The Gift of Autism part 1: Drink it in, Man!!!

Creativity, for me, is less a word, but more of a process, one you can always plan for when it hits you (even when you have to do things on the fly) but creativity is something that really can’t be rushed. It really can’t be rushed along, or as Alton Brown says, “your impatience will be punished.”

Creativity is the flexiblitiy to know that as things change, in life and other things, you can always change to fit the respective situation. But for every gift, people ask me where my creativity comes from, well, let’s just say that for every flame that one sees, there’s always a spark that it can be always traced back into.

I guess that my creative spark can be traced back to my late Grandfather, who was a well known poet in his hometown in Limerick, a bar he used to frequent has his poem, Garryowen, in a place of honor, as it does in my own apartment. Even though he passed away early on in my life, I somehow feel that we’re connected by poetry, done in different ways, but still beautiful all the same, much like the country that he and I call home: Ireland. Guinness aside, Ireland has so much art, culture and history that I’ve only now decided to delve into my family history to see what family traits that I see in my relatives and to take the lessons of the past and transfer them to my present day.

The spark that was handed down to me by my late Grandfather was nurtured throughout my high school years and I was known for my poems, then as now. Though various teachers helped me grow my talent (and for that I’m so grateful), none had such an impact on me than my late friend and mentor, the Late Larry Berk, who was a librarian at the community college I went to after high school. Larry was a true friend, always encouraging me to keep writing. In time, he became someone that I could confide in, especially when you take into consideration that he saw his sons in me, as we all had another connection: autism.

I met so many fellow artists becuase of him: Linocutter Carol Zaloom, performance poet Mik Horowitz and his partner, Gilles Malkine among so many others. I owe no shortage of gratitude to Larry’s influence because the artistic appreciation and the respect that I have currently for librarians is all due to him and his family who believed in me and my ability to always evolve and….

Shine on!!!


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