I am leaving for Jerusalem tomorrow. I will be covering the Icare4Autism Conference and am meeting Kamila and Henry Markram, the neuroscientists and creators of The Intense World Theory for Autism. I intend to continue to post as usual, Monday through Friday, but because of the time change and depending on my level of jet lag, my posting times may be a bit wonky.
I am very nervous about this trip. Not because of the traveling, but because we will be away from Emma for a full week, which marks the longest we’ve spent away from her since she was born ten and a half years ago. I have gone over our itinerary with her. I have spoken to her about how many days before we return, we have studied the calendar together. We have discussed what she will do while we are gone. But still, I am nervous. Whooooo. Breathe.
Today I pack while trying to remember to breathe. Emma will be fine. She will be okay. Breathe. Try not to panic.
I’ve never been to Jerusalem and am excited that Richard will be accompanying me. This was where we had intended to go for our honeymoon, (with our then nine month old son, Nic in tow, making it less a honeymoon and more an insanely, ambitious trip with a baby) had made our reservations to spend Christmas Day and the following week at the King David Hotel, then had planned to spend New Years Eve in Giza at a hotel overlooking the pyramids, a week in Cairo, then a side jaunt to Lebanon and Petra before returning to Jerusalem. In all we had planned to be gone for three weeks. Two months before our wedding the intifada broke out and we were advised, because we were traveling with a baby, not to go. We still have all the guide books with their dog-eared pages marking the places we’d hoped to see.
This time we will have just three days of sight-seeing before the conference begins. But, as with so many things that have to do with Emma and Autism, the synchronicity of the following events is not completely lost on me. Just over eight months ago our lives and by extension Emma’s radically changed because of the links I was finding to Autistic blogs. I’ve shared those posts and blogs on here. During that same period I came across the Markram’s Intense World Theory and Richard and I, through our research, learned they were going to be in Jerusalem in August presenting their work at a conference. At the time I didn’t know it was a conference focused on Autism. I remember Richard and I joked with each other, wouldn’t it be great to figure out a way to go to Jerusalem and meet them? It was a joke, literally, neither of us for a moment seriously considered the idea. And life continued.
This past spring, I was invited to be on a panel and give a talk at the AutCom Conference in Baltimore this coming October. I accepted the invitation. And again life continued. Not long after that invitation, I received a letter from the “State of Israel” asking if I would like to be their guest to cover the ICare4Autism Conference in Jerusalem this August. When I received that letter I read it to Richard and we just looked at one another. I will never forget the expression on Richard’s face. It was a slow motion grin that didn’t end with me saying something like, “How weird is this?”
Sometimes life throws stuff at you and you know, you just know you have to figure out a way to grab the opportunity. So we did. And now we’re going. How exciting is that?
Thank you Liz!
This is amazing. Have a wonderful time. One of my dear friends has been there and loved it, said it was indescribable. Hope you have been well…..been out of touch with the world lately. And hugs to Emma!!!
Happy to hear from you, and hugs to you and your Emma!
It is WAY COOL exciting. Sometimes the universe just lines itself up in the most wonderful way and when it does just follow its lead. I have found these times to be the most charmed. Enjoy. Breathe. Soak it in. I know we all are looking forward to hearing the stories! 🙂
Thank you Charlotte.
State of Israel chose well. Have a wonderful family moon.
Have a great trip!
Thanks E. Really looking forward to hearing more about yours!
Hi Ariane! Emma is writing you an email. I wanted to let you know that I had her read the paper The Intense World Theory right after I was introduced to your blog by our friend Amy Sequenzia. I will let Emma explain her response to it. In stark contrast to my personality, I have remained quiet between you two as Emma introduces herself. I only write here to hope you will keep a “heads up” for her email. Her answer to your question from facebook was yes, however. For all of “us”, place a note in the Wall with prayers for health and happiness.
Oh good, can’t wait to read her email. I will begin checking obsessively now for it! LOL! Just put her blog on my blog roll. I will most definitely place a note in the Wall, for my Emma, for your Emma, for all the Emma’s in this world.
I am in your same side in your same chruch LOl. I do believe in serentipity ( a happy accident) You may not Know to look when to see it THINK HARD.I know you
will see it! My dream man knocked on my door and he just pissed me off. Than my dream house It never stops!!! Your trip is a shining light. N Y C sat to wed. THAN PARIS AGAN! lol. As long as our budget lets us. XoXo Enjoy!!!
Good for you. Traveling is good for the soul.
Ariane, how AMAZING! What an opportunity! Can’t wait for you to get back and share all that you’ve learned! 🙂
Will miss chatting with you in the meantime, I’m sure you’ll be too busy to post in the comments section much.
You never know, I’m awfully obsessive!!
I love when things come full circle.. like this trip for you! It’s beyond awesome and can’t wait to hear the details! 🙂
Thank you Becky! We are going on an adventure
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