Moth in my screen.

Moth pollinating plant at night.

Computer screen shows
Moths flitting through air currents
Halfway cross the world

People are always saying that the interactions available online are too artificial, not real enough, not connected to nature, or any number of other complaints.  And as someone who learns best through senses not covered in online experience yet, I understand this sentiment completely.  However, I’m also someone who spent six years in bed.  During that time, seeing images from nature from all around the world was very important to me.  It gave me a chance to connect to things that, without a computer, i wouldn’t have even known existed.  And of course, I am always weirded out by a culture that sees beaver dams as natural and computers as artificial.

Haiku is a kind of poetry that, in its highest forms, evokes the natural world.  I wanted to write a poem showing how computers can connect us to nature, and haiku seemed like by far the best kind of poetry for the project.  I could have made this into a tanka, too — a haiku with two extra lines.  But i felt like I would use those lines for an explanation, and this poem needed to be able to stand on its own.  So I wrote the poem, wrote the explanation, and put it behind a cut so it would not show unless you wanted to read it.


2 thoughts on “Moth in my screen.

  1. Hi Amanda, I found your writings and information on you tube. Mentioned in Temple Grand in book…The way I see it. My lovely daughter has Austism and I am wondering if you could share information with me? Everyday I wake up and wonder how I can help her to learn things I think will help her have the best life she I always want for my children. And everyday..I feel like I’m grasping at straws. Sometimes I think I am learning what I need to do, and othertimes I feel like I’m chasing the hope that someday I will know what to do. The best way to teach all the things she didn’t get the chance to in school because they didnt know how to teach her with the other students..Can you help me?
    Read so many books…writings..always from people talking ABOUT people with autism. Not really their voice…or thoughts I should say. You are the first.
    The worst part about caring for a person you love who has Autism, is always feeling like a rookie. I want to communicate with her in some way…suggestions?
    I hope you will answer back…Im so hopeful! Your poems are very good…quite emotionally gripping..for me.
    Thanks Michelle


    • Hi, and thank you… I understand your situation is important, I am also sorry I did not see your comment for a long time, because I don’t respond to commens very quickly due to autism-related inertia problems and life keeps getting in the way and stuff. But I can’t really commit to that kind of thing, I’m sorry. There are a lot of autistic people out there however, who are sharing their experiences and might be just as likely to give you good information. By a lot, I mean there’s dozens of authors of autobiographies and the like, and easily hundreds maybe thousands (I’m not too good at counting) of people who are out there on the Internet talking about their lives, including many who interact regularly and directly with parents. Autism Network International is one place to start, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network is another — neither exist for the benefit of parents, but both contain a lot of autistic people who are knowledgeable about autism some of whom share their experiences willingly with parents. I have no idea what either organization is up to lately, so this isn’t an endorsement exactly, I just know they exist and are large and are out there. Also there’s a place called the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism that I think is a mix of parents and autistic people mostly, which may be a good place for resources, I don’t really go there either but I’ve heard of it and it seems decent.

      Also when looking for people who might have information about what your child is going through, don’t worry too much about outward appearances or which diagnosis a person has specifically. Like, there are going to be peopel who are very similar to your child, and people who are nothing like your child. But in my experience, those similarities and differences are not easy to spot on the surface. It’s not a matter of when someone began to talk, or if they began to talk, or if (like me) they started and then stopped and then started again and gradually lost it and got some of it back and lost it again and etc. Those are mostly externals. The real similarities and differences come down to how we experience the world, and you can get one person with two PhD’s and an Asperger’s diagnosis and a job and a spouse and kids, and another person who only ever graduated from special ed and was diagnosed with autism or PDDNOS and who has been nonverbal their entire life and lives in a group home, and those two people can be more similar to each other than either one is to people others see as “more like them”. So to find people who are really similar to your child you will probably have to expose yourself to a large number of people and keep an open mind as to whose experiences seem to match theirs the best. You may find the person who matches them the best on the inside looks nothing like them on the outside, or you may find they’re identical in even how they look, it all depends.

      I’m saying that because a lot of parents come to me because of how I look in my videos or because I’m currently nonspeaking, and they assume that only a person who moves like me in those videos (which are old, prior to a health crisis that drastically changed my movement patterns in some regards) or only a person who doesn’t speak (even though I grew up speaking, after an initial loss and regaining of speech in early childhood — it’s a long story, and I try to be open about it but people always forget it no matter how many times I clarify), could possibly relate to their child who maybe moves likes that or doesn’t speak. And it’s not true. There’s people who move in ways others would see as similar to me, and who don’t speak, who are absolutely nothing like me. And there’s people who do speak and don’t move anything like me (at least, not the way others see it — they might or might not have underlying similarities of movement that others don’t pick up on usually) who are as close to my cognitive doppelgänger as it’s possible to get and still be a separate person. And I think that’s true for most autistic people — the outward appearance (especially as interpreted by people who don’t always know what they’re looking at) is not the inward reality, or at least is not the whole story. So if that’s why you’ve asked me in particular, I can say there’s lots of other nonspeaking people out there, and lots of other people who move like me out there, but I can also say that neither of those are necessarily good guides as to who will have the best understanding of your child. They are two factors out of easily dozens that differentiate different autistic people’s experiences from each other, and the rest of the factors can be far more important, and usually are. Speaking vs. nonspeaking is just not a good way of figuring out whether two autistic people are going to have similar experiences of the world overall. It has some effect but not nearly as much as people give it.

      And also the way I’m portrayed in the media and in books and stuff is a vastly oversimplified version of my life, at best, and a highly distorted one at worst. It’s not who I am. In many cases, I’ve taken pains to represent myself accurately to the media and gotten a very distorted representation back regardless. So when people describe me in passing, they’re often describing a media image of me rather than the actual person I am. That’s important to keep in mind with anyone who’s ever been described in public — often people develop an image of us that is more powerful to most people than the reality of who we are, and we end up suffering the consequences.

      I’m sorry again that I can’t be of more help, but all I can do is point you to other people as resources, I can’t really be a resource myself. I wish I could, but I know I don’t have the energy, I know my inertia is so bad right now that I can’t even keep up with my closest friends (I’m shockingly socially isolated at the moment compared to how I used to be and compared to how I want to be, and most of it comes down to inertia), and it’s not fair to make promises I can’t keep. So that’s why I’m saying I can’t do it, it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because I really can’t and I don’t want to get your hopes up and then inadvertently walk out of your life because that’s what would happen. Better to find other people.

      Liked by 1 person

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