Who knew when we bought this painting nearly 10 years ago that it would be so prophetic?
We got it because we liked it, the colors under proper light were wonderful and it appeared to be the perfect fit for the spot over the fireplace. At the time the subject matter didn’t have any special meaning; in fact, it seemed rather sweet. It was no more than a nice painting, and it is just right for the space for which it was purchased.
In the years that have passed, the painting has taken on new life. My mother has been diagnosed with dementia. She remembers less and less about her life, but she is still a whiz at word games and when we play Yahtzee she can add faster than I. She grows smaller day by day having lost her appetite and in many ways she seems quite lost to me.
As a consequence of her condition, we have moved her to an assisted living facility where she shares space with others who, in different ways, are no more competent than she. I go over several times each week and what I see reminds me of the painting. Some people are napping in their chairs. Others are wandering, trying to figure out what they should be doing. Some are lounging in their chairs looking lost, sad. I want to know what they are feeling, what they are thinking, if they feel abandoned, forgotten. They seem unable to tell me, and the same is true for the elderly figures in the painting who now seem lost to me.
During these visits I often feel scared, fearful of my own future.
I can’t help but wonder if this canvas grew out of a situation experienced by the artist. I am sure he was not aware that one day this story would become my story. Yes, art speaks, draws us in, plays with our emotions. Do you ever find that to be true?
Linking to Word Women Wednesday
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