I Still Do

February 6, 2010

Unintended Irony at Disneyland

I just returned from Anaheim, California where I gave the keynote address at the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk Awards and Recognition Dinner.  It was a great event, with energetic and inspirational people who care very much about increasing awareness of AD and creating change.  But I found an unintended irony in the setting for the event—Disneyland.

Walt Disney’s world is a fantasy, of course.  A very clean, polite, stage-managed fantasy.  No trash, no dying flowers, no peeling paint, no unhappy employees  cast members.   In this hyper-controlled environment, we were talking about a disease that is currently beyond our control.  We were discussing a disease that’s messy, that causes decay, that runs amuck.  Even though I want to see a world without Alzheimer’s, I don’t want  a world without the unexpected or  unanticipated.  Life with disease and death is tough—but there are also riches and growth and precious moments that arrive when they’re least expected and unplanned.  There can be pain—but also beauty—in our human vulnerabilities and fragilities.   And  a flower can be glorious even when it’s faded.

So, in an odd way, I was glad that it was literally raining on our parade and on the hall in which the dinner was held.   And when I looked out

copyright 2010. Judith Fox

 

 the resort window, I was perversely pleased to see the palm trees moving in the wind and rain and almost obscuring the large billboards that proclaimed “Fun in the Sun for Everyone” and “Just another day in Paradise.”  There are some things even Disney can’t control.

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January 21, 2010

Rain in Sunny California

Seems it never rains in sunny California … but girl, don’t they warn ya?  It pours, man, it pours.

It’s been pouring for the better part of three days now, and we’re cranky.  Until this week, the only use my umbrella got was when I headed east.  I know I’m spoiled, you don’t have to tell me.  But I’ll confess:  as inconvenient as the rain is for me, and as seriously difficult it is for others in SoCal, there’s something about it that I like now and then.  And, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to read and a fireplace to light.

copyright Judith Fox

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