Many Things To Tell You
"Grow old along with me - the best is yet to
come..." assuredly applies to the gems and pearls emanating from these
seniors - who are what we will be soon.
M. Waksman, MD., Geriatrics
"Those who are near to dying have much lore about living to share. Many Things to tell You yields such lessons to those who will listen." Rev. Joseph David Stinson
Many people living in nursing homes
are accidental poets.
Like most poets they are virtually unrecognized, unread, and
unappreciated -- sometimes, even by themselves.
But that lack of self-consciousness may be the very thing that makes
people who live in nursing homes
such magnificent poets.
“Doctor,” inquired one resident, leaning forward on her walker as I
was politely trying to leave at the end of the day,
“When you came to see me, was I there?”
It was a reasonable question -- but also startling, precise, provocative,
spontaneous, tragic, full of double meanings, and just a little bit humorous.
Like a great deal of “real” poetry it was a rich,
insightful accident of speech that made me stop and think things over one
People living in nursing homes use
words for many creative purposes: to get rid of an undesired roommate, to
persuade the dietician to serve more chocolate pudding, to distract themselves
from disappointment, to drag humor into their difficult circumstances,
and to ferry an enjoyable past into a painful present.
They are creative at keeping wanderers out of their rooms,
creative at manipulating relationships to their personal advantage, and
creative at disguising embarrassing disabilities.
But their smoothest creativity, to me, evolves almost undetected.
It is like the ocean tides quietly filling the upriver backwaters of the
Hudson River with nutrients and wildlife.
By listening carefully to the words these residents
speak we can hear the gentle rise and fall of
small but meaningful preferences, the pull and tug of their everyday
frustrations, the inlet and the outflow of their remaining dreams.
This book reveals the natural inclination of very old people for poetic
speech. Continue ???