Today was one of those days. What kind of day? That kind of day. The kind of day when something happens and all you can think about is how excited you are to write. The kind of day where something reminds you SO MUCH of what life must be like for ‘your person’ on the spectrum and you CANNOT wait to tell the world.
Today was that kind of day.
It started normal.
Leave for church. Near tears because he felt rushed and didn’t want to wear a jacket and wasn’t really ready to leave home (no warnings issued).
Church. Lots of movement, lots and lots of movement.
Sunday School. He was supposed to help with a volunteer project – he was trying – but boooooy…he was unfocused.
Then, he went to a friend’s house and I was, honestly, thankful. We both needed a break – and I had to attend a performance on campus.
A performance entitled, “Love & Information” by Caryl Churchill. It has 57 (yes, 57) vignettes of sorts. 57 of them…in two hours. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin…but especially if you are on the spectrum. The play “ingeniously and exhaustively mirrors our age of the splintered attention span.” ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/theater/love-and-information-by-caryl-churchill-at-minetta-lane.html?_r=0)
Think about 57 scenes in two hours, that means each scene last an average of 2.1 minutes. Something new and different every 2.1 minutes. See this stage?
The foreground of the stage was continually changing – Facebook messages, youtube videos, snap chat photos, you name it – it was there. This in itself made me think about Tucker’s life. I was longing for him to be there. Well, not really – if he became antsy we would have had to leave – but now I want to take him and gauge his reaction.
Is this how his brain works? I already know he mostly thinks in pictures – are there constantly pictures/videos flipping through and replaying in his brain? What if you put an overwhelmed brain into an intentionally overwhelming setting? Would the brain and setting match or would they repel?
This is what usually happens when I go to live theatre. I am left with so many questions. As a former performer I am entranced, enthralled…exhausted by the time the show is over because I find myself on edge. On edge from remembering the exhaustion that comes with the exhilaration of performance.
What I really wondered was this..is Tucker an old soul? As I watched the play and participated in a talk-back session I wondered even more. Life just moves so fast. Television camera angles are quick and choppy. Mash-ups and ‘dance versions’ of popular songs are created to get rid of long, drawn-out endings. It seems like we are in constant movement. In school –
one class to another
one sport to another
one performance to another
one assignment to another
one subject to another
one book to another
always moving forward – yet, with little time for real reflection.
Maybe he was simply born in the wrong generation? He wants time to reflect. His favorite cartoon from a very early age? The original Scooby Doo – especially the episodes that have flash-backs. Time to reflect upon Scooby’s life.
He struggles with his peers, but if I dropped him off for coffee at 6 AM with the old guys in town? He would be in heaven, they are reflecting upon their lives.
Maybe this play perfectly described Tucker’s struggle and strength. While the play “deals with the ways we lust for, process and reject knowledge.” The struggle is in the speed at which the information comes, the strength is in the love, relationships, and reflection between people. I couldn’t help but to think how he ‘lusts for the processing of knowledge” and the reflection upon his life.
Maybe he wasn’t born in a past generation – maybe he is from a future generation trying to get me (us) to slow down. To process the now…to not be so anxious for the next thing. He wants something more, a deeper connection. He wants time to process, to experience life. He wants to slow down a bit…and reflect on all of the Love & Information….