Year of the Sheep... or Goat?
We had two-handed attempts and a couple, who barely have use of their hands anymore, were determined and successful. For some, the activity became an exercise, for others it was just something whacky to do while we chatted and warmed up to one another.
Chopsticks for Music!
While we had the chopsticks out, I shared a song I used to do with my own kids. The chopsticks became rhythm instruments as we sang about tea and rice and finally fortune cookies. Dot, who does love a little music, suddenly was happy to pick up those sticks and join in! I rewarded all efforts with fortune cookies and we shared our fortunes and agreed, they need to come up with better ones!
It was a treat watching the care Mr. Davis took as he reached out to find the gong with his hands. Since he can't see, he held metal edge, then aimed with the soft mallet. He taught us all a quick lesson about vibration, when his strike made a thud against the gong. He let go of the gong for his second try and managed to hit the bull's eye! The smile on his face matched the perfect and pure sound of the vibrating metal!
Fortunes and Wishes
And the Sound?
Even my loudest group got quiet and thoughtful as we took turns. It was surprising to see how focused each group became as they noticed that everyone had their own style of striking the gong. It became clear there was no right or wrong way with this group and they seemed to appreciate each other's sounds and thoughts, sometimes even applauding. "Oh, she made a beautiful sound! Did you hear how long it lasted!" It was sweet to see how they supported each other.
A Special Visitor
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.