Friday, April 20, 2007

The Fullness of Reading

Lots of us took various trains to Brooklyn last night to The Old Stone House in Park Slope.

I came from downtown on the #3. Kristina, Jim, and Charlie came in from New Jersey. Sarah came from the Upper West Side, the sister of mom-blogger KAL from Austim Twins came to represent their family, and lots of other folks as well.

Brooklyn has been a destination for quite some time, but last night it was a destination for autism moms and dads thanks to the hospitality of Louise Crawford, who runs Brooklyn Reading Works and blogs at Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.

Originally Fathersvox and I planned on going with Sweet M, with the two of them working as my sweet roadies to sell my book. But at the last minute, as I was going over what I was going to be reading aloud that evening, I had second thoughts. How would Sweet M feel to hear me reading to a room full of people about her episode in the St. Thomas airport? How would she feel hearing me read about her troubles with enuresis and my troubles with oughtism?

In the end we decided that Fathersvox and Sweet M would stay home. Our excuse to ourselves was that it was a school night and she wouldn't be home until 11 from the 8-10 reading, but the real reason was that I didn't want her to be embarassed or feel she was being made a spectacle. Of course this raises the questions that so many of us think about — about the privacy of our families and especially our children.

Then when Kristina arrived with Jim and Charlie, I momentarily thought I'd made a mistake. I was wishing Fathersvox and Sweet M were with me. Wishing that Sweet M and Charlie could go for a walk with their dads. Wouldn't that be so much fun?!?!

What Kristina read, among them one of my personal favoritess, The Wages of Autism, and Sappho's new poem and translating Charlie wouldn't have been any source of embarassment for Charlie. Her language remains so eloquent and constant in its theme of infinite affection and gratitude for her sweet boy not in spite of his autism, but with all of him. Very moving, as ever, and a model for me of how to live on the other side of hopes — the full instead of the less.

More on the fullness of the reading in the days to come — it was a wonderful and affirming evening for me — and hopefully a podcast courtesy of a wonderful little device from Belkin* that converted Sweet M's iPod into a digital recorder for the evening and Kristina's tech person, who will teach us how to upload audioclips!

*as usual, full disclosure, this site does not receive any support for product endorsements. If and when it ever does, you will be the first to know!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I was able to come - sorry I arrived late! You and Kristina are heroes to me (and to so many of us out here) and it was a privilege to get to meet you in person.

Mary said...

Okay, first - I am so jealous I can taste it because I really, really, really wish I could have been there to hear (and really, to meet) you and Kristina.

Second - I am DELIGHTED that there will be a podcast, and anxiously await download instructions.

And third - "sell my book"??? BOOK??? There's a BOOK???? How did I miss this, and where do I get one?

MothersVox said...

Sarah, So glad I got to meet you and find out more about Sweet L!

And MOM-NOS, I so wish you and our other blogosphere friends could have been there. My book is not the book that I might someday write about Sweet M and our life with her if I can figure out what to do about all the privacy issues, it's a book written by my alterego -- the one who has a life in cultural studies . . .

As for the podcast, Louise and Kristina's voices are loud and clear, and mine is a muffled reading voice, barely audible. I'm sort of stunned because normally I have a booming loud voice and laugh. Perhaps an acoustic metonymy of my anonymity/privacy ambivalence?

I'm hoping Kristina's tech person can work some magic on it, because right now at least my part of it would not be easy (or fun) listening . . . We'll get to work on it!


KAL said...

I hear it was terrific! I got the phone call from my sister as she was on her way home. Wish I could have been there too, maybe next time. So glad that there may be a podcast of the event. I look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

so sorry i couldn't be there! we were en route to our HANDLE appointment--in new jersey that night. poo. it sounds like it was amazing, a very powerful experience for both reader and listener.

as for my email bouncing! i think the problem is fixed. don't reply to any other emails from me since my old address was wrong. but you can write a new one to:

xx to all!

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