Sunday, March 1, 2015

TRANSIENCE

"Columns" 2006, Zilvinas Kempinas.
Monumental in stature, yet translucent, ephemeral...
"Columns" by Zilvinas Kempinas, is a classical colonnade made with VHS tape, something which came fleetingly into our lives, only to become obsolete in a generation.
The artist is interested in the way it holds images of the past, but soon these will disappear, no longer able to be viewed, its information inaccessible. 


And so it is with life...


We took my father for a picnic today...


he loved the trees...


he knew he'd been here before...


but had no idea when...



It could be six years or sixty years...
he no longer knows.


Today he thought I was my mother..


he said I looked like I used to look..



Be good to one another..

XXXX






28 comments:

  1. Bless your Dad!! We went to visit hubs mum in hospital yesterday and she was saying how she's just survived a shipwreck, quite heartbreaking at times, this age thingy!! Suzy x

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    1. You made my day with that story, Suzy! I look forward to such flights of fancy from Dad, once he gets a little further along the track. xx

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  2. Such a poignant post. I admire you for the love and care you give your Dad. It seems no matter what he remembers or not, he enjoys these outings with you. As for the art installation, of course I wish I could see it in person. Very thought provoking.

    Darla

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    1. Absolutely, Darla, the outings are key to his ongoing quality of life. He gets two family visits per week. I think if they stopped or reduced his life would come to a close very quickly.
      You would enjoy the columns - the public always do. It feels very special to walk among them.

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  3. My mother died too young, and my father never reached a stage of not knowing what was going on in the world. It must be very difficult for you, but also I assume that there is also a certain amount of humour especially thinking that you are your mother. I suspect that it gives your father great comfort to think that you are.
    You are a special caring daughter to your dear father.

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    1. I am sorry your mother died young, Rosemary; that is very sad for a girl. You are correct that there is some humour in this situation. Some of Dad's comments are a bit too outrageous to share on the blog! Family is key to Dad's survival, and it is fortunate for him that he had six children. Thank you for saying I am caring - I do my bit, but the others do also.

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  4. I feel for you with your dad. This can't be easy. But you are a wonderful daughter and he knows that. I am sure he is greatly comforted by his time with you. Take care.

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    1. Not always easy, Jennifer, and sometimes I get a bit 'down' after the visits. It can be hard work keeping him amused and calm, as he gets agitated very easily. I find the iPhone very useful at times, and show him photos of the grandchildren while we wait for his coffee to come.

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  5. Hello Patricia,

    It cannot be an easy task caring for your aged parent. Thankfully, we have never had to cope with this situation but then we have had a parent die at an early age and that brings its emotional difficulties too. Life is full of ups and downs.

    The art installation is very dramatic. Walking around it must be quite amazing. And, to think that it is made of recording tape is incredible. How well we remember those early days of cassette tapes being chewed up in one machine or another! Yes, all things are transient.....we are only guardians of the present.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance. I am sorry you have lost a parent at an early age, which is the saddest thing for anyone. It can be tricky at times, caring for a dementia patient even for a few hours, but he is the last of four .... we have had plenty of practice.
      Everyone enjoys the columns, even visitors who insist they do not like any 'modern art'. After enjoying the sensation of walking through it, they become intrigued by the VHS tape.
      Oh, yes, remember losing one's precious recording of some special movie, as it was strangled by the infernal machine - oh dear!

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  6. I am sad for your Dad that he is having this difficulties and for you too as it is very hard for those who are the carers and family. I am glad that you got to go out though! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy, fortunately Dad enjoys his aged care home, as long as he gets his twice-weekly family visits. He does love to get out for his drive and a coffee, but his increasing frailty might mean those times are limited. Perhaps it will become more fraught in the not too distant future. That is life! xx

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  7. What a thought-provoking art installation!

