Jun 22, 2006

In the Dark. Literally

Some days I get to work a little after 6am. It’s still dark and the plant where I work is silent except for the lights on the buildings and towers. Isn’t that a weird way of saying it? To me when it’s dark it’s also silent. The manufacturing plant is never silent. Large fermentation and other machinery are always running. Yet as I walked toward my office building in the half light it seemed quiet.

I wonder if that mixed way of saying things is just me, an Aspie way of speaking, or some aspect of sensory jumbling? Temple Grandon wrote an interesting paper on sensory jumbling and other sensory difficulties http://www.autism.org/temple/visual.html).

When I was a child I always enjoyed getting up very early for a vacation. Everything was veiled in dimness. Even the cabin lights in the plane were kept low. It seemed peaceful. Today, I walk into my office building, and everything is dark accept for street light illuminating the windows. I leave the lights off and enjoy the enveloping quiet. I have a small desk lamp in my cubicle for just those times.

I remember as a kid people would say, “Don’t you want the lights on?” They would be switching all of the lights on as they said this, which really means that either they want the lights on or they want me to want the lights on. I was never sure which, and they never give me a chance to say no. Sometimes I would turn them back off, but they would usually get switched on by the same person or a new person waltzing by.

This morning the quiet of the twilight peace lasted about 5 min. A coworker switched on all the lights and the brightness shouted into my mind. Not all of the peace is gone. There is a certain spiritual peace that I can reach and nurture inside my mind. That is a peace that I treasure when all the lights are shouting.

Adam Parmenter

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