The mind and the emotion dance: my pillars for the chart of humanities

In the Chart of Humanities, we collect the voices of experts from the Humanities for Health who told us about their guiding pillars at the time of COVID-19. We report here the testimony of Stephen Legari, art therapist at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada) and member of our international Faculty.

Biological model

I am limited therefore I try to expand in space. I move my limbs like a wild animal. I move to music. I move to the chatter in my mind. I move to the story I am telling myself. I sit down to meditate and my body rebels. I do yoga and my body rebels. Today I rode my bicycle because it is permitted here despite the enforcement of distance. My body needs other bodies so I console myself. I hold myself. And when my wife returns from the hospital I hold her.

Mental model 

At 1pm each day the leader speaks and the numbers rise. My mind goes to work on new and old information. The articles I must edit seem like they are from a different time. But I know that task and purpose are essential to the health of my mind. And so I set my mind to task. I complete something and its feels useful. The mind and the emotion dance.

Social model

I keep a log each day of who I spoke to. I send emails to people I know are isolated. I send drawings to people who were already vulnerable. I say things on social media that are encouraging. I speak to my father every day. It used to be once a week. I try to find out how my wife is doing at the hospital but she is too busy to reply. I dance over the internet with friends and family. I zoom and zoom and zoom. The world is now a grid of faces on my computer screen.

Stephen Legari

Art therapist, Couple and Family Therapist Program Officer – Art Therapy, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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