Song of experience

A lot of my life is spent wondering. And I wonder at my mom, how she manages living deeper and deeper in dementia. A while ago, her older sister, who also had dementia, passed away.

I wondered how a person with dementia would respond to the news that a loved one had died. I wondered how dementia might have affected the sisters in the first place. Would they still have a relationship, each in their own world?

This playful drawing came after writing a short bit of fiction about this. Sometimes drawing helps with the wondering where words fail.

Sketches for the garden gate for Song of Experience by Laura Wythe

The style of the drawing is based on  William Blake’s work and this poem:


I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.


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7 thoughts on “Song of experience

  1. isabella says:

    Beautiful art!
    I really love your blog! 🙂

  2. Sue B says:

    I’m happy you’re blogging again! And the sketch is splendid. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Charlotte Fleming says:

    Thanks for sharing this Laura. Interesting thoughts on the Alzheimer state of mind, and where do they wander in their space. You are so talented to be able to translate your thoughts into your visual art. Blake is pretty amazing for the same reason and I could wander through his illustrations and poems no end.

  4. Nancy Hicks says:

    Ah dementia .. one of lifes great tragedys.. One hopes that dreams continue ,, alot of lifes hopes can be found in dreams..

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