What I Saw


Being the mother of an Autistic child, and possibly on the spectrum myself, I completely understood every single thing this girl was saying.  I read this from four different perspectives at the same time.  I read this from the child’s perspective, the adult’s perspective, the onlooker’s perspective, and the poet’s perspective.  This is one of those poems that grabbed my heart strings and yanked on them until I bled.  She doesn’t hold back, and she doesn’t sugarcoat it either.  This is definitely one of the most profound, and real poems I’ve read in a long time.  I do not know the girl’s name, but the link to her blog is included at the end of the poem.  Read, enjoy, and pass on.  Thank you.

“What I saw”

I left the gym, I had to, because the music made me uncomfortable. I stood by the door.

I left the gym, I had to, because the music made me uncomfortable. I stood by the door. 
I waited. I turned toward the door to the gym, and I saw a classmate burst through the door, an aide inches behind him. The aide grabbed a strap on his vest and stopped him cold. The student struggled. Aides thronged at the little windows.
I know what they saw.
They didn’t see someone asking to be taken for a walk. They didn’t see him begging to have some space.
They saw an escape attempt. A noncompliant escape attempt. A student trying to outsmart the teachers, to get his way.
They saw someone who didn’t understand the point of P.E.
They saw a runner.
He pulled away, and the aide pushed him back  through the gym door, shouting “In we go! In we go! In we go,” his hands pulling and pushing as the student dug his heels in. Everyone else “encouraged” from the sidelines. I saw too much happening.
I saw an apraxic struggle. I saw a nonverbal student being pushed through a door in a frenzy of movement, everyone shouting at the same time, bent over with hands thrusting at his back, pushing against the doorframe and struggling to stay upright. I saw too much, too much.
I saw a blur of movement and sounds coming at me from every direction, I saw the ceiling the doorframe the floor somebody’s hands everyone shouting. I saw the final thrust through the door, met with bright lights and cheering, everyone applauding the nice save!
I saw dizzy and disoriented.
I saw what he saw.
I saw a classmate who couldn’t respond to prompts because they were coming too fast, and who couldn’t comply because everything was being thrown at him at once.
He slumped against the gym wall and slammed his head back. The act was met with a sharp reprimand from a by standing aide. And I know what they saw.
They saw defiance. Headbanging behavior. A tantrum.
I saw a student trying to block out external input. I saw. Everyone else gawked and chattered as the other kids did the warm-ups. I stood by helplessly.
I saw a humiliated man sitting against a wall in a corner, helpless and outnumbered, with no way to communicate.

 I saw what he saw, the flash of students flying all around me and I saw people surrounding me, cheering, cheering for the aide as though it was some big victory to drag a student back into a classroom. I saw the world whirling around my head and it hitting the wall just to drown out the noise.I saw that nobody was asking themselves how he might feel. I didn’t just see the defeat, though, the lack of dignity or respect; I saw humiliation. Oh, yes, I saw. Pain.

I watched in horror. I felt for him. I felt with him. An aide, concerned that I had left, asked me if I was ok. Then she smiled at me knowingly. Chuckled, “He’s having a little fit.”
No. That’s not what I saw.
I saw an overwhelmed student trying to escape a hostile environment. An attempt to find a safe place, or a bathroom, or some water.
I saw a hasty and disjointed “rescue” that fried his emotions and ability to think. I saw visual, auditory, vestibular and tactile input slam him like a truck. I saw vestibular upheaval, and I saw desperation and fear and frustration because nobody understood, not one of them. 
They saw a fit.
They didn’t see what I saw.
*****
I know, I mouthed across the aisle. It’s ok. I know. He smiled back at me.
I know.
The bus engine rumbled, and we began to pull out of the lot. They were still talking about him, imputing motives based on their own experience. I knew that he could hear them. That they didn’t really care. That it wasn’t my place to correct them. To try and educate them. Not the student’s place.
 I saw the look on his face, and I knew that nobody understood.
He sat alone, leaning against the vinyl of his seat, his expression fraught with distress, his eyebrows knit. I knew that they were fine, and they could sit there and casually theorize about it, but that he was still coming down. I saw the look in his eyes. I didn’t know what to say.
I saw his hand, resting on the seat. Hesitating, I leaned into the aisle and placed mine next to it. I didn’t know how else to say I support you.
His thumb wrapped itself around two of my fingers, and for a moment it was like that. Then he lifted his hand and took mine in it.
I squeezed. I know.
We stayed that way for about a minute. The bus rumbled down the street, curving around the corners, my hand in his.
They said I helped calm him down. Sometimes people underestimate what it means to acknowledge someone’s humanity. To see it. I don’t know what they thought my gesture was, but we knew what it was. A show of solidarity. A quiet one, not a trumpeting fanfare, but a whisper. I know.
This is what I saw. Very different from what the teachers saw.
I don’t know exactly what he saw. I believe that it was terrifying.
But I hope . . . I hope . . . that after the terror . . . I hope that he saw a friend.
 Kitt
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Towels


I absolutely love how this author compares something as simple as a towel to life and its simplicities.  Life should be simple, and the smallest or seemingly insignificant things have a purpose.  Sometimes, those small things have a bigger purpose than we can readily see.    I honestly wish I had a bit more to say about this poem, but I just don’t.  I love the simplicity of it, the use of a common household item as symbolism for something much bigger.  Yet, it’s also open to the reader’s interpretation.  Bravo, Mr. Hazo, bravo.

