"I first encountered Without Warning when I was serving as a Chaplain Resident on the Neurological ICU Unit at Rush University Medical Center. From the first meeting I was both overwhelemd and inspired by the stories that poured forth from folks living with memory issues, Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as stories of the family members and caregivers.
There is somthing so very healing about finding a safe place to share our stories and when we find others who's stores mirror our own that safe space becomes sacred space. I began drawing and painting images that grew out of the stories I heard, as a way to make tangible, if even for a momnt, this experience of every changing reality that can be hard to describe or explain. I wanted to capture the image of life with Alzheimer's - a life that is transformed from steady ground into a sea of shifting quicksand. My favorite painting is the one of the boat. It grew out of conversation in which a man living with Alzheimer's said, 'Here, in this place, we are all in the boat together.'
The memory loss and neurological isssues that plagued these folks and their families often left them felling as if they were lost at sea, with a storm of confustion, forgettiing, then remembering, diagnosis, treatment, job loss, and isolation they don't know how to navigate swelling around them. Without Warning provides, even for a moment, a respite, a place to catch ones breath, to remember the fullness of our lives and stories, to hold one another's stories when we can't remember them for ourselves and to share the hard earned kernels of truth and wisdome of those who've arealdy navigatied the stormes ahead."
Rev. Shawna Bowman
Pastor at Friendship Presbyterian Church
Images and Art-making in Ministry and Spiritual Care