~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for November, 2017

Lest We forget

Posted by carolom on November 11, 2017

My Grandad John Chapman.

Killed in the second world war.
A working class man sent to a war that wealthy men start.
A broken crumpled photo.
A grieving widow.
An only child growing up in a home where the war broke my Nanas heart.
An only child denied her Fathers love, living on her own in a house of silence where her war-widow Mother worked full time, standing on her feet all day, never discussing what happened.Finding relief in hours of silence when her working day was finished.

A solitary child in awe with the world of books and paintings, art and story.
A little note she kept in her purse all of her life “To Maugny with all my Love Daddy”.
Watching an old 1940’s movie one day with a scene of young men climbing into an army truck to head to the battlefield I saw my Grandfather for the first time, represented by those vibrant, alive, energetic young men who were being sent to battle.
It is the only time I have cried for my Grandad.
I have no memories to miss.
War took care of that.

My Grandad never came home from the war and for many years I couldn’t understand my Nana’s strange and difficult ways or why my Mother jumped at loud noises and preferred to be on her own rather than in company.
I didn’t understand the contentious relationship my Mother and her Mother had but now I know that the pain and war-trauma they both experienced turned into resentment and depression and divided them into two troubled women.

Mum staying connected to her Creativity was the biggest blessing in a very sad story.
We all learnt to hold it in.
A week before she died unexpectedly my Nana said to me, “I never really got over your Grandad being killed you know”. She was in her 80’s and had never shared her pain before. It was like meeting her for the first time and then she was gone.
Now I fully understand the devastating impact that war has had on my family and how being born into a city that was the most bombed city outside of London has reverberated down the generations.
For my Grandad Private John Chapman.

The working class man who wanted to have lots of children and who doted on his beloved Maugny for the short time they were together.
Lest we Forget.

 

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The Royal Adelaide Hospital – Renewal, Rejuvenation and Originality…

Posted by carolom on November 7, 2017

This is the hospital where my beloved Mother died.

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I was a cleaner  at this hospital in the early 80s and walked hundreds of kilometres down these corridors, wielding mops and brooms, chemical soaked cloths and bottles of disinfectant that cover every surface with mists you can’t see.

I used to mop towards interesting conversations and whispered politics because the green uniform of the hospital cleaner is like a cloak of invisibility in the fast paced, hierarchy of the world of medicine.
I learnt to drive the big industrial polishers by inadvertently slamming it against the wall whilst my wrists developed the muscles to hold it in place when the power surge brought it to life in a dramatic way. The metaphor does not escape me.
On February 7th 2015, 30 years after putting down my broom and walking out the ”Domestic” exit for the last time, I drove through the carpark gates at 6:30 in the morning after a life changing call from the hospital. I drove in knowing that this was the day my life will change for ever.

This was the day Mum was going to die.

My old familiar workplace felt as foreign to me as the prospect of living in the world without her. In some ways I feel like my car is still in the carpark.

We have a brand-new state-of-the-art hospital in the city and this old Royal Adelaide hospital site is undergoing renewal!

D553F774-0CB7-4028-B0CF-F823F7C0D753Those who knew my quirky, complex creative Mother know that colour and creativity were oxygen to her soul, so imagine my delight walking along North Terrace yesterday to see the grey buildings where she took her last breath, are encased in the very promise of possibilities and creativity that brought Mums imagination alive.

Maureen Omer, nee Chapman, was a voracious science-fiction reader for decades which meant she lived in the realm of new possibilities, realities and concepts that have never been seen before when all around the world told her a very different story than the one she lived in her imagination.

 

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“The sci-fi writers are the prophets” Mum used to say.

How fabulous that the piece of land where Maureen drew the breath that we inhaled as she exhaled for the very last time, will be reincarnated as a vibrant. colourful landscape in the middle of our beautiful city!

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