Short and Raw and then Something New

Lining Up Cars

I see them every day

The cars all lined up

Red with red

Blue with blue

I hear no car sounds

No wheels moving along

They are lined up

As if life is parked

Not moving

Just lined up

Locked up

Within the boundaries of order

Within the boundaries of color

Within the boundaries of autism

 

Lining Up Cars

I see them every day

The cars all lined up

Red with red

Blue with blue

The canvas my son sees

He uses cars to paint

His fingers are his brushes

So perfect, he lines them

He sees what I do not

I see cars

He sees more

Outside the boundaries of names

Outside the boundaries of accepted

Outside the boundaries of my limitations

This is a sneak peek of a poem in the book I am currently writing.  The poems are meant to be read side-by-side, but I couldn’t get that to view correctly on my phone app.  I have a previous ebook on Barnes and Noble called Tyler’s Train: A Mother’s Journey to Improve the Lives of Autistic Children.  It is a shorter book that has some things that have helped me get to where I was when I started the journey of advocating for autism.  It has some insights and tools that I have used that have helped me a lot with Tyler and it also has a lot about being a mother discovering that her child has autism.

My new book is more about figuring out life.  My introduction is currently:

When you put a frog in boiling water, she will jump out.  When you place her in room temperature water and slowly heat it, she will never jump out.

We are ready for the boiling moments in life.  When something drastically changes and we cannot help but notice and react.

What we are seldom ready for are the moments when we look around and realize we have been in boiling water for a long time, but everything changed so slowly, so subtlety, that we were in trouble long before we ever realized it.

Everything around us makes us believe that we have to not only succeed, but blast through success with pose, generosity of spirit, the ability to make time appear out of nowhere, good health, and beautiful table settings.

So when these magical personality traits don’t manifest themselves, we pretend.  We fake it till we make it, right?

Then one day you wake up and realize that you might need to be taking your situation a little more seriously.  You realize your life’s tray is so full that something is going to fall and crash to the ground.  And then you realize that the something just might be you.

You are a frog in boiling water.  Welcome, my friend!

I had that moment.  I have a marriage, two young sons (one with autism), a demanding job, not a young body, and plenty of personality issues myself.  My days alternate between getting a ridiculously huge amount of stuff done and getting nothing done.  I could not tell you the last time I said, “Wow, I had a good day today.”

So I decided I needed to do some purging.  But I couldn’t figure out what to purge.  I had already been responding to the small increases in temperature in my life by letting go of things I couldn’t handle anymore.

I started to blog.  It is hard for me to get my thoughts out of my head and blogging helps me to process all of my stuck thoughts.  Through my blog I started to slowly discover that what I needed to purge was myself.  I needed to unlearn a lot of bad habits that involved how I thought about and responded to life.

We cannot all live in peaceful homes in beautiful places.  We cannot all spend our days tinkering with the hobbies we daydream about.  But I can learn to see the beauty in my life.  The life that I live, and the life that only I can live.  I am tired of dreaming of tomorrow.  I want to live today.

But how?

I would love to hear any ideas of what might be good to include in the book.  Anything that is left unanswered for you so far about people raising special needs children.  I would also love to have you check out my first novel.  I wrote it to help others through my own life lessons.  It is short and a bit raw, but at the time I was a bit short and raw too.  I think it is a good fit for someone leaving a dark place for a better place.

From my heart,

Rachel

(c) Rachel Flinchum 8/12/2013

 

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