What is the yellow bird?



It sounds like the start of a haiku, though then we'd have to:

What is yellow bird? or Is the yellow bird?

which might be quite nice and lead to wheeling high above the cat

then safe and free at last.

So, yes, I went off track there. I only picked the yellow bird title because I saw a little canary the other day, desperately trying to get into Asda (they know no better), hopping away from the anxious security guard and worried assistant who were trying to pluck up the courage to catch it. I'd been in the middle of a conversation with IT Girl and as soon as I saw the bird, off I went to see what was happening.

This is a verifiable distraction: a canary trying to go shopping in Asda is a sight most people would find distracting. But what if you don't need the yellow bird?

What if all you need is a random key word in your sentence or someone else's to set you off in a new direction? Off you go, logically changing route (logical to you anyway), leaving the other person wondering if they missed something.

Or a key word that isn't even spoken. I'm so guilty of this, I think it and then I follow it. No one is ever going to see the logic because they don't know what I was thinking or why I switched from planning supper to expressing my thoughts on trail-blazing jazz musicians of the 20th century.

And pity them if they ask because it makes no sense to other people and they just come away thinking a random thought is more important to me than my conversation with them.

This is the crux of why the easily distracted can make it hard for other people: shooting off in a new direction is bound to make the other person think you lost interest in them, because you did lose interest in them. Nothing personal, it was just this other thing, this sudden, golden-shined thing, it got in the way and you had to go after it before you forgot. And if you are easily distracted you forget a lot, so when a golden thought comes along, you follow it.

Leaving your best beloved like a spare part and not feeling golden at all.

It's hard to explain to people that one stray thought or word, tiny event or glimpse, sound, smell, light in the sky, shadow by the door, shape of your hand in the window, sudden remembrance of sweetness...there is no end to these distractions.

I love them though, and I'd be so bored without them. Imagine having a brain that followed straight lines all the time. Obviously I would never be late, but I doubt I would be pulling over in the car to write the poem that just started in my head. There are always compensations and if you are lucky you learn to appreciate them and the part they play in making you who you are.

By the way, it's no good telling people you are highly distractible. Mostly they will say they are too (liars! I love you, but no!!) and laugh about being forgetful. Honestly, no, forgetful is like, well, oh, Uncle Jonas had his birthday today, better send him a message. Forgetful is not looping round the earth and back when you only wanted to go to the shop.

I would rather take the long way and be who I am than take the normal route, buy my milk and come straight home again. I have had many, many surreal conversations and experiences simply because I got distracted and surreal can be good.

Surreal life is full of colour and re-shaped, hidden meanings, of tangled connections that don't make obvious, instant sense. Knowing life is like this makes it easier because for all of us, spectrum or not, life very rarely follows straight lines, it is mostly surrealism disguised as impressionism.

And just like art, we don't all have to see it the same way.

Amanda

 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



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