Mar 12, 2007

Mozart and the Whale

I went to the library in my home town for a screening of Mozart and the Whale. It's a fictional story based on the real life account of Jerry and Mary Newport. They are both in the Autism Spectrum. I think that they are both Aspies.

Jerry was there to introduce the movie, answer questions, and autograph books. While, the characters in the movie are Donald and Isobel, and it is a fictional account, he mentioned that much of the movie is very true to their lives.

It was painful to watch as I saw much of me in the Donald Morton character. I'm not even close to being that smart. Early in my life, I learned to sublimate Aspie behaviors so that no one would see them. The movie cracked me open so that I couldn't hide. He also reminded me of Michael. I also saw aspects of myself in the edgier, slightly out of control side of the Isobel Sorenson character. The art and music that just sort of erupts out of her brain unbidden. I've sublimated much of those instincts in ways she did not in the movie.

There is a scene in the movie in which Donald informs Isobel that he is bringing his boss home for to have dinner. He asks her to be on her best behavior. That sets her off. It would set me off, but it would all happen inside my head. When Donald arrives home the home is in order and everything is ready, but Isobel proceeds to say all sorts of outrageous things. I became so uncomfortable watching her do this, Donald's reactions, and the bosses look of . . . bemusement(?), that I had to get up and leave. It was overwhelming. It was happening to me (or so it felt).

So often stories are real inside me. A cathartic, and I didn't like the way things were going. So I left the room, and then realised that I was still in a library. Then I felt better. It was like the time worn, honor bound, binding of a hundred great classics called out to me, "We are still here". I could feel the aged roughness of their bindings on my hand as I touched them. Yet I was standing on a balcony overlooking the reference section. I could still feel them. It was like they pressed forward to comfort me. It was as if they were saying, "We are books. All is well." And I felt better.

I walked down one flight to actually see these idealised books, but I wasn't sure where they might be. I still browsed some bindings. I didn't expect to see the Iliad quietly waiting for me on the shelf or Chaucer, or Shakespeare. I have yet to read those things, but they have stood the test of time without significant change. Perhaps one of my idealised friends is an old leather bound family Bible (KJV translation). I imagine that it has been passed down from generation to generation. Births, deaths, and family history have been recorded in the front pages, but more importantly it's innards have been rumpled and work from daily faithful family reading over generations. It is truly a comfort that the faith upon which I have based my life and my future is bound in a book.

The Bible is a book that has stood the test of time, the assault of critics bent on exposing it as a fraud, and the attempt of frauds to twist it to their own ends. It has survived and flourished, because it can be studied, tested, and found true.



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