Saturday, May 22, 2010

Must write.. must write...

Who knew I was one of those people who needs to write, in the same way as I need to eat or shower...?

It's been a big week of writing and reading, and sharing and being so unbelievably amazed at the generosity of people.

I've been gathering stories from other mothers, who share the experience of parenting an autistic child. And the more I gather, the more they offer. The more women who write, the more they want to write. Amazingly, the more their friends and associates and co-passengers on the 'a' word boat want to write.

I've never been someone who writes a journal. I've always secretly thought people (especially girls) who fill in their diaries were a bit weak. There's a nasty secret I've been carrying around for 30 years or so. I thought the whole 'Oh how I love... whoever' or 'blah-blah is a meanie' was a complete waste of physical, mental and creative energy.

But then I started this blog, and then I 'met' other bloggers and then... I started collecting the words of other woman who share some of my experience. Not about lurve or dreams or secrets... about life. The big stuff. At least the stuff that I think is big.

What a snob I am. I am truly a judgmental fool.

Because this week, I've seen the magic that can be unleashed in the words of women - from the lives of women who have faced one of the nastiest fear beasts there is... learning your child has a disability.


It cuts to the core of why I'm doing what I'm doing. It slaps me in the face with my life experience, my life choices and my accumulated life skills. It makes me think a lot about how and why I have arrived at this point in my life.

Where was the point where I thought I could pull off this writing lark? What made me think it was worth pursuing? Why didn't I stop and go get a job in a bank (apart from the unfortunate armed hold-up at the video shop workplace of my teenage years)?

There have been some cracker moments in my writing life.

When a shy outcast kid in a primary school stood up in the audience of a play I'd written by adapting his prose into performance and said, 'I liked my bit the best' and got a round of applause from his peers.

Or when a play I had written was performed at the site of the Port Arthur Massacre, and brought parents to tears when they saw their children laugh for the first time since horrific tragedy invaded their lives.

Or when I saw words I had written being interpreted in song by children whose voices came through their hands...

I've been truly fortunate.

And this week, again, I was humbled by the ability and opportunity I have managed to assume. It's not about the writing, per se. It's about the permission to speak. It's about having a moment to share and to shine. It's about trusting your gut.

This week, I have shared in the hilarious and the hideous. I have laughed and cried and been angered and left dumbfounded and been ultimately inspired...

So, thanks all you women who know who you are. The world will be a better place for your courage and your conviction. That much I know. The trust that you have laced in me is humbling, but the strength that exists in you is even more so.

In the words of someone more wise than I... You Rock.

A few last things.

1. My friend Jenni is a wife and mother, and a teacher and an autistic person. This week she showed me that autistic people need only to have the world understand and need them to succeed.  It is our (the NT and the NT-ish among us) responsibility to open our minds and our practical perceptions. Jenni has gifts that her autism both informs and transcends. She is a human being of great talent and drive. She and I achieved something incredible this week. In doing so, she showed me that autism doesn't impede achievement, if it can be respected, affirmed and embraced. She showed me that skill, talent and passion conquers all. The rest is mere details.

2. Holy dooley, there are some amazing things to learn when you amass the experience of a bunch of people in the same position in life. I hope to heaven it gets into print, and I hope people read it. There is so much to learn about autism, and I believe very much that there is a lot to learn from this collection of stories.

3. He-who-thinks-blogs-are-stupid is an amazing human being. I know I'm nuts. I know I'm unpredictable. I know I throw curve balls all the time. I am unspeakably fortunate to have a back up, sidekick, partner, guide like him.

This has been a hell of a week. Who knows what might happen next week?

It will have to involve a real-eo, tru-leo big pet dragon to top what I've experienced already.


Katie said...

Val, you're amazing. You give others a voice...

And Jenni is a profoundly amazing person... ITA :)

Sorry I wasn't able to help. I'm still lost without a way out... but I'm getting there. Great job to all of you who have busted your you-know-whats!!!

Lisa said...

It never ceases to amaze me how serendipitous life is. Everyone just does what they do, half the time having no idea why, the other half the time doubting.

Then you get magical moments, lightbulb moments, ah-ha moments, and this was all worth it moments.

Now, back to your writing and editing, woman! Haven't you got a deadline to meet?