Do you ever see art in a natural object that perhaps is edible? I do.
Eggs’ gravity waves fell into the hot skillet with a sizzle; convenient toaster intensely met fresh deli rye bread slices in red hot, electric heat until a crispy brown.
Scrambled eggs and toast plated at my place at my dining table aside a cup o’ freshly chopped pineapple chunks soaked in it’s own tropical juice nourished me for this meeting with you now online.
Whole fresh pineapple as an art object evokes wonder in me as a visual artist; it is a favorite natural object within our home to ponder with it’s bonus sweetness when enjoyed cut up and juiced!
What are your early memories of fresh food? Where were you and why?
Suburbs were home most of my life; I bought food in stores. To explore fresh pears on my grandparents’ Indiana lawn during summer reunions as a child was a novelty. The sturdy and mature pear tree dropped it’s succulent fruit on the grass until someone or something savored these pears’ flavorful freshness.
The local public library to me always felt like a home away from home. Explorations led to a certain familiarity to know which genres of writers’ works I liked best; frequent visits matured my adventures to know which sections of the library held objects to check out or enjoy right there in the library.
One day when I was around 8 years old, at home I searched through my older sister’s bookcase. I found a paperback book likely required reading for my sister’s high school level English course. We lived in Larchmont, New York; Mamaroneck High School’s recommended reading for my sister 9 years older was not on my level as a third grade student.
I skimmed sections of the book like a stone tossed across the surface of a creek. The title was Dibs In Search of Self. The close up, cover portrait photograph of a healthy seeming young boy, not much younger than my 8 year old self back then, pulled my curiosity like gravity.
Dibs In Search of Self; personality development in play therapy, Virginia M. Axline, (1911-1988) Boston. Houghton-Mifflin. Copyright 1964. All Rights Reserved.
A skill I developed is firm courage during the most difficult chapter of adulthood, as I raised 2 children, one with severe multiple disabilities. In hindsight my memory of Axline’s book Dibs is choppy at best, a partial grasp of a story about a boy who did not have much in common with how I played as a child although he looked well in his appearance.
Axline in Dibs‘ story relates so well her reported case that many copies sold. The best seller likely for many readers introduced autism as a condition by a psychologist who treated Dibs with play therapy sessions. Little did I realize then that one day my own child with disabilities would be a great teacher of mine, that I would one day look at many individuals with disabilities, including autism as higher functioning than my own child’s plight in development.
Dear Reader, perhaps you also have a loved one who’s presence, or birth, with special needs resulted in unexpected growth in your courage?
If so, what is, or, what felt most difficult or scary to you as you maintained this loved one’s relationship with you?
I reveal this child of mine and his special needs here for one of the first times in five years of writing publicly. Key family members have not granted their permission to publish in any form about them; sometimes descriptions will be imprescise.
Being an intentional writer this is my choice; my object is to select careful approaches in creative non-fiction works. As a caring individual I care about how others will feel if publicly written about, like the ripples of a stone tossed to skip across the surface of a pond.
Being twenty-seven when my child entered this world, I felt that certain grandeur of being able to do anything within reason while at the same time feeling beyond sick at this profound parental responsibility. To Be Continued.
In the comments below or in your journal please answer the following.
Have you ever known a person with special needs?
Have you sensed that this person had an unusual compensation for her disability or disabilities?
What lessons did you learn from knowing this person and her team of caregivers, teachers, family and friends?
When life’s surprises and shocks us do we think to look for the reason?
Do we have to know the reasons?
In our humanity, can we know the reasons for such suffering?
Are you similar to me in that I wait mindfully for the benefit of hindsight to seek the wisdom of that lesson?