    My parents and DH's father died far too young for dementia to have put in an appearance, but we are now having to cope with its development (or at least increasingly severe memory loss) in my dear mother-in-law, so your post is especially poignant to me. She still knows us, though she is losing track of her great-grandchildren and doesn't remember what happened earlier in the day, let alone yesterday or last week. So I have a little understanding of what you are going through with your dear Dad. You are a wonderful daughter to him.

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    1. I am sorry that you lost 3/4 of your shared parents so young, Perpetua. Watching the increasing memory loss is confronting, and sad, as you wonder what lies ahead. I am sorry your special mother-in-law is struggling with this. It is curious the way sufferers do manage to live entirely in the present, though. You notice it in the use of language, which gradually becomes present tense only. Thank you for your kind comment; I do my best, but so do the other family members.

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  8. How poignant. This was a theme between my DH and myself today - how Life Time just slips away. It must be difficult when a loved one is suffering from dementia - bits of the person come and go, which has such an effect emotions.

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    1. Thank you Sarah Liz, a good subject to discuss with one's spouse. Time slips away, and cannot be retrieved. We are off to Canada soon for just this reason, despite financial considerations.
      Re dementia, as you say, bits come and go. One visit Dad knows who I am, the next he has no clue, then again he does remember - or think I am Mum! There is humour in all this too, in a gentle way. He loves it when I tell him he is 94, always smiles and looks proud and astonished!

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  9. What an interesting art exhibit! It's so nice for your father that you are able to take him out. Even though his memory is failing, I'm sure it's a comfort to him to be with people who love him, in a place he is familiar with.

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  10. More than anything, Kristie, he craves the visits of family, the most important thing at the end of one's life. It is fortunate he had six children to answer the call!

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  11. Patricia, it's so wonderful that you went on a picnic with your dear father......and what a beautiful, peaceful place to sit and enjoy. The trees are so unusual and pretty, and the stream is calming. Enjoy your dad, Patricia. How I wish I could hold my father in my arms.

    love, ~Sheri

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    1. Thank you Sheri, it is a nice picnic place and people camp there by the stream. The tall gum trees are very typical Australian, and we enjoy seeing them standing tall and proud. He does enjoy his outings, and we enjoy them too. He thanks us profusely and is grateful. xx

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  12. Dear Patricia,
    I am glad that you are getting the time to take your dad on his pic nics.
    Hidden there in his mind are memories ..How wonderful that he remembered this lovely place. Did he have his ice cream! god bless him.. big hugs val xxx

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    1. Dear Val, so sweet that you remembered Dad loves icecream :)
      No icecream this week, but he tucked in to a caramel/chocolate slice and ate every morsel! It is intriguing just which memories are hidden there, and pop out at odd moments. hugs to you too, xx

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  13. That's an incredibly moving post. I loved the idea behind the art exhibit, and the way you tied it in with your father. It's very hard. I remember one of the last things my mother said to me was, "You know, you've been a wonderful husband." We'd have conversations about people and events of long ago. But she did not seem aware of any problem and I thought the best thing was to just go along with it, rather than cause upset by fighting it. But it's hard. Take care.

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    1. Thank you Mike. Your comment cheered me up a treat - now I wonder if I will get the accolade of being a wonderful wife. It will keep me smiling! Amazing the long ago memories which now arise. We have been hearing about Dad's first day at school - in 1926!

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  14. That's an incredibly moving post. I loved the idea behind the art exhibit, and the way you tied it in with your father. It's very hard. I remember one of the last things my mother said to me was, "You know, you've been a wonderful husband." We'd have conversations about people and events of long ago. But she did not seem aware of any problem and I thought the best thing was to just go along with it, rather than cause upset by fighting it. But it's hard. Take care.

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  15. Beauty countryside, Patricia! The science exhibit is equally impressive! But I'm a little more partial to nature, and, I hope we humans don't mess it up too much.

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    1. Thank you Debra, I love those big tall trees! They are in parkland so should be safe - at least in the near future.

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  16. Such a beautiful story, Patricia.

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