Winfried Mall

Basic Communication

Basic Communication with Bruno

Pictures taken by Gudrun Emminger.

This was about the 10th encounter with Bruno. I met him because his attendants wished to offer him a meaningful experience. I intended to look for myself first if Bruno could be reached on the level of Basic Communication, and then to pass this approach to his attendants. During the preceding encounters Bruno's readiness to go along with me had more and more increased. - This encounter lasted for  about 15 minutes.

pictures 1 and 2:

During most of the day Bruno sits on a sofa in the center of his group's rooms. He presses his arms close to his body, his hands under his thighs. Thus he rocks to and fro, hardly ever pausing.  Meanwhile he registers very closely what is going on around him, although he is nearly blind due to his former habit of injuring himself.

picture 3:

I say "Hello" to Bruno, shake his hand.

pictures 4 and 5:

I sit behind Bruno on the back of the sofa, without contacting his body yet. Only my feet I place close at Bruno's hips. If I touched him with my hands, he probably would stand up and walk away.

picture 6:

After a while I touch Bruno at his shoulders and let my hands follow his rocking. Once in a while I try to slow his rocking or to enforce it gently.

picture 7:

After a short while I take my hands away again and watch how Bruno has taken it. My laughing intends to say: "It was just for fun!"

picture 8:

I press my thighs and knees rather firmly to Bruno's sides and thus hinder his rocking for a while. With each rocking he has to free himself from this "brake". Then I open up my legs again.

picture 9:

As a surprise I hug Bruno and hold him for a moment quite strongly. At first he stops, then tries to free himself. I wait until I feel his resistance rising, then let him go again.

picture 10:

I put my hands on Bruno's shoulders and accompany his rocking, slowing him down now and then. He smiles.

picture 11:

I push my hands underneath his arms which he firmly presses to his body, along his chest. This releases the fixed position of his arms, he draws his hands from underneath his thighs, touches my hands. He still smiles.

picture 12:

Bruno tries to get his hands back into the usual position. I let my hands lie on his belly, let him draw me into his rocking.

picture 13:

Sensing that it is nearly too much for Bruno, I pull my hands back, but leave them on hins back. - As in former encounters I sing his name into the rhythm of his rocking. He laughs.

picture 14:

Across Bruno's arms I put my hands on his belly. He seems to wait what will come next.

picture 15:

Slowly I slide down from the back of the sofa behind Bruno. Now there is no room behind him for rocking anymore. I hold his shoulders, speak to him gently.

picture 16:

With my arms again I hug Bruno in a rather firm way. He does not really like this, tries to get ahead, away from me.

picture 17:

Following my verbal suggestion Bruno sits on my lap. His hands are free, he does not rock anymore. He looks like he is turned inward and awaiting.

pictures 18 and 19:

Coming from underneath Bruno's arms I hold his shoulders, pull him towards me. I try to feel the rhythms of his breath to be able to answer it with my own breath. Bruno puts his hands together.

picture 20:

I ask Bruno to put his legs onto the sofa. He complies, I move into the corner of the sofa with him. Now he sits between my legs, leaning at me. Though he leans back his head, his body still shows high tension.

picture 21:

Bruno's body more and more relaxes, sinking down on me, letting loose his weight towards me. I take his hands apart, put them on my knees, while trying to stay in his rhythm of breath and to synchronize my activities with our common breathing-out.

picture 22:

Bruno lies all relaxed, so that I even can move his arms freely.

picture 23:

I put Bruno's arms wide apart and let him experience his body beeing all opened up. Still I stay in his rhythm of breath, trying carefully to emphasize his breathing-out.

pictures 24 and 25:

By putting my feet between Bruno's legs and thus moving apart his knees I let him experience even more his body being open.

pictures 26 to 29:

Bruno has started to bring his hands together again, but still lets them lie there in a relaxed way. I try again to suggest him to open up by moving his hands apart. - When I notice that he is not ready for this anymore, I take up his impulse to put them together and amplify it by pressing them firmly against his chest. Bruno laughs.

picture 30:

For a while we go on enjoying being together in our shared rhythm of breath.

picture 31:

I guide Bruno's hand towards my head and to caress my hair.

picture 32:

After a while Bruno gets away from me, pushes away my feet from his legs.

picture 33:

Bruno's hands already are underneath his thighs again. He starts to rock. I try once again to get him back.

picture 34:

Bruno tries to withdraw from me to go on with his rocking.

picture 35:

I open up my hands, thus showing Bruno that I let him go. I only hold him at his hips.

pictures 36 and 37:

As in the beginning I take up the rhythm of Bruno's rocking, making sounds and touching him, singing his name.

picture 38:

By taking away my hands and legs from Bruno I tell him that I let him loose again. - Shortly after I stand up and say good-bye to him.

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