On the other side of nowhere,
Lies an infinite expanse,
Of anything and everything
That doesn't make much sense.
I'm in here, and you're out there;
The picture keeps rewinding.
People laughing, crying, feeling...
I do not understand.
It's almost there within my reach;
But on the other hand,
I'm sliding, slithering, slowly slipping...
The tide has turned, and left the beach.
Pressing onward, pushing hard,
I cannot quit; I must move on.
My ragged feet have timeless trod
A land before, that lies beyond
Behind, sideways, and forward;
Strange and weird, bizarre and odd.
Shimmering meadows glazed in fog...
I see what others cannot hear.
My mindless mind is almost bare;
I stretch beyond Horizon's pier,
Precariously tottering on a log,
On the other side of nowhere...
by Frank George
Friday, April 1, 2011
The Other Side of Nowhere
Hello from my own other side of nowhere! Today is the first day of both National Poetry Month and National Autism Awareness Month. What better way to kick off both than with a poem about autism by someone who is autistic? I found the poem above a few days ago on this site.
Now, I know some of you think today is all about (im)practical jokes and other such tomfoolery, but I don't recognize that holiday. I love a good joke or prank, and I do enjoy the mocked up news stories, but too many people have carried it too far. And honestly, your jokes aren't funny and I'm not fooled. So just quit already. If it weren't for the fact that April 1st begins a month of awareness for two things I am passionate about (poetry and autism, that is), it would be the most annoying day of the year.
Ahem. So, back to what this day is really about. First of all, National Autism Awareness Month. You can read more about it here. Secondly, National Poetry Month. You can find out more about that here. Also, April 14 is Poem In Your Pocket Day, but you don't have to wait until the 14th to carry a poem in your pocket. You can start today and find a new poem for each day if you like. Print the poem above and carry it in your pocket if you like. It was written by an autistic man, but it rings true for me. I feel I've been there before--many times.
That's the beauty of poetry. Poetry is self expression, but good poetry is more. Good poetry ties us all together and helps us see how connected we are. No matter how different we sometimes think we are, we all share some things. Poetry helps us celebrate (and sometimes mourn) both our similarities and our differences and what it is to be human. It helps us understand one another.
How fitting then that National Autism Awareness Month should fall during National Poetry Month. The world could use a lot more understanding. Let this April be a reminder to work harder to understand others and celebrate the paradox of our amazing diversity and astonishing sameness.
And remember to carry a poem in the secret pocket of your heart and a song in your mouth. Always.
Do you have any favorite poems? What poem or poems speak most to you? What is the poem that fits you best right now? What poem is the theme of your life and heart?