I love a good autism analogy. Square peg in a round hole. Cat in a dog’s world. Chimpanzee amongst dogs (that was Michelle Vines, who I am reading at the moment). Why do we always think NTs are dogs? Cute, fluffy, overly emotional and ultimately with incomprehensible thought processes? Permanently obsessed with sniffing bottoms?
There’s a concept in Terry Pratchett novels about inspiration particles. Here, have the wiki quote, I’m pretty sure the late great Terry won’t mind:
“Inspiration Particles sleet through the universe, each heralding a moment of brilliance: a new symphony, a way of getting from A to B quicker than before, lines for a new play, or deeper understanding of something than was previously comprehended.
Most of them are doomed to miss, or to reveal their brilliance to a brick wall or a starling, which is totally unequipped to deal with the revelation.
Some however, hit the right mind at the right time, and a little later you are blinking foolishly in the TV lights and wondering how the hell you thought of sliced bread in the first place…
Many of these particles hit Leonard of Quirm, one of whose first inventions was a metal helmet designed to keep them out as he was accustomed to the embarrassment of waking to find he had nocturnally scribbled all over his bedsheets.”
Being autistic for me is living in a sleet of inspiration particles. I’m not claiming they’re brilliant, or I am about to invent time travel, or even a new and exciting form of sliced bread. I’m not going to write a Nobel winning novel (though I once thought I could reinvent urban gothic and wrote six chapters of sci-fi about the M60 motorway, a project I do now think was probably best abandoned, for the world and my wellbeing).
But everyday I live in a sleet of thoughts, thick and fast and each as important and energising and inspirational as the last and they spark connections in my mind and then I make more connections and before you know it I’ve got some half assed idea for a world changing book on alcohol and alexithymia, a list of things to google for my next holiday, an abiding and urgent quest to find 34″ long skinny jeans, three things to email about when I get to the office, a mind bendingly brilliant 147 character tweet to write and a plan for meal organisation that will revolutionise my life and ensure I get 25 vegetables a day in a single sitting.
It’s great and funny and brilliant and absolutely totally fucking exhausting.