Our Favorite Things

The Five Dramas of Compassion

Be open to the forces of compassion in the world

Smile when you see the smile of another who is proud of his work

For he found great meaning in both his words and his life

Learn as you listen to the details of experience in one’s story

Listen to how these stories take care of the storyteller

Nod through confusion so that you may give significance to someone’s ideas

Give light to the respect and deference that one is entitled to

And honor the safeguard in another,

Allow one to make extensive and defensible claims

The self that is worth being is a self of suspense

Life is turning death inside out; Could it be through words?

Naming our fears through art is both bolder and easier than silence

Make fear literally livable, allow construction of the imagination in oneself

I believe that illness is opportunity and what makes it an opportunity is its danger

We must learn the science to practice the art

People will listen to us only if we are competent.

Our competence makes room for the growth

of our compassion, our humaneness.

–found poem by Jessie Drew, excerpted from House of God, by Samuel Shem , PP1, Five Dramas of Illness, by Arthur Frank pp. 379-393 and HPU LifeLines Poetry Workshop participants from Pennybyrn at Maryfield, High Point, NC, January 23, 2014

A group poem by the Taylor Village residents at Pennybyrn at Maryfield:
These are a few of our favorite things
Hiking and camping are dear to my heart
There is companionship
Crocheting for children and grandchildren
Working with the trains
Going to the beach and the mountains
The water and woods
And rowing the boats
These are a few of our favorite things
My blue eyes that got my husband
Red is my favorite color, I wear it whenever I can
My favorite thing to talk about is my genius granddaughter
When my family sings together and listens to music
Going new places, and trying new things
These are a few of our favorite things
– Pennybyrn residents Elaine, Elizabeth, Helen, Edward, and Jean (and HPU LifeLines facilitators: Jessie, Ally, and Jimmy)

 

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