Most of you have probably read Jim Sinclair’s famous essay Don’t Mourn For Us. If you haven’t, do. In the Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking Anthology a version of that essay comes after Julia Bascom’s wonderful Foreword. By the way, if you didn’t see the Huffington Post interview I did with Julia regarding the anthology and future projects, you can read that by clicking ‘here‘ and I’ve also embedded a link so those of you who haven’t read the Anthology can buy it and read, because.. well this book needs to be read by every person on this earth AND it’s now available in paperback as well as on Kindle, so who can resist? Here’s the “link” (again) to buy it. Full disclosure – I bought this book for a number of my family members and gave it as a Christmas gift!
I read the anthology as a PDF file first, then I read it again in paperback and now I’m rereading it with my highlighter in hand. There is not a single essay that has not been streaked with neon green highlighter. The anthology has contributions from a wide range of people (a few of my favorite writers are missing, but I am hoping this anthology will be followed with a second that will include writing from E. of The Third Glance (not to be confused with “E.” who is in the current anthology), Aspie Kid, Michael Scott Monje Jr and Sparrow Rose Jones to name just a few.) It’s not the type of book you can really quote from as each piece needs to be read in its entirety to get the full weight and power of it.
Having said that, I have to quote Jim Sinclair and hope that all of you will get the book and read it from cover to cover. Jim wrote, “The ways we relate are different. Push for the things your expectations tell you are normal, and you’ll find frustration, disappointment, resentment, maybe even rage and hatred. Approach respectfully, without preconceptions, and with openness to learning new things, and you’ll find a world you could never have imagined.” “… you’ll find a world you could never have imagined.” This has been my experience, exactly. I think I’ve even said something close to this before. I believe I’ve said finding Autistic voices and reading their words was like being presented with proof that another universe exists, but that I never knew about. So for all of you who need or want proof that another universe, a more wondrous and fantastic universe than is imaginable, read the Anthology and be prepared to have your world changed in the best possible way!
One of Emma’s favorite Imax movies is about the Hubble Space Craft found to have a faulty lens and requires repair. Once fixed, it produces absolutely hallucinogenic images of the universe that are so beautiful it is hard to believe they are real. To me, autism is like those images, beyond anything I could have imagined.
Images taken from Hubble Space Craft
A very nice analogy Ariane, thank you.
Thank you Shenny. I hope you’re feeling better!
Yep. Emma sure loves watching the Hubble DVD. Does she have a crush on Leonardo DiCaprio, the narrator? Does she wonder why they chose a 6’6″ giant to try and squeeze inside the craft to fix it instead of a Chinese contortionist? Is it the groovy music? The astounding views of nebulae giving birth to stars? All of the above? Ariane suspects the music, but I’m not so sure. Every Sunday Emma and I go to the Museum of Natural History and we follow an identical agenda: play the elevator game in the hall with the blue whale, go see the snake bite boy, and then watch Journey to the Stars in the Rose planetarium. I KNOW she likes the music in that one, cause she hums along to it. I’m not sure Whoopi Goldberg’s narration has the same appeal as Leo’s. But there is a common scene of stars being born and supernovas exploding (my cue to tickle her at the BOOM!). I think the appeal is the stars and galaxies and nebulas — and the music. A symphony of creation. Maybe she sees herself, an authentic star child, as mysterious and magical as all the wonders we behold. Dunno, but that’s what I think of her.
That’s what I think of YOU!
I could look at that top picture ALL DAY. Eeeeeee!!!!, as I am wont to say. Yes, look at things differently. I am a bit tired of the “pity” approach. Yours is so refreshing. Thank you.
Aren’t those photographs mind blowing? Just love that.
No ‘pity’ approach here. Been there, done that and it wasn’t fun. This other way of thinking is so much better for the whole family!!
Thank you for naming me, Ariane! I am honored by your mention!
I saw the call for submissions for Loud Hands the day after it closed. Otherwise, I would have sent something in. I have been reading my copy and loving it (even though my old eyes need reading glasses for that small type! But no complaints because it means there are more words in the book!) and I agree — I hope there is a sequel, whether I’m in it or not!
Oh the small print!!! We’ve been joking about how we all need to have our eyes checked. My mother has doggedly been reading her copy, but will be relieved that it’s now available on Kindle as she can choose to read it in the larger font.
If there is a sequel – I will be sure to remind you that submissions are being taken well ahead of time!!
Your analogy is just beautiful!!
First… Happy Birthday, Emma!
Hey Ariane – I am so glad you refer to Sinclair’s essay ‘Don’t Mourn for Us’ (I recommend it to people too). Loving this post!!!