I’m old and fortunate to be old. I’m stable, content and happy to be where I am, and the truth is that living as I do, in a small town in Wyoming, with a sublime wilderness that begins a block from my house and extends for thousands of square miles, is 90% of why I’m alright. I found my “self” in a landscape that supports me. Visual. No words, few people. I’ve come to think of the land as me. It strikes me as very odd that this relationship that I have with place doesn’t “count” as a profound and satisfying relationship in the “official list” of what it means to be human – Neurotypical version.
And what is remarkable, is that from this considerable distance from population centers, I have discovered humanity in my own way, without the judgments, criticisms and narrow categories that I’m supposed to use to discriminate between who has value and who doesn’t. I’m a visual thinker, and like many so-called Asperger individuals, what I know about people, can’t always be translated into words. The image is always specific and detailed: individual humans cannot be subsumed into abstract concepts of behavior by which a person is diminished. I see and know: visual perception is direct, not generic.
The mistake that social people make is that if a person can’t communicate in words, then nothing important is “going on” in the person. But if they could see what I sense and see – in silence is 90% of the iceberg. But they can’t. I think that the sadness that social exclusion brings is this: to be so in love with physical reality and not to be able to share that happiness with people who are locked into a man made world that is immune to natural law, but filled with bad instructions. I’m comfortable with complexity; from complexity one sees the simplicity of the whole. Why does “what is” frighten social people, who must attack, engulf and erase whatever they don’t understand? How many human possibilities have been sacrificed to this goal of utter domination of the earth by the limitations imposed by the few?
There is no simple answer. The earth provides us with everything we need – and man takes it away, and that is especially true of those who take it upon themselves to define who “counts” who is “less than” by religious judgment or by academic arrogance. The Asperger instinct for equality and justice necessarily challenges this distortion:
“Who made you boss, who made you a god?”