“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Robertson Davies
Oh, the life of an Aspie. Rigid and rule oriented, preferring known patterns and schedules, often having great difficulty in transitioning to new activities. Add to all of that possible sensory processing disorders and we can begin to understand how difficult the world can be to our Aspie loved ones.
Hans Margolius says, “Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.”
My husband’s mind is never ‘quiet’. He says that there are millions of things going on in his head at any given time. No wonder he has trouble focusing. Many times in order to concentrate on one specific task he needs to have multiple things going on around him in order to ‘tune out’ everything else and focus on the task. TV, kids playing, music, books, magazines, computers. I am the exact opposite. I need quiet around me to focus.
Likewise, Steve’s single focus can limit him in seeing the entire picture. He will focus on one specific part of whatever is in his line of vision and miss everything else around it.
I am often called upon to assist in locating an item that is directly in front of him. Just yesterday he was looking for his favorite thermal coffee mug. He had the cupboard door open and appeared to be looking straight at it.
I reached up and around him to grab it, saying “Here it is, Sweetie!”
He looked startled.
“But I couldn’t see it!” he exclaimed in bafflement.
I remarked that he had been staring straight at it. He insisted that it wasn’t visible, even though he is eight inches taller than I am.
“Then what were you looking at?” I ask quizzically.
“That Husky mug,” he retorted. “Almost all the lettering has worn off. Should we toss it? No one can tell it’s a UofW mug.”
“Does it still hold coffee and keep it warm?” I asked.
“Ummm, I think so,” rejoins he.
“Does the lack of clear lettering interfere with the taste of the coffee?” I query.
“Ummm, I don’t think so,” he grumbles.
I inquire, “Then why would we need to get rid of it?”
“Because you can’t read it!” rumbled the Hubster, with growing agitation.
I started to reply, then shut my mouth. I took the offending faded and worn thermal mug out of the cupboard and put in the far back of the top shelf in the pantry next to the thermoses. Out of sight, out of mind.
At least one of us can see the whole picture.