Thursday, February 3, 2011


Imagine that when you woke up this morning, you were somewhere else, not in your home, in your bed. You woke up outside! Your surroundings look familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Maybe this is a dream, you wonder. Maybe you are in another country, or maybe a state you had never visited. You force yourself to move around, to come to full alertness. You notice that you were lying in the middle of what looks like a large floating patch of twigs and mushed up tree leaves. This entity is moving lazily along a large expanse of lake of water, floating dirt, plants... a swamp.  You try to beat back panic, because you can’t swim, though you hope that by falling into the water, you will somehow be awoken from this twilight zone.

Now, your specs are beside your bed where you left them last night, so you aren’t sure about what you’re seeing. Figures that look like people are walking towards you. You are elated! Someone may be able to explain what the dickens is going on! As the people approach, you notice that they seem to be walking on the water. Too many vegetable samosas last night, you groan to yourself, wondering what drastic measure you can take to wake yourself up.

The people don’t seem perturbed at seeing you floating on the water, or whatever it was…since they really are standing on it. They start to talk to you, and although you understand the actual words, the order of the words, speed of the words, the syntax, the grammar, everything was wrong! Nothing made sense. They must have seen the look of alarm on your face, as they redoubled their efforts to say whatever it was they felt compelled to share. You decide to share your perplexity and as you spoke, the look on their faces was laughable. Maybe that was the look on your face when they were speaking. They looked shocked, horrified, alarmed, then for some, a look of pity. They started speaking louder, faster, gesticulating more, adding some physical prompts.

They were definitely trying to get you to go somewhere. You resist, still not sure if they can be trusted, and to your amazement and horror, someone hits you behind the knees, while another grabs your falling frame, holds you tightly and throws you over their shoulder. As you scream for help, and pound the back of your captor, the behind-the-knee hitter walks beside you. He motions to his hitting device, a large, bulky object, still help securely in his arms. His face looks kind, but he makes clear that any more behavior like that will be to your disadvantage.

The sun is setting, in the north east! Can things be any more topsy turvy? If there ever was a twilight zone, this is it! Everything in this place is different. You have decided this must be another planet. Maybe you were abducted by aliens in the night. Only, these people sitting around you looking at you curiously aren’t the abductors. They are just as puzzled as you are.

They are trying to be helpful. This morning, they only wanted to get you out of what would become the roadway. The misty water looking thing that people walk on disappears with the rising sun (yup, in the south west) and becomes a passage for travel by their motorized vehicles, a strange looking cross between a cat tractor and a tram car, which somehow drives on the air? Anyway, not knowing how to get you off the bed of twigs, force was their method of choice. Their apparent concern for you was demonstrated many times that day. They offered you something to eat, but the receptacle for the food looked like a toilet bowl! Everyone gathered around and scooped out brown mush (you know what it looked like) and fed it to each other. You understandably put up a fight, and were treated to the previously used persuasion mechanisms. These people also gave each other showers, and all at the same time. It was some kind of weird, I wash your back, you wash mine. Back washing wasn’t so much the problem.

Though not much of a drinker, you are longingly thinking about a full glass of white rum. No matter how bad the taste, the effect may be preferable to this situation. You wonder when this will end, and you resist the persistent thought that the aliens have left you here forever.

When I first got Jaedon’s diagnosis, I imagined this scenario and wondered, what would it take for me to be well integrated into this very different society, so different from my personal norms. It may be easy to survive, but what would it take to do well? To experience connection and mutuality in those connections? To play a part in communal goals and aspirations? In this situation, what would I want? What would you want?

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