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image by
Donigan Cumming

There are moments in your life you meet the piece of artwork you need then and there.
Pretty Ribbons is exactly what I needed now.

The Stage, also by Cumming, I just understand now.
Long years ago, I was fascinated by it, but it was merely it´s strangeness I was drawn too. Or was it more?

In my childhood I survived an alcoholic depressive mother who committed suicide when I was a youth. I survived because there were moments of normality; I survived because I was living in a cultivated middle class family with my own room to hide and the possibility to forget about my surroundings burying myself into books.

The last four years I was working as an unskilled social worker in a quarter for the poor, and then I was fired because management of the settlement wanted to save the money for this service. What a shame.
Since then, for more than one year now I am parenting demented people in a senior home.

I got this job, because society is avoiding spending money for competent care for its demented citizens and employs cheaper, hardly skilled people for doing what is necessary.
The better-trained male and female nurses simply don’t have the time and sometimes the personality to meet the emotional needs of the seniors they are attending. They are restricted to do the bodily care, which is hard enough, and we, the few unskilled ones, are in charge for the minds and souls of these old and feeble people. What a shame.

I was and I am confronted with alcoholism, depression, despair, craze, dementia, old age and death.

Now I scared as hell of becoming old.
I am afraid of illness and dementia.

It is hard to be confronted with all of this suffering.

But.

I am experiencing things I could not even think of before.
I am learning about life.

Life, as it is, or how it will be,
has to be seen.

Yes Donigan Cumming´s photographs from Nettie Harris are shocking.
But they are tender too. In his work I discover the tenderness I feel for the people I am caring for.

P.S I have absolutely no idealistic motives working in a senior home.
It’s all about earning money.

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August 2