle Wangle and his friends including the Blue Baboon , the Dong with the luminous nose and the Pobble who has no toes.
This was fun, but the mission moment had not yet arrived.
Cathee, a notable artist herself, had invited a prominent local artist to come in and lead an abstract painting class. So while some people were being led by our lovely professional yoga instructor- Gayle, Cathee had eight people working in acrylic with the guest artist.
The results were quite stunning, but the best moment (our mission moment) came at the end of the day when we discovered that we had encouraged one of the Club Members to paint for the first time in 8 years. For reason of confidentiality I will call this wonderful man who suffers with dementia and Parkinson disease – “Jim”
Jim is a charming and attentive person who contributes well to our program and his painting was quite evocative. It has a true abstract feel to it but is full of life and movement. Really amazing! He wants to come back and work on it some more next week. This is such a great example of the creative side of the brain experiencing artistic therapy. Jim first learned to paint many years ago and took lessons in classic art and later in abstract art, but has not worked on his easel for a long time.
As Jim was leaving for the day and his wife, (who also for confidentiality I shall call “Brenda”), was meeting him, we learned that this was the first time Jim had painted for so long. Brenda later told me that he had gone home “very excited”.
I was particularly struck by the happy, warm, familiar smiles between Jim and Brenda. It’s heart warming to see people in love when age and circumstances do not matter.
Cathee and I agreed. It was a magic moment .
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of dementia.”
with apologies to Pablo Picasso!
Please share this if you believe it would help someone. Call 1 843 842 6688 Memory Matters office for more information. It’s always confidential. Consider joining our next Brain Boosters program. We are a phone call away here in your local community.