So much to be thankful for…

This blog post stems from a shorter one that I do on my Facebook page, I like to say something fitting for special occasions and this being Thanksgiving, it certainly qualifies.

One of the things that you may have noticed in reading my blog is that I try to expand my explanations as best as I can, like a translator working between two very different; very unique societies.

I’m thankful for God, for making me who I am.

I’m thankful for my family; for those I hold dear to me as well as my friends (Spectrumites or not) because you all see me as I am, with my faults and virtues.

I’m thankful for my job, my co workers, supervisors and managers, humble as my job is, it challenges me to do better than I do the day before, in doing better, they see, I become a better person and vice versa.

I’m thankful for my community for being so kind, compassionate and understanding towards me and those around me. Though work still needs to be done, with the bridges we build, we can all make the world a better place.

I’m thankful for Libraries, Librarians, artists of all disciplines, and so many other people in my life that make a difference by just being themselves..

But most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you, who support my blog, that read these posts which are my life. To those who criticize my posts, well I thank you as well, because your criticism makes me a better writer, I know I need to improve or Socrates’ problem would have no meaning (“All that I know is that I know nothing” just for those who are curious) so thank you all for your support, critique and for you just being you to me and helping us all…

Shine on!!!

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Packed Out Poetry: Learning to Forgive and Forget

How many of us, Spectrumites and otherwise, have been mistreated so much that forgiving seems to be a hard (impossible?) thing to do, especially for things that were really out of our control?

All I can say is that it does happen but I try to show mercy by forgiving the person, in the model of St. Faustina, I’ve been recently reading her Diary (Divine Mercy in My Soul, for those interested) and the common theme of the Diary, in her life, was that no matter what she suffered, she always was merciful to others and to God.

It was in that spirit that I composed “Mercy“, a poem that shows us that giving mercy, while not always the easiest choice, can be the most settling, one where both feel as if both have a clean conscience. I share this poem in the hopes that we might be merciful to others as we are to ourselves, so without further ado:

Mercy

by Brian Liston

-Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

St. Matthew 5:7

I.

It is easy-

too easy

blaming others,

make them suffer

for mistakes,

no reason why

‘just because’,

their simple reply.

The hallways

echo the silent refrain,

“Conform is the norm.”

II.

A

child

sits alone

at a table

left with only

their thoughts,

imperfections,

humiliations,

as friends.

A stranger

new to the area

asks to sit near him

they chat for a while-

he finds out her name is Mary-

she related to her new friend’s

troubles;

she’s been there before

says something profound

to comfort him.

“To show mercy,

to forgive those who have

wronged you;

to worry;

care for those

who couldn’t care less,

more precious than gold.”

In short,

to forgive

both them

and yourself;

to show mercy

simply said

is divine.”

Give thanks always, be merciful as much as you can and never let things cause you to not…

Shine on!!!

Words: the Fundamental Conundrum.

Words can be confusing!!

That’s no contradiction, words can used to build bridges and be harmful, they can be used to share information and rumors alike (especially in the political world, but enough about that.) One apt example can be seen in the first Home Alone movie and the character of Old Man Marly, an old man who looks scary but you later find out that the rumors aren’t true.

That is not me being a contradiction, but consider how words are used in our everyday life, we use words that may have been lost in translation and later on, we wonder the context behind them. The late comic genius George Carlin made fun on these topics frequently on his stand up specials and those concepts are still funny today as they were then, perhaps they are funny since they have some truth to them….

Now, imagine being me, a Spectrumite who can have trouble, not so much with words, but with social cues. Street names and route number are good, but without visual clues to help, I feel lost especially in the big cities. The point is that I think in pictures, like my Autistic Hero, Dr. Temple Grandin, and when words come into play, I sometimes feel bad when things are lost in translation.

To help my cause socially improve, when I meet new people, I like to heed the words of Dr. Grandin, and observe nuerotypicals in their natural habitat, then there are times when observing recalled that I couldn’t just observe, but needed to be an active participant. Being a bartender’s son made particpation a requirement for me to try to talk to others, which has made it easier with practice and more forgiving audiences, those who knew me from my family. The community that I live in has helped me more and more each day but still the problem exists, mild as it can be at times.

That said, though, I know that my struggle with words and tones people use is nothing like the misunderstandings that Spectrumites like me have dealt with and continue to deal with to this day, but with support, understanding and encouragement, we can overcome our shortcomings and stand alongside out brothers and sisters, together finding a way to….

Shine on!!!