Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Shopping at the mall is therapeutic (of course, all women know that). BUT the "gift" part comes in when you are with someone you love. Gifts are not always wrapped are they.
The Coffee Shop
Gentle, with warm soft
Blends of brown,
Wrapping us with
Hazelnut and french vanilla,
Peeking through muffins
And cinnamon twists
Laughing as we
Licked our fingers
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I love photography. I love poetry. I love classical music. Even with my nursing there is always a need to integrate these art forms. It is so much a part of me. This photo was taken on an early frigid morning while driving to a mandatory hospice team meeting. The hot coffee and beautiful music on my radio just wasn't enough to make me happy. Glancing to my left, was this frozen scene. The cold didn't seem so cold as I stopped the car and stood for a moment, with my car door open.I could still smell the coffee and hear the piano concerto but my camera and I were glued as if we both had a mission. I took my time. Now, when I look at this photo I was glad I was late for the meeting. In fact I felt content and warm the rest of the day.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
One might say Sandra had been institutionalized most of her adult life. At least from the age of nineteen when she completed her training to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. That happened in 1965. As the poems reflect, a very idealistic Sandra emerged. Ready to make her mark in society, or was it youth that gave her poor judgement, at any rate her journey began. There were many changes in nursing over the years. Sandra entered this new world in a stiff white uniform and cap, white shoes and support hose. Equipment was challenging, including glass syringes and IV fluids in glass bottles with air bubbles constantly getting in the tubing. Sterlizing autoclaves on each unit. mercury thermometers. Standing up when a physician enterd the station to offer him your chair. Never a first name basis when addressing co-workers or patients. The decade of the seventies arrived with a brief period in history she knew as the woman's feminist movement. At the time she thought it was strange that women wanted equality. They wanted to trade places with men, they wanted to join the work force. She had been in the work force for seven years and as she proudly reflects in her poem, "your dirty dishes were piled high way before anyone else's." Maybe she was a pioneer or maybe she meant this feminist movement wasn't such a hot idea after all. in either case she was thrown into it. The eighties arrived much too early. She was working third shift and managing her three youg children. Christmas and Thanksgiving meant negotiating which nurse was going to work which holiday. With the eighties also came discarding the traditional cap for the school we graduated. The nineties charged in with all kinds of regulatory changes in long term care facilities. If that wasn't enough, insurances were zeroing in on finances and inspections were becoming as intense as an interrogation from the KGB. We were now in scrubs and sneakers[ we needed them to run]. The pace picked up with sub acute and rehab units. Sandra's personal life was infringed on to the point that her career totally overpowered her personal life as reflected in her verse,"you were so busy taking care of life, you missed it." Regardless, life went on. No matter whose beats they were. With the new decade Sandra went back to school and became a Registered Nurse. That brings us full circle back to the book. Who would ever think to place a stethoscope on ice? Who would ever think to toss spoons outside to photograph? Who would ever think to place an old window against a tree in the woods or to settle a music stand on an ancient rock? Believe it or not it is all about being a nurse and a career that has spanned four decades.
Poems came to her and spilled from her mind onto her notebook. "Listen to the rhythm." "She walks with youth by her side." "How fragile we are as we stand dominant upon the earth." She wrote until she knew by instinct there was nothing more to be said. The poems arranged themselves in their own order, from, "Poems are always written between the lines," to, "Today you wandered off wondering what you would learn." All those hours and shifts she worked, holidays, weekends, doubles.Finally she was able to validate the sacrifice of her personal life and her very personal love of her creative instincts. To merge regulated, task performing scientific aspects of her profession with the constant battle within her to develop the creative side of her. Finally the two collided in one beautiful little book packed with imagery and spirit.
This photo shoot was not going well. The sun was playing games with big black clouds threatening the whole days project. Finally after silently waiting, she felt warmth slightly touching her left arm. She looked up and saw a tiny window of opportunity. She got her camera ready, positioned just the right angle. She knew she had to be fast. As the sun came to partial view, she started to shoot. She had just taken the last picture for her book.
"Photographs are the validation of memories" and Sandra was about to introduce them to her poems. It didn't matter where or what she was doing, her mind was on overtime thinking of the best way to depict the verse. There were no boundaries with her thoughts. They invaded her anytime they felt like it. They were out of control. It almost felt sinful,indulgent, forbidden. On the other hand it was like the most beautiful part of her soul, so warm and comforting. She could not resist and blatantly stole time whenever she could.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Before I continue with "About the book," I think it's important to explain, one of the reasons I started this blog, is to learn more about experiences others have had with their professions. It doesn't have to be just about nursing. My point is, everyone has a story to tell. To link these stories is not only interesting it is a great way to vent, to connect, maybe to get feedback, or just for fun. What's wrong with fun. My vision for this blog site is to share thoughts, relax, and think creatively. I also like to keep what I say brief because I think in small segments. let's see what happens.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Part 1: Her Camera, strapped around her neck, wobbled violently as she climbed down the steep embankment. This shot was going to be tough but Registered Nurse, Sandra Dalton, was determined. What, might one ask, does this have to do with nursing? After forty years in the profession what was Sandra doing in the woods taking pictures about her life's work? Was she simply a victim of the nursing shortage wondering aimlessly in the wilderness, sleep deprived after working too many shifts, or was she trying to find coverage for the weekend? Actually, on that Sunday afternoon, it was part of her imagination, it was part of her dream, it was part of her spirit that was hard at work. These were her thoughts. Yes, it was all about nursing. It was all about nurse's notes but not the kind you would ever find in a patient's chart or in an infection control manual, or in a policy book. No, these notes were very special. They were colorful, they were rhythmic, they were abstract, they were concrete, they followed no rules, they had no boundaries, and they were honest. The idea was to create an image for every poem she wrote. Sketches that would stimulate thought that would create an instant vision that would create a common ground; after all we all belong to the human race.