Friday, 30 December 2016

I "put the idiot in savant"

One of my oldest, closest friends, whom I haven't seen in a couple of years, is fond of saying that I put the idiot in savant. See, I've spent all of my conscious life at the periphery of my humanity—'my humanity' in a sense that it is a mystery to me and am leery of it, although not in a negative way because I'm constantly observing and formulating commentaries on it.

I can see analogies of this phenomenon throughout my life. For example, I'm very much fond of mathematics. I mean, I really do find calm and solace in 'reading' mathematical equations and imagery. I can come to understand quite readily the grammar, but, for the life of me, I wouldn't be able do the arithmetic without great effort and vigilance, and only then with a calculator.

I seem to be able to 'see' what others cannot without it being pointed out to them. Abstract structures are my playthings. I'm good at formulating general statements from particular facts because I've now spent many years working at that as a linguist and as a policy analyst. But the human world is largely invisible to me, and I seem to have no intuition for it.

I know this handicap because I have had many negative experiences as a result of my apparent social blindness. My love for my children (including my bud) and grandchildren is natural to me, and I consider it a beautiful blessing and grace from my G*d; it's just that this easy humanity is not extended deeply into other relations in my life for whom I'm often a source of the good as well as the negative. I live alone and have lived alone for many years now. I'm not a bad person; I'm just "impossible".

But I've also achieved what seems to me the improbable: love and respect from my fellow human beings. -for being who I am, no less!


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