I have struggled a little bit with where to begin in sharing my journey through D23, but I’ve landed on the first presentation I attended: the Disney Legends presentation. As I mentioned previously, it is the place where Disney chooses to honor those folks who have made significant contributions to the The Walt Disney Company.
This year Disney chose to honor: Carrie Fisher, Clyde Geronimi, Whoopi Goldberg, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Wayne Jackson, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor and Oprah Winfrey. While I was prepared to be moved (and I was – I even brought Kleenex with me), I was most touched by the speech from someone I’d never even heard of – Julie Taymor.
Julie’s contributions are primarily for adapting The Lion King for Broadway. Here’s a link to her acceptance speech (https://youtu.be/Tt7vQLX_lj4). It’s only a little over seven minutes long, so you might enjoy hearing it yourself. Not only had I not heard of Julie but I must stop and confess right here – I’ve never even seen The Lion King. As I started to write this, I went back and listened to her speech again and found myself in tears again. She shares a story in her speech that, even after I knew how it’s going to end, I found myself trying to keep from sobbing.
As many of you know, this has been a tough year for me – from losing Rainier, to some of the struggles with my health, and other losses. Julie’s story was a gentle reminder to me that, in spite of all of my challenges and loss, I have an amazing circle in my life. I have friends, family and even Rainier (still with me!) who love and support me, and I celebrate with those loved ones all of the goodness I get to enjoy today.
I encourage you to take a moment and celebrate your circle on this day. It takes a tribe to make us complete, so take a moment to stop and be grateful for yours.
I know it might seem cheesy but I thought it might be fun to share with you the closing performance of the Legends presentation. (because we have to close with a song) And in case you’re wondering, I will see The Lion King before this week closes. And who knows maybe even the Broadway version before the year ends.