Saturday, April 2, 2011

Signs and Signals

There were signs and signals everywhere. Garish, flashing signals, loud, obnoxious, fast talking signs. Too many random sounds! The lights jump in and out, up and down! It’s all too much. How can people survive this? Running hadn’t helped and I came to an abrupt halt, looking up, hoping for a reprieve from the onslaught. Buildings towered over me, closing in, and there, peeking out far above me was the sky. It called to me, one spot of calm, and quiet, seemingly far away, and yet, so close.

If I close my eyes, I could be right there, up in the sky, away from all this confusion. The wind is blowing gently against my face, the spring sun is just warm enough, touching the skin on my shoulders warming my hair. I close my eyes and enjoy the yellow glow of the sun behind my lids as I spin around, head upturned. Faster, faster, faster! Slower, like a ballerina, delicately dancing over there, running on tip toes across the clouds. The biggest breath I ever took! Almost a sigh. More refreshing, more cleansing, more calming, more grounding. As I flop myself over in a deep bow, to the sun and the sky for the warmth and relief, I’m suddenly jolted. “Hey! Watch what you’re doing! Don’t you see I’m walking here??” The man looked at me with that look, the familiar look, the one that said “Where do these crazies come from?” I glance up at him, but before I could move out of his way, before I could apologize, the previous assault returned with the force of a 747. I double over and curve into a ball, wrapping my hands over my ears and around my body at the same time.

“I’m sorry. She has autism” I hear my mother say, as if from a distance, as she finally catches up with me.

(By the way, if you haven 't yet completed the survey on autism world views, hurry!  Do it now.)

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