A Volunteer’s Perspective
Imagine a foreign hospital. Imagine white walls, stained with a pervasive brown dinginess. Imagine doctors in white garb, with green masks pulled down over their emotions. Imagine patients in papery white gowns, in white sheets, in white rooms.
In my four years with the Foundation for Hospital Art, I have learned to paint an entire hospital with only four-ounce bottles. Dragging sharpies across the walls, handing pre-dipped brushes to terminally ill patients, it all seems so mundane, but we are sharing in these small moments a substance of greater viscosity than intravenous fluid. What we leave behind is an expression of humanity, the essence of the human condition, a representation of connection even in the absence of a common language.
Eventually I find the only white left to be smiles, and that my own small, white life is painted more colorfully than any hospital I have left behind.
January 3, 2015