Yesterday I attended an unusual event at Sheffield Hallam University. It was different for me as I had not visited the campus before and sitting in a room with academics is not how I usually spend my free time.
The meeting was part of a series of workshops called ‘Critical Arts in Health’ organised by health/tech/art superstar Smizz and colleagues undertaking PhD’s at the University.
The theme was ‘Emotional labour in health care – the affect of words’
As with most things I become involved with, I’d read the headline, found it interesting and attended; I tend not to have time for the small-print – which at times can cause problems but, for the most part leads to an interesting if not fun experience of life.
Joan who was leading the session discussed some of her work involving occupational therapy students and their experiences of learning and care, some of which is delivered through the medium of creative writing.
If any readers were medical students with me back in the early 2000’s you will remember the creative micro-projects you undertook focusing on older people – delivering poems, plays and paintings as a means to gaining a deeper understanding of our relationships with our patients; had I known Joan back then it might have had more impact!
One of the exercises which I hope to recreate here (and you can do too) was in the form of a quick poem; called, ‘These I have loved’.
The idea is to write a poem with each sentence or phrase based on one of the five senses;
It chimes well with some of my ideas of this blog which are a type of blot on the landscape of my life; a semi-permanent mark. My kids, if they are interested can look back on what I have loved when they are old.
Maybe you could have a go.
I’ll come back to the sea at the end.
Here is my attempt;
The sound of waves on the shore on a beach in Scotland.
The smell of my mum’s cooking, fusty old books and men in damp synagogue raincoats.
The taste of gefilte fish and mum’s chicken soup.
The touch of soft, fresh off the line pillowcase on summer bed.
The sight of early morning sunshine that anticipates a day outside.
Yes, not necessarily my best, but probably says more about me than lots of what I have written in the past.
Something I found very interesting was that the person sitting next to me opened her poem describing the sound of the sea. I wondered whether this was just coincidence or perhaps related to our land-locked lives in South Yorkshire, where to reach the coast you have to travel.
What do your senses tell you?