Maiyan Karidi
Everything is connected הכול קשור

Time entangled – a meeting with Dementia

Holes in time 70 x 50 charcoal on canvas

I recently returned back home to Israel after many years of living and working abroad. I cannot describe the feeling of relief, fear, excitement, apprehension and love, all rolled into one. After losing our studio to Covid 19, my daughter and I returned with very little. Enough to survive for 2 months. It was scary. We camped with beautiful friends before finding our place. Two months later I moved into a room and a half and now nine months down the line I am juggling 5 different jobs. I am incredibly grateful. I have survived the transition and am comfortable in my own space.

One of these jobs is assisting with the elderly, some at their home and others at the home for the elderly. I met with dementia. This is not new to me as my own mother is in the process, but now I have a few different characters to be with. It is super challenging. I need to be so strong and patient and I cannot take anything personally. They get frustrated, angry, with themselves and with me, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes numb.

On erev Rosh Hashana I took a painting I did for the new year and gifted it to the home. They were amused. I was invited to join them for dinner but I felt too emotional. I went home to be alone and I painted what I felt.

The first painting is the gift, sweet apples, the second is an expression of whole experience.

About the Author
An artist and writer. Studied art at Ruth Prowse Art School in Cape Town and Anthropology, Linguistics and Hebrew at the University of South Africa. Made Aliya and lived in Israel for 11 years. Trained in mosaic restoration. Lived off-grid in rural South Africa with young kids for 9 years before working on arts and cultural projects in Mauritius, Israel and Fiji. Published numerous short stories about our surreal adventures. Returned to Israel in 2022 and incredibly happy to be home. My mission is to combine my paintings and writing into a collective work which tells the unusual stories and extraordinary situations we survived while maintaining our Jewish identity.
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