Monday, May 4, 2009

Harmonious Soul

Last week I went with my son on a field trip with his gifted 1st/2nd grade class to the Discovery Center here in Boise, Idaho. One of my favorite parts of the visit was watching each child, with the help of the teacher, use the Center's harmonograph (which looks a bit like the device seen here) to produce beautiful spiraling designs (sort of like these) on a sheet of paper.

The teacher collected all of the resulting images and posted them on the wall outside the classroom. As I was looking at them this morning I was struck by the fanciful idea that each image represented a EKG of the soul of each child. Some of the patterns turned really chaotic at the core, others were simply complex. My son's was one of the largest patterns and one of the simplest at the core, with a great deal of symmetry.

In a way, that pattern reflects how I perceive him. He has a powerful mind that runs to picking up minor obsessions for months at a time. He has a very literal way of looking at the world as many Asperger's Syndrome children seem to do. He's very trusting and he's trying very hard to understand our world with all its white lies and fables. And though it can be frustrating trying to deal with his frustrations and sorrows and tantrums each day as a parent, there's a beauty and elegance to his joy and his love and his curiosity that makes me take pause on occasion and just watch.

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