Last Friday, I went to a concert at Johnson State College, where my husband and daughter were performing. It was wonderful and relaxing. When it was over and I was waiting for them to pack up, I took a moment to appreciate some artwork hanging on the walls of the lobby. It caught my attention right away, because the collection of photographs was called, "Adrift in Autism."
The huge, oversize photos were of beautiful landscapes of fences, streams, and sweeping vistas with breathtaking fall foliage. As a photographer, I appreciated them deeply. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not make any clear connections to autism. Did the fences signify being trapped in a society that didn't understand the artist's condition? Did the vistas represent the distance he felt from those around him? The stream could be that he was swept away inside his own mind?
Feeling like I was stretching it a little, I made my way back to the beginning, hoping there might be an artist's statement near the title that I'd missed. There wasn't. But I did take a closer look at the title.
"Adrift in Autumn."
Okay, suddenly things made a lot more sense.
And people around me wondered why a woman who had been clearly admiring the artwork suddenly burst out laughing.
Then I got to wondering, what would an exhibit called "Adrift in Autism" look like?
I got no further than what a student I know would say if I asked him: "Why for do that?"
Yeah, I definitely need a vacation.