I Feel Like I’m INSIDE a Salvador Dali Painting
Entering a surreal life experience with my father
By Julie Hall, The Estate Lady
The life experience I am entering in to with my father is surreal. Just glance at Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory and you will recognize the feeling.
To the artist, who was working from the inside out – from inside his mind and out onto the canvas – it all made sense. He knew what he felt and what he wanted to portray. To the observer (that’s us), we are on the outside looking in.
The same is true with Alzheimer’s Disease. Only they know what is going on in their mind and we are on the outside looking in to their reality; it does not make sense to us. And because we do not get it, it is enough to make us feel crazy and doubt our own sanity.
Suddenly you have entered unfamiliar territory and you may not have a clue how to interpret what your loved one says or does. They may have a particularly foggy day and not much comes out in a logical manner. To complicate things, you are unsure of how to even respond to such words or actions, because they do not make sense to you.
Much like Salvador Dali’s paintings, most of us do not have a clue how to analyze or interpret his works; what was going through his mind when he painted them. But there is genius in his work, and even if you don’t understand it, he went on to become one of the most unforgettable, famous artist of all time for surrealism.
If you do not like his artwork, at least you have to respect the work that went into it, and the artist himself, who was trying to get a message out.
I think the same is true for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s. They have a message to get out, and on certain days, it is kind of surreal and up to us observers to interpret it.
We don’t like Alzheimer’s Disease, but we have to respect it, give it dignity, and accept it for what it is — a life experience we will never forget!
Posted in No Instruction Manual and on her Alzheimer's Caregiver blog, IN THE TRENCHES
Published August 7, 2012