a recent visit
Going into this room there is no sense of being able to fix anything or cheer her up. I only know that when my heart is open, as it is when I am clowning, I am able to go towards this kind of distress without fear.
I crouch on the floor and begin to mirror her anguished crying, harmonising with her tone, matching the rhythm of her sighs. I hold her head in my hand, and gently caress her temple. She looks into my eyes for a brief moment, searching for something, totally lost. I say, ‘I don’t know’.
After a few minutes here, her legs move and her foot presses against my armpit and chest. I giggle. ‘It tickes!’ She looks at me again. A brief moment of silence before her cries start up again. Then her legs shift, and I cry ‘Oh Janet! It tickles!!’ And she looks at me and her face is transformed into a map of smile lines, revealing a whole lifetime of laughter. She looks me in the eyes, and we laugh, our laughter generating more laughter, our eyes shining together.
Before we left, she took my hand and pulled me close to her face and just looked right into my eyes. Found.
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I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and maybe some of my thoughts will trigger some thoughts of your own and I hope that helps.