When I was a small child I would watch my grandpa walk endlessly in our back yard with his dandelion pruning fork. He would move from flower to flower lopping off the blossoms in an endless futile battle. It was futile in part because every flower he missed would develop a beautiful puff of seeds. My sister and I could not help but make a wish and blow them all over our yard. Even without our dubious help Grandpa was bound to fail. Dandelions not only are great at spreading their seeds, they have a taproot that is ten inches long. If any of the roots remain in the ground, the plant will continue to grow. My grandpa has been gone for many years. His house where I grew up was leveled. But when I visit the empty lot, I am greeted by dandelions.
You might wonder at my fixation on weeds today. I recently bought a home in Grantsville, Maryland and I am learning all about property and yard maintenance. So many local friends and family members have been guiding me through this process. It has been a busy and challenging time. I have been on the road often speaking about advocacy. When I am home, I unpack boxes.
I am creating a micro gallery in my house in the room that was once designated the living room. It has it own entrance and own interior doors, so I think it will make an excellent small gallery in Grantsville. (Let me know if any of these paintings interest you. Most are available to purchase to help support my continued mission.) The gallery in my home is not the only micro gallery I am working on.
Many of you have asked about when will we have our large Washington, DC gathering of the Walking Gallery of Healthcare. This year we are having many small gatherings around the world instead of one large one. Throughout 2013/2014 we had several small gatherings. We met at MEDX at Stanford in September.
We met at Planetree in Montreal in October.
We were at HIMSS in February.
Several of us were gathered at Rev 2014 in DC on May 9th.
There were many more events where members attended singly or in small groups without official conference recognition. Thank you for spreading the word!
We have several upcoming gatherings. On June 3rd we will meet in Baltimore at the American Heart Association event QCOR14: Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Conference. Our gathering will be from 5:30-7:30 during the poster session at the Baltimore Hilton. Refreshments will be served. I know this event is at the same time as some health events in DC, but hope to see many of our east coast walkers in attendance.
We will gather at DIA14: Drug Information Association Annual Meeting in San Diego at the San Diego Convention Center on June 16th from 4-6pm. This reception is being hosted by DIA in honor of the Walking Gallery of Healthcare. I hope to see many of our west coast Walkers at the event. We will have a few other small gatherings in 2014 and I will alert you as they come up.
In Summer 2015, I plan on having a large event here in Garrett County Maryland. I would like to create a conference that embraces all of us on many levels. I think it will be a kind of Burning Man meets Health 2.0 in a rural mountain community. I am already connecting with scientists who are also acrobats, doctors who are musicians and fire dancers focused on healthy living. It should be an epic event. The large 2015 gathering of the Walking Gallery will be at that event.
Meanwhile my fellow dandelions, I see you flying from venue to venue. You number over 300 walkers and 24 artists. You are planting new seeds with really deep roots. You are causing folks to ask important questions inspired by your stories. You are changing hearts and minds and helping wishes come true.
I pray that I will see you soon.
Your friend, Regina Holliday