Thursday, November 1, 2012
My Ode to Dapples
From Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace comes Autistics Speaking Day 2012: My Ode to Dapples on Tiny Grace Notes (AKA Ask an Autistic)
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
--Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of my very favorite poets because he seems to get as happy as I get about things like this. Dappling, especially light dappling in my eyes, fills me with a kind of joy I cannot express properly without sort of singing about it. And probably still not even. But let me try now, a bit.
This is what I am talking about, a little, doing my best for now. Walking through a fairly thick forest, and the sun comes through, and you see those things I call God Stripes because photographers always put them behind scriptural quotes. And you walk right through that, and don't look directly, and the light changes rhythmically through your eyelid and eyelash dappledappledappledapple as the leaves go in and out of shading the sun. Sometimes there is wind, and the rhythm is surprising, as a slip jig or some Arabic music or anacrusis, dappledappledappledapdapplepledapple. And the light fills you with a feeling of light and lightness throughout you, you can breathe the dapple. You can do this in a train or car with the sun at early morning or late evening. You can do this walking by a chain link fence if you know how. The rhythm is different, steady and more like a high-hat. You can do it with your eyes wide open looking at a body of water as the light skims over what the wind is doing. dadadadapppppple, ahhhhhhhhdadadadadapppppppple. That is a lazy part of the river, but many readers maybe knew that. Dapple on a lake on a cold windy sunny static electric day is exciting, almost like speedcore: DAPPDAPPDAPPDAPPYEAHDAPPDAPPLE. The ocean changes its mind a lot depending on the day or time or location, like an accomplished studio band with classical training but a feel for indy and worldbeat and ironic soundtracking.
Spinning things, things that twirl, they create their own light dapple, some you twirl yourself with your hand, and you can also do the light thing with your hand alone. You can make this thing happen with your eye that fills your body with that kind of delight just by spinning a quarter and looking at it properly. You can sometimes put the light in your eyes by listening to something that sounds the right kind of twirly and dappled. And your body fills up with light and warmth and a bit of a tickle, but not a horrible tickle, it is a good tickle, a tickle like love, a reminder of love.
In proper light like a ray of sun with floating slowly whirling dust motes, you can see wind patterns that also do this if you have space and time to watch properly. It is rarely true in life that you have space and time to watch properly. Sometimes, people accidentally come upon me when I am doing these things and ask me what I am thinking. I say "nothing," but this is not the rhetorical "nothing" that people say when they just erroneously say they are thinking "nothing" because they do not want to say what they are thinking. This is the truth in a literal sense, because the thing that I am doing is not a thing that is thinking or has cognitive content. I am seeing, and the seeing mixes with a sort of hearing and feeling and breathing, even though the hearing is not a listening hearing, and comes only from the seeing, often.
I am being. I am being happy. I am being light and love and joy. Glory be to God for dappled things, and also to Him thanks for giving me the gift of being able to notice them as they are.