Friday, 15 May 2009

42. Line-Learning / Songs

A couple of interesting things.

First: If you have seen our show, or if you have been reading this, you will know that one of our central themes is memory loss. We are trying to reclaim a lost hour, after a trans-ischemic attack, where my Dad could not remember where he was or how he had got there. Today I was trying to coach Dad through a fairly long text (about a page's worth) that I wrote after finding William's - Bill's - his father's - paintings. I wanted to suppose that the paintings depicted the Wilderness that my Dad found himself in in 1970. And I wanted to suppose that one painting, in particular, depicted a way out. So we tried working on the rhythm of the text: "The-old-man / myoldman /strickeninthechest aged sixty / fin-ally went above-ground". After a few repetitions we were fiding our stride. I don't know if he will remember the text any better tomorrow but today he remembered a whole paragraph without prompting. We stood very close to each other and looked each other straight in the eye: "Thedoctorsaid takeyour-rest, relax / this (...) is how-he-didit / took a clerking job in the pitoffices / settled behind a-desk/ paintedpicturesonsundays after church".

* * *

Second: Mum and Dad doing a bit of washing up. Dad puts on the alarm-clock / CD player and plays a CD of me singing our signature tune. I run downstairs to find them both singing it and I join in. A singsong, there in the Kitchen, and if you knew my Mum you'd know how little confidence she has in her voice.
So - a simple pleasure, fairly short-lived but adequate to its moment, then, Me and my Mum and My Dad singing in the Kitchen, washing up, stopping the clock.

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