October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As you may know, T.S. Poetry Press has published a memoir: Sun Shine Down—called a “jewel [that] rises to the top” of the category of Down syndrome memoirs. Yes, we have an interest in bringing beauty to light, regarding this life reality.
Throughout October, we will feature poetic and artistic looks into the experiences of those who live with Down syndrome in one way or another. Today we’re highlighting the beautiful artwork of Michael Wasserman. For more on Michael’s intriguing story (he used to work only with black paints), visit International Down Syndrome Coalition. Or, read an article on Michael Wasserman in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and see if you think the doctors were right when they told his parents, “Don’t bond with him. He has no future.”
See more of Michael’s Art on his Facebook page. And maybe whisper some of his favorite poetry to yourself during a quiet moment:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
–Robert Frost, from “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
“Gillian Marchenko’s Sun Shine Down is a moving account of the birth of her third daughter, Polina. She describes her depression after Polly’s birth and her own difficulty in loving her child. Beautifully written, this memoir is hopeful without being glib.”
—Susan Olasky, World magazine