dazy, dazy by dreary

dazy, dazy

*a warning for those who want to avoid sad things: this post talks about alzheimers and dementia and is probably not a good read for you right now.*

Welcome to Dreary Radio, folks. Let's hop right into today's art segment with this digital piece, 'dazy, dazy.' Before we were on air you were telling me how this piece is more personal than usual. I think you used the word "Bittersweet." So [name], what can you tell the audience about this piece?

anon: "This piece was made by drawing digitally over a picture of an old oil pastel drawing on canvas.

My grandfather is in the later stages of Alzheimers, and of course I can't truly understand his reality, but still, I was inspired to represent the traits I notice more and more.

The oil pastel consists of an empty room. The lamp, with a cad yellow mix and this calm teal blue, and an overall popping color palette of the room is meant to make it feel warm, comfortable, cozy.

It's home, but at the same time, strange perspective and placement makes the room feel "off," or unfamiliar. Such is my grandfather's home; he is proud of it because he and my grandma designed it themselves, but there are still times he refers to it as a "lovely" hotel.

People with alzheimers or dementia begin to forget who people around them are, even family members. They may feel uncomfortable around these "strangers" (portrait upside-down), left out (outside), lost (upper right corner), and even stop recognizing themselves (top left).

The gramophone on the floor represents a memory that is sticking around, since it's a significant memory formed in early adulthood when memories develop most effectively. But the fact of the matter is even that memory may fade.

I only used the word "bittersweet" to describe my grandpa's case. He is the only person I've known with alzheimers/dementia, and I know some cases are much worse than others. Bittersweet, because as we see him stepping out of reality, space, and time, the goodness of his soul and nature remains apparent through small acts of love that he may not even know he is performing...

I first wondered if alzheimers was like... a cloud in the brain: a haze that comes in, making the memories hard to find and signals harder to understand, always growing denser. But then I thought: but what if the mind is like a flower? And in the case of these diseases, the mind begins fading from the outside in, like a flower will first lose it's petals before...

But right now, I've come to the conclusion that it is not like either of these things. And while I wish it could be described in a beautiful way, the truth of it is there is no way to romanticize what's happening. And no matter what they are really experiencing, their reality is always changing, and maybe it's just best to meet them where they are."

DJ A.D.: Thank you
Thank you for sharing your & your Grandpa's story - it is not easy to look at what may be happening to the ones we love, however, often the person concerned is unaware & totally joyful within their own space - its their happiness & contentment that is important. Your composition is wonderful - your narrative is poignant.
June 11th, 2021  
@ajisaac Thank you! Thanks for reminding of that. He does often seem content in his own space. (:
June 12th, 2021  
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