Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dissected Meaning: Knot of Me poem

I am often asked how people with autism think differently. That's a pretty difficult thing to explain, since in order to understand, I have to think about what I am going to say, and the other is to think about my answer! Having an autism spectrum disorder isn't a terrible thing, so I really don't like to hear when people talk about the "epidemic" of autism or how people are "suffering" with it. If there is a reason we suffer, it is more likely to do with a lack of acceptance than because we have some perceived abnormality about our thought process. Consider this: If the primary "issue" is with social skills, doesn't it stand to reason that if there were no interaction with another person, there would be no "disorder"? Dr. Tony Attwood said (something like) that in a conference I attended, and I thought it was a brilliant point. The only reason there is anything "wrong" with me is because of the way think in relation to those around me. (Personally, I am glad I think differently than "most others", and if you have ever been stuck in traffic, you can understand why.)

I read this poem to someone I love very deeply, and it confused him. Read out loud, it is a sort of play on words, and is fairly ambiguous to most, I imagine. A day or two later he told me that he watched something about John Denver which helped him understand how words can mean one things to one person and another to another. What before seemed like frustrated dismissal was now different. I was really honored to hear his tone of voice, it sounded like admiration. Like maybe my words were not idiotic and confusing, but beautifully complex. (Not that I was aiming for that, but it's nice to be in the latter instead of the former!)

I have posted this poem before, but this is the whole thing, followed by an explanation. There are a couple of different meanings in this poem... Maybe you can pick them out when you read through it.



Knot of Me


You think you think
You thought to know me

But no, you know,
You know not of me...

Thoughts and words that
Twist around me

No one knows the
Thoughts that bound me...

Thought you thought the
Things that think me

Didn't know my
Mind distinctly...

Not the thoughts that
Cruel, betray you

Knots that tie and
Sometimes fray you...

I'm not yours and not the thought that's
Fraught with fright that you've begot...

I'm the me that you don't see, the
Me that's scared, but free to be...

Free to be not you but me.

You think you think
You thought to know me

No, you know,
You know not of me...

Not of love, but
Love of me

Try the me that's
All me of me

Not of THE love
But love OF me



This poem is, in part, about having aspergers, and what it's like to be so misunderstood that intentions, motivations and feelings are completely misinterpreted. (It is also about the same on a personal level, but that's another story!)

For those who are interested in trying to decipher Aspie thinking, I'll go into what is sure to otherwise be a relatively boring, in-depth explanation of the parts of the poem. (Granted, I didn't think about all this as I wrote it, but as it flowed, this is what it is all about.) Oh, and the "you" is no one specifically... It's the "you" of those it applies to, I guess.


Knot of Me
(Dissected!)

The knot reference is about being complex, being bound and protecting myself from the elements of others' thoughts and beliefs.

You think you think
You thought to know me
But no, you know,
You know not of me...

Is simply saying "you were thinking to yourself that you understand me and how I think, but you really don't."

---

Thoughts and words that
Twist around me

No one knows the
Thoughts that bound me...


This is talking about not only my own thoughts and words that flow in and out of my mind and body, but those thoughts about mine, which surround me in a convoluted sort of way, and twist themselves into a different perspective of my own thoughts and words. It's sort of a play on words, saying that others "twist words"... But also, others "twist thoughts", including their own... It's hard to explain, but that's what I am saying... As far as "thoughts that bound me", that is in part about my thoughts, binding me into what can be quite a stigma from others, and protecting myself by being knotted, so to speak. But moreover, it's that others' inaccurate thoughts about what I think, feel, my intents, my motivations, etc., bind around me cause me to feel somewhat suffocated or emotionally strangled, and are destructive to me on that kind of level. It's like sheltering myself from a storm, I guess.

---

Thought you thought the
Things that think me


Didn't know my
Mind distinctly...



This is saying that you thought you figured out the things that I think about, the things that make me tick... And you think you understand those things so well. But the assumptions you make are the types of thought which control the thinker, and my thoughts do not control me. You simply don't think the way I do, and you can't read, let alone understand, my mind or thought process clearly at all.

---

Not the thoughts that
Cruel, betray you


Knots that tie and
Sometimes fray you...


What this means is a few things... First, the thoughts I have are not those which are of emotional (or any other kind of) betrayal. I can be angry, but I don't think terrible things and I don't hate. Those things betray you, the thinker of those hateful thoughts. Hate destroys. Don't assume that I have something against you, or that I want to hurt you or want you to suffer in any way. I am living my life, and if you have some kind of belief that I am out to get you because I think differently, then I don't know where that comes from. I just don't think that way. But most of the rest of the world does, and that is detrimental to the thinker. Thoughts like that "fray" a person, it reduces them to something which can not be held together. Although, at the same time, my thoughts and feelings are somehow those which can "fray" a person, simply out of their frustration of trying to "figure me out"! lol! So the cruel thoughts which betray you are your own thoughts of anger and/or hate, and not the kind of things I think or want. And it's your anger with destroys you. Interestingly, it's being angry about my lack of hate which also is frustrating to you.

---


I'm not yours and not the thought that's
Fraught with fright that you've begot...


You can't control me, you can't posses my thoughts or tell me what to think, and I won't think like you simply because you expect me to... And I'm not what you think, and I'm not what you think me INTO. I am not you, as you are afraid because (among other reasons) your thoughts are those which reduce you to being terrified, so you have to cover your fear with anger. I don't go for that!

