Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Howlin' at the Moon

April came and went in a whirlwind.  Paint 'em Blue for Autism went truly world-wide this year.  We had participants from 21 countries that we know of.  The web media had quite a frenzy.  It began with our local newspaper, and within a week, I'd communicated or spoken with SheKnows.com, NBC, ABC, CNN, Huffington Post, both US and UK, and CafeMom.com.  Our local TV station did an interview.  Other TV stations around the US and the world used the story on the wire.  Millions were made aware of the autistic people around them, if only for a moment.   It was an exciting, electric time.  Putting it simply, it was wild.

In the weeks since, I've done a lot of thinking, pondering, analyzing, rethinking, re-pondering, reanalyzing.   I'm on the Spectrum.  It's what we do.
Folks painted.  They cheered.  They encouraged.  A couple of really dear friends even got awareness tattoos, which was moving beyond words to me.

All my pondering, etc. led me to a place best described by a favorite Kansas lyric:

I'm woven in a fantasy.
I can't believe the things I see.
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall,
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost.

Did we really accomplish anything?  Did I accomplish anything?  I've invested time, creativity, effort, and even modified my body.   Nathan still sits home with his family, living a solitary life, seldom if ever sought out by friends, or invited to participate in their lives.   We, his parents are still forced to witness his exile.  This is his senior year.  I fear that once he graduates, he will be forgotten as his peers continue on at a pace he can not match.

This is "my wall".  This is the barrier in my mind that I cannot get past.  I freely admit, my motivation for beginning this was not saintly, nor selfless.  I want to improve Nathan's life.  The whole point is awareness, acceptance, integration.  We seem to have made some progress on the first two, but integration continues to elude. 

Here I stand.  Facing "my wall".  I see no ready hand holds for climbing.  It stretches from horizon to horizon in my conscious mind.  There it stands, unmoving, unmovable, representing the question stuck like a splinter in my mind.

Am I effecting real change, or just howlin' at the moon?

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