Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Affirmative

There seems to be a lot of negative energy in the autism blogosphere lately.

Some of it has surfaced as heated debate; some of it as the normal sadness and discouragement that we all feel occasionally, autism-related or not. Some of it has bloggers I like and respect on the defense because they're feeling personally attacked. Some of it has centered on a controversial ad campaign from the National Autism Association.

I'm starting to realize why the Tylenol Sinus pills I've been popping haven't touched the throbbing pain in my head.

But there's been wisdom in the blogs as well. One thing - one word, in fact - has gotten me thinking.

Yesterday, two different boys in two different stories on two different blogs used one single word:

"Yes."

I don't know Nat or Charlie, and I won't presume that I can deconstruct the levels of meaning in their particular messages (though my hunch is that Susan and Kristina could do it beautifully - perhaps we should add "interpreter" to the list of synonyms for "parent"). But I do know Bud, and I understand his economy of language - why use three paragraphs when three words will do? - so I believe that there was an enormous depth of meaning for them.

Their words - their word - has shaped my thinking all day.

Yes.

I want to use that word more often. To other people. And inside my own head.

I want to use it more, and I want it to mean more. I want it to shape my thinking beyond today.

I know that life is not all sunshine and roses. Charlie and Nat know that, too. But if they can do it - and they can do it - then so can I.

Yes.

4 comments:

Kristina Chew said...

Ita vero! or Clap Your Heads Say Yeah!"

(strong affirmative expression; Latin does not have one word for "yes")

Interpres is Latin for "translator."

Zilari said...

I have actually been noting quite a bit of what I see as "positive energy" lately in this same blogosphere. Yes, there is defensiveness (if you are talking about reactions to the mutant-insect ad campaign) but there is also an undercurrent of, "My child is a whole and worthwhile human being -- autism and all -- and there is no need to call that into question".

As for debates, those will certainly persist so long as people maintain disparate lexicons. You had a really good post about words a while back that, I think, got to one of the major issues in why energies end up being diverted toward argument at times.

MOM-NOS said...

That's interesting, Zilari, and it sort of makes my point for me. You and I read many of the same posts, but while you were inspired by the positive, I was weighed down by the negative. I'm really working on shifting my focus and perspective.

Big Orange said...

I've always felt that E.C.'s butterfly wings were put on upside down. I wonder if that means something...??

OK, that's my non sequitor for the day. I suppose they're using butterflies 'cuz I'd say at least 3/4 of the country still has no idea what autism IS and this is the easiest analogy they can come up with.

ANYWAY, that's a LOT more than 1-3 words. Keep the faith.