An unexpected audience member

Yesterday I did one of my gigs in an Aged Care facility, upon my arrival I recognised one of the audience members - a resident, a man in his nineties suffering from dementia, a man that I feel great affection for and whom I thought I would never see again.

Nearly 25 years ago life was getting a bit difficult for me and in an effort to ‘sort some stuff out’ I ended up spending time going to a psychologist, at first I did this with my wife and then after a while I just kept going myself. The psychologist and counsellor was Dr Arthur North and he was the man I saw at the gig yesterday. I had bitter sweet feelings seeing him - very happy to see him again, he looked well, well cared for I think. Saddened due to the fact that he is no longer the man he once was.

A man with a sharp mind and a love for music, he was a violin player and a singer. A passionate and deeply caring man. A radical minister of religion.

The professional help he gave me many years ago has contributed greatly to my well being today…..the fee that I paid him for his time each week hardly seems to reconcile with what he gave me in those meetings and the dividends that experience has paid.

At the gig yesterday I kept looking at him to see if he would recognise me……I don’t think he did. I could see that he was appreciating the music though, and I took some pleasure in the fact that he liked what I was offering - at these gigs I walk around and sing to people, so I went to Arthur and shook his hand - looked deeply into his eyes and sent him a message as best I could - perhaps this did not get through to him but I certainly appreciated the opportunity to try.

Guy Walton