Look Me In The Eye

How wonderful it is to be a reader for Elle magazine! I got my advance reader's copy of Look Me In The Eye! my life with asperger's by John Elder Robison two days ago, and devoured it at once. It was touted as "darkly funny," but what it actually was was highly informative and extremely touching. The chapters on struggling to handle small talk and finding a way to have a successful marriage were the absolute best.

In case you didn't know, Asperger's is a form of autism. I know a couple of people with Asperger's, and interpersonal relations is the toughest part of the syndrome. My view is that autism is a wide spectrum, and there are many people who are viewed as "normal but weird" who have a touch of it.

Of course, none of us is simply the product of our DNA. How much of Robison's personality may be chalked up to his Asperger's and how much to his abusive, dysfunctional parents is something I wondered about as I read his memoir. Some elements were obvious, others less so.

I feel positively privileged to have read this book. Now I want to read Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs - Robison's brother. For a little more insight into Robison, you can click on the above link and read his blog.

In addition to reading today, and working on my landscape (about which I don't feel too good right now, alas), I spent time on mandalas, hurray! I mostly played with media again. I did a slightly better flower mandala, beginning with carnation petals from N's flower cake. I need to find that website with flower art that my mother sent me a while ago, though - surely there are more interesting things to do with these dried petals? I tried making little rabbits in the outer ring; I think I was marginally successful.
The second mandala is one of Julie Keefe's Mandala Mondays designs, again on vellum. I liked the filigree pattern, and I am trying to color more yantras in the hope of some day getting the hang of them enough to recreate one myself. (I tried making one from scratch yesterday, but after three attempts I gave up in frustration.)
The third and fourth mandalas were practice using a white pencil to add "light" to a design. My cousin E just had surgery, so I wanted to make her a mandala card to wish her a good healing. Adding to the blues I tried white, and I was really pleased at how the white brought a sort of luminous quality to the vellum, much as it does to the black paper in Judith Cornell's lessons.
Then I worked one more mandala on vellum using the same principle, but this time playing with shapes and color changes, just for fun. I used a lot of white - if you click on it and open it in another window to enlarge it, you can see just how much.
And now I'm really tired, and I'm heading for bed. Maybe tomorrow I can get caught up as well as finish my landscape. And then I will begin my huge mandala, which will take a couple of weeks to finish!

This, I believe, makes 33, and this is day 36. So I am gradually catching up.



John Elder Robison said...

I'm very glad you enjoyed Look Me in the Eye. The warmth with which people like you are receiving my book as it moves out into the world is truly touching.

If you're going to read my brother's story next, may I suggest you first read Running With Scissors, and then read Dry, which is the story of overcoming the demons that haunted him after the childhood described in Running.

Psmith said...

Thank you for the suggestion! I will plan to do that! Thanks for visiting my blog.