---

I'm the me that you don't see, the
Me that's scared, but free to be...


...but that's not to say I don't have fear! But my fear is not limiting. My fears don't stop me from thinking. You can't see into my mind, so you can't see that I'm afraid, but I am. I'm just not afraid because of my thoughts, I'm afraid because of YOURS. But you don't see that, and you don't see who I am. If I am not what you think me into, I am invisible to you. You can't conceive that I am something other than what you think, so if I'm not, then I don't exist at all in your eyes.

---

Free to be not you but me.

I may be afraid, but I don't have to be you or think like you. I can think for myself, thank you God.

---

You think you think
You thought to know me


No, you know,
You know not of me...


Repeat of earlier... But emphasizing. "See? I told you that you do not get me, you are so wrong about what I am thinking." You know not of me here is leading into a new concept in the poem, so while the "know not of me" means you don't think like me, you don't understand my thoughts... It also means that you don't know what it's like to think the way I do. It's a slight shift, and it's a loving thing... It's not a defensive thing, it's more of a... (Well, let's keep reading the poem for more...)

---

Not of love, but
Love of me


Ok. Here is the new point. See, it's very strange how people can misinterpret me, and say that my thinking is off or that I don't think "correctly" but that is so odd... Because when they actually start to listen, they realize that maybe the way I think (and that they don't think that way) is the missing link to why they are not happy with life. Everyone has a chip, it seems like. So they are so quick to say what's wrong with me. And yet, if they try thinking the way I do, they can have a paradigm shift that is pretty cool. I have seen people finally "click" with what I am thinking, and it's almost like they found what they were looking for out of life. Not that they are looking for me, but for this way of thinking, living, seeing life in general. It's easy to criticize that which one does not understand. But when they understand it, they see that thinking in loving ways is the way to be happy. Not being self-sacrificing, but having a sense of inner peace and calm. I've heard the word "actualized" although I don't know that I am old enough to be self-actualized...! lol! But I guess it's a little like that.

---

Try the me that's
All me of me


Continuing with that point, I'm saying "If you are going to appreciate what I say, or one element of my thinking, why don't you try thinking like this as a whole? Why not set aside your thinking and try a different way? Because you have had a glimpse of that which is joy and happiness, simply with fresh thought. So why not extrapolate that out and live life that way?" That's what try all me of me means.

---

Not of THE love
But love OF me


I always knew I would have a hard time explaining this last part, it's one of those things that "would be" misunderstood, so I have always been a little nervous about not explaining it. (As well as nervous about explaining it! lol..)

I said before that maybe it'd be a good idea to try to think this way, to live life thinking the way I do... Because when one finally stops criticizing my thought process, they end up loving the way they feel, or they appreciate my perspective/s. But I'm saying here that it's not enough to love that... It's not enough to like what you see, as an outsider, or love how you feel to think this way. That's great, and it's a lot better than binding my thoughts an emotions with your twisted views of what I am thinking... But really, become me. My thought affects who I AM. Don't appreciate it, don't just love how you feel around the thinking. Be it. Become it. We are all love, we are all light and truth... They say God is love, and God is everywhere, so that means He is in me and in you... He is in the sun and He is in a blade of grass. He is in you, even when you are angry... But you are lost from the light and from love. Connect to that, be that. Don't love the way you think it would be to think this way...! Instead, think this way, and live a life of light. Don't try love, but instead... BE the love that IS me, and IS you.


So that's what Knot of Me is. It's about defending the complexity of my thought process, but it's also about helping the reader to learn how to actually live life the way it was meant to be. Not sure of why I felt the need to do this explanation today... But there must be a reason!

5 comments:

  1. Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today..........................

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, this poem is beautiful. It's strange really, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've stumbled across your blog but I feel a familiarity with your poem, as if I've heard or read it somewhere before. Curious.

    At any rate, I like it a lot. Even though I don't have Asperger's, I think it captures how I feel a lot of the time, especially when people respond to me after I've shared something I've been thinking about at length with comments like "Some things are better left untouched," or "Not everything needs to be explained."

    Thank you for the in-depth explanation, I appreciated being able to read what you meant by it in addition to just appreciating it for what it was.

    If it's not too much trouble, could you clarify the last line, maybe rephrase it for me as if the idea was in a sentence structure?

    Not of THE love
    But love OF me

    I understand your explanation of what it means but I get confused when I try to apply that meaning with the way it is phrased in the poem.

    It's a wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing it. :)

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  3. Knot of Me was an awesome poem, and your explanation of it really helped me to understand where you were coming from with your words. I can't wait to see more of your posts in the future!

    Best,
    Hua
    Director of Blogger Networks
    Wellsphere.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Stiney... I know you asked almost two years ago... As I said in my post today, I've been, uh... MIA for a while.

    Thank you for the generous compliments... You really made my day :)

    As for the last line: Not of THE love/But love OF me...

    If I were to paraphrase, I might say instead...

    "Even if you appreciate this perspective I have, and the feeling you get by sharing it with me, you might appreciate it more if you adopt it as your own. Don't try on my perspective like a mask that you wear to feel good, use it as your skin. Become the perspective in the way that my perspective is me. Then you will know the joy that I know, then you will feel the truth that I feel."

    Not sure if this answers your question or raises more... Lol... I hope it helps explain. Let me know if you want to discuss more. Thanks for commenting and your gracious compliments. -Lorin

    ReplyDelete

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