 

 

Towels

by Samuel Hazo

What purpose have they but to rub
    skin dry by being drawn behind
    the back two-handed down
    the showered spine or fluffed
    between the thighs and elsewhere?
Yardgoods lack what towels
    proffer in sheer, plump tuft.
Wadded after use and flung
    in hampers to be washed, they clump
    like the tired laundry of men
    who sweat for a living.
                                                    Spun dry
    or spreadeagled to the sun,
    they teach us what renewal means.
Touch them when they’re stacked or racked,
    and what you’re touching is abundance
    in waiting.
                          Imprinted with the names
    of Hilton or the Ritz, they daub
    with equal deft the brows
    of bandits or the breasts of queens.
What else did Pilate reach for
    when he washed his hands of Christ
    before the multitudes?
                                                    Even
    when retired to the afterlife of rags,
    they still can buff the grills
    of Chryslers, Fallingwater’s windows
    or important shoes.
                                                    However
    small, it seems they have
    their part to play.
                                                    But then,
    en route from use to uselessness,
    it’s no small asset ever
    to be always good at something.

“Towels” by Samuel Hazo from The Song of the Horse. © Autumn House Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission.

I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married….


Sometimes a marriage gets stale and monotonous, and we forget to continue learning about our spouse.  The same is true in long term relationships, no matter if you’re gay, straight, bi, or whatever.  Often times, we forget why we got married or who it is we married when life gets busy and stressful.  Our spouse gets neglected, and the marriage fails. I experienced things like this in my marriage…although it was for different reasons.  However, I’ve seen it happen in those around me, and I’ve even seen it in some family members’ marriages.  

We get married, and then we stop dating.  The children arrive, we work more, life gets busier, and before we know it we’re left with an empty house and two people who have no idea who the other truly is anymore.  When we say our vows, we promise not to let anyone get in the way of our marriage…shouldn’t that include the children?  Yes, we have a responsibility to care and provide for our children, but our first promise was to each other.  How can two people parent children effectively, if they’re not on the same page or don’t communicate and stay on track with where the other person is coming from?  Parents, married couples, need alone time to nurture their marriage and check in with each other to keep that spark…that love…alive.  Marriage is a commitment, a promise with your soul, to never leave that person’s side no matter what.  How can that promise stay strong if the marriage isn’t tended to?  

When I read this blog entry, it reminded me of a movie I watched.  I cried my eyes out, because I saw so many of the negatives in my marriage, but no matter what I did nothing worked.  Like I said, my issues were for different reasons.  I didn’t know what the reasons were until we were seven years into the marriage…but that’s not what this particular blog is about.  This blog is about always seeing (not literally, more on a deeper level) the person you’re married to.  As we grow older, we change on the inside.  Our views change when we have children, perhaps we experience something that is life altering and our heart changes, or someone treats us in a hurtful way…our significant other needs to know these things so he/she can understand what motivates you and drives you to do or say what you do.  

The movie I was referring to in the above paragraph is called “Fireproof.”  It’s a beautiful story about a married couple who sort of lose each other, and forget what’s really important in their lives.  It is a Christian film, but the message is true for most religious affiliation. 

This is the entry I read, and the link to the webpage this came from is at the end.  Enjoy!

 

Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor, author, and blogger. And he has a confession that has everyone talking lately. You’ll see why below.

On Jarrid’s blog post titled, “I’m Dating Someone Even Thought I’m Married,” he writes:

“I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.

She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances.

Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life.

Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?

Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end.

I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another.

Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that to ever stop? It shouldn’t. Those butterflies you got on the first date shouldn’t stop just because the years have passed. Wake up each day and pursue your spouse as if you are still on your first few dates. You will see a drastic change for the better in your relationship.

When it comes to any relationship, communication and the action of constant pursuit is key. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to pursue them whole-heartedly.

I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, “I do.”

– Jarrid Wilson”

 

http://www.viralnova.com/married-and-dating/

“Now Winter Nights Enlarge”


I don’t know what it is about this poem that strikes me. Perhaps it’s the subtle use of old words that give it a Shakespearian feel. Perhaps it’s the way the poem makes you feel something without even knowing what you’re feeling. The mystery, or the vagueness of poetry always calls to me. I like reading poetry that doesn’t spell everything out for you. When a poem can make you feel a certain way, even if it’s different than what the author intended, that’s good poetry.

“Now Winter Nights Enlarge”
by: Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o’erflow with wine,
Let well-turned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.