Our aperitivo on January 28 featured some amazing voices of artists working to help people to endure the hardships of life. Unfortunately, we were unable to hear our fourth guest, Doctor Ray Brow, because of technical difficulties and will instead be our first guest for our Feb 25 Aperitivo.

Doctor Ray works on the front lines of this battle. As a specialist in Geriatric medicine, he has many patients in assisted living facilities.  Ray is also a good friend and advisor who has visited us at La Romita. His ideas about healing are universal and poignant. Ray sent this note as a way of introduction and wrote the accompanying Haiku at the end:

Ray writes:

“Illness not only interrupts your plans for making your life easier and more fulfilling it can also shatter your idea of yourself as an independent agent with a value to society based on your ability to produce. Healing involves not just the restoration of what was lost because many times that’s not possible, it means feeling whole again despite the loss, and it has to start with a clear vision of what the experience of your self is now. To me art is an expression of your unique perspective informed by your experiences of the joys and losses that made up your life to this point. This expression cannot be adequately described in conventional speech because it is inadequate to the task and it must be gestured at through a creative process involving images, words, music, or movement.

As a social species our awareness is not housed completely in any individual but spread collectively among us though our interactions, like bees in a hive. Valuing everyone’s contribution to the collective vision reestablishes a sense of self-worth and autonomy in both the artist and the viewer, even when all other capacities have been compromised.

The arts can act as guideposts for navigating the mysterious journeys we are sometimes forced to endure. Everyone, creator and observer, has a piece of this puzzle, and even if your piece seems very small and very jagged, it could be the one that ties the whole picture together. “


The parts stopped working.            
I drop my old uniform.
And plant winter’s seed.

The parts stopped working. /I drop my old uniform. /And plant winter’s seed.

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