I started with a dance. How could I not have? Excited about this class, thrilled to have a semi-functioning knee, I tackled the composition and performance of a dance from the point of view of someone with autism. And I enjoyed it. Truly, I did. I find gratitude and joy in my body every time I step in a studio. But I knew, right from the start I think, that this wouldn’t be my project. Despite its uniqueness in the class, dancing is safe. It’s part of who I am, it’s easy for me to create, and it wouldn’t teach me much about becoming the flexible writer that I want to become. I did, however, reinforce my career choice and remind me of my love of educating others. Progress, I suppose. Side-tracked progress is progress nonetheless.
Another experiment I dabbled in was my free form poem as told by anyone who loves or has loved someone on the spectrum. As an utter poetry novice, I felt the drastic difference in my comfort levels from my first experiment. DRASTIC. I had no idea how to write a poem in the slightest; I was miles and miles away from my comfort zone. I mean, I got it all figured out, I suppose, and I landed with a solid, effort-filled, sort of lame part of a poem. I really tried to get interested. I read tons and tons of free form poetry, I listened to poetry podcasts, watched poetry on youtube… Poetry is amazing. I’m touched by practically every poem that I interact with. Except my own. It’s a weird cognitive dissonance that I’m experiencing, loving poetry, loving what I’m writing about, and feeling nothing about my poem. I’ve learned plenty, about writing poetry, about autism, about who I am as a writer, but my lack of interest and excitement with this experiment that is so far from everything I know in life means this won’t be my project.
Thankfully, experiment 2 is the perfect one between the other two. Creating a children’s book is something that I’ve never done, but something I could try. Not only that, but it is a project that will challenge various parts of who I am: a writer, an illustrator, a researcher, a caregiver, and various others. This differs from my dance, which only utilized one part of me, and my poem, which challenged parts of me that have been barely developed. I knew it as soon as I started (I hate how cheesy that is) that this would be the experiment I fully realize. Creating the project has been an exciting challenge, unlike the other two experiments that I had begun. Finally, I had found a happy medium! Here’s to this experiment turned project becoming real!