Saturday, July 24, 2010

Explanation Optional?

The other day, in another place, I posted a picture of a spool I had recently painted. As others posted pictures of beautiful pieces of jewelry or other handmade works, I plopped down a photo of my latest vision in pink. Granted, it's a rather odd looking sort of thing, and not the kind of piece a traditional seamstress would envy. (I swear some might refer to it as a “Nightmare in Pink”.) Bold and erratic strokes of rose and white acrylic paint cover the wooden spool, rendering it anything but useful. But post it, I did - along with a brief description of why I created it, and who I was thinking of when I did.

Sure enough, someone commented that she had seen the piece earlier, and was quite puzzled by it. But, thanks to a sentence or two, she now understood it

That got me to thinking a little about art, in general. Sometimes, I'll look at a piece and "get it". Other times, I'll wince at a creation, begging for someone to explain it to me. Then I’ll wonder if art should ever be explained in the first place.

It's not much different with my daughter's form of autism, really. There are days we don't say a word, as it really isn't necessary. But there are other times we take a deep breath and try to explain any given awkward situation. Sometimes, doing just that puts someone at ease, as now they can "get it". Other times, it just seems to add to the confusion. (And, no, we don’t ever excuse poor behavior.)

But most times, I'd rather no explanation be needed - or desired. Just like in art, where viewing a carefully crafted work is often best left unexplained, without any critique. I suppose when it comes to autism, to explain or not, to disclose or not, will be an ongoing question. But, as with the spool, sometimes, an explanation is needed to increase awareness and understanding.

And that explantion need only take a sentence or two.

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