Monday, October 25, 2010

Dancing and Drumming in the Patio to take place on Halloween

I am looking forward to Halloween now, as a poster has gone up announcing a musical group is returning to celebrate with us from 6pm and 8Pm in the patio. I am thinking about buying an eye mask I saw over to the Farmer's Market and some ways to decorate one of my hats which I will wear with orange and black. The last time this group came they said the drumming was so loud from the lobby where they set up it could be heard several floors up. I forgot about it and did not attend, but I don't plan to miss this one! I think they will be just right for Halloween.
I have primed Doc to make a karaoke video for Halloween. So that will be coming up soon. Linda, who did the video singing the national anthem to show how she had recovered her voice after a permanent tracheotomy is practicing her songs for a Christmas video. She is very pleased to hear that her "trake" video has so far gotten 77 hits on You Tube. It seems that people have been interested enough in her dilemma to watch it. It is still listed in the front of my channel GerryKing40 in case you did not see it.
Residents are still talking about how some of their photos were turned into 'art' with blobs on them and hung in a local gallery. One lady said hers looked like she was being prepped for surgery with a white cap painted over her hair. Some have no idea theirs were displayed, which by the way will be taken down I think this Wednesday so I will not be able to get over there and see all of them after all. I don't go trekking around at night. I did see about three of them.
I have heard that the resident whose photo was featured in the New Times with squiggles and blobs on it called up the paper and scolded them. I am glad some of the residents have let their opinions be known other than just to each other. I wrote a letter to the New Times, but it did not get there soon enough for publication in this week's issue.
I remember the photographer displaying some of our photos in the public library art display room a few years ago. Nobody objected to those since they were not 'defaced' as some are putting it now. They were just regular photos.
Residents will probably be quite leary of any photographers coming into the WHo now.
I thought some of the photos I took of residents and displayed in my blog quite good, but of course I took all of those before this story broke. Now I might even have trouble getting permission! I am still trying to line up video projects, though. And am still taking photos as I can.
We are still discussing an artist's license to use other people's photos to paint on without them quite knowing or exactly agreeing. But a waiver was signed with residents thinking they were mostly taking the photos for the office copy.
I had a little meltdown over it seeing the blobs as metaphors for aging or disability, especially connected to mental illness. Anyone who has ever been incarcerated in a mental ward knows how hard that stigma is to contend with over the years. I always emphasized the chronic fatigue part of my disability, but my nervous system was seriously compromised with all the stress, causing me to behave in such a way that it was thought a psychiatrist might be needed.
My father was the one I feared when he learned I was opting out of college in such a way that it could not be readily 'fixed.' He was the one who was going to go crazy. But I also felt very disillusioned and disappointed in the university. I had always looked forward to attending a university. Now it looked as though I was not going to be able to use my 'education' in any practical way, since I thought that I would have a very tough time holding down an English teacher's job in Mormon Utah. I felt that I would get into trouble very easily since I had already been run out of my Sunday school teaching job at the age of 15, and almost anybody could be recruited to teach Sunday School, even a person close to retarded. This did not bode well for my future as an English teacher. I just called far too much attention to my self with my flamboyant acting style.
I remember coming home and reciting "Mountain Whipoorwill" to a stunned audience in a drama competition in southern Utah. They did not give me any prize at all as they said that I was a 'professional', making it sound as though that was bad not good. My sister Ann later was not rehired in one community because she apparently did such a spectacular job of teaching Greek Mythology that she was said to have introduced a new 'religion'. She did find a job in another southern Utah community and was finally accepted as a very good English teacher who also saw to it that the kids got a chance to write.
But it was my fate to be overtaken by an almost lethal bout of chronic fatigue brought on by being forcibly incarcerated and threatened with electric shock. I knew very well I had better not have that with what I had. There were too many connotations of punishment about it, therefore it was too high stress for me combined with all the stress I had already endured growing up in the home of a bad alcoholic always fighting with my mother when he was under the influence.
I know that at best after my stay in the mental ward I was thought to have been a genius gone mad. Even my aunt said after hearing one of my plays I wrote not long after I came home that I was either a genius or insane. I thought she rather leaned toward the insane diagnosis. She was my dad's sister but solidly conventional. She had been a school teacher for many years with no problem being accepted at all. This was who my dad thought I should pattern myself after at all times, but that was just not me.
I could hardly live with the idea that I was now too frail, at just 20 years old, to hope to have much of a career at anything. My poor father never did accept it. He told me at 36 that he regarded me as a loser, 'fallen to the gutter' as he put it, slinging hash for a living. He thought I was faking it somewhat I suppose, just stubborn and sort of crazy, which got him off the hook for some of the responsibility for the childhood stress.
I thought I was damned lucky to be able to sling hash for some months before I would have to quit and rest. I could always get another job in a cafe. So that became a way of life for me, boring, but earning me and my kids the food and the rent when I no longer had a husband to support me. As if my own life was not a disappointment to me in many ways, falling far sort of my dreams, but somehow I knew that the life of a successful writer with recognition and money was not going to be mine. I saw poverty as a condition to study and understand. I looked around me and observed and wrote, even if people were not too interested in what a life of poverty was all about. That was not the American dream, but poverty has come to be the lot of many all over the world, so I did not feel alone.
In this country more people have fallen into poverty, too, so with all the losses sustained in this recession perhaps people will not look down on poverty and disability quite so much. Many born into the ranks of the minorities have so few chances to succeed on a grander scale. I came to live in a Mexican neighborhood because they understood poverty and the limited range of the disabled better than they did in Utah where people with food stamps might even get a few hostile stares in a grocery store. And being on welfare might be regarded as a bigger disgrace.
Nobody in my family had ever been on welfare before I had to apply for it. I was petrified at having fallen so low. I wondered if I would survive it. But I did with the help of a lot of other 'po' folk who taught me to accept what I could not help in good grace.

3 comments:

❤Connie Higginbotham❤ said...

It would be interesting to see that waiver.Exactly what it said they intended to do with the photos.I really can't see that they have carte blanche to demean people in such a way..

Missie said...

I always look forward to seeing what you have posted as your blog header. You change it pretty much, almost every day.

Have a good week.

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

You'll have to take a few photos of the Halloween party. It sounds like fun. Post the songs!
There have been some funny photos taken at the care center, but nothing demeaning to the resident. They were all in good fun. I wonder what the artists thought they were doing?


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