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Brilliance in Motion...Lesson Learned!
Author Amanda M. Thrasher school presentation, Flint Academy, Arlington, TX

Brilliance in Motion…Lesson Learned!

Like most people my week has been incredibly hectic, soccer games, home work with my children, Author school presentations, book signings and a book festival to boot. I have witnessed some amazing things this week, things I will never forget.

I often go to schools and discuss the process of writing and creating with the children. Feeling as strongly as I do about my work, I do not charge for my time. There are people around me that think this is ridiculous, but personally I do not. I believe the children need to learn once again how to value our books and they don’t. Books are accessible and cheap; they don’t understand the amount of work that is required to create, write and then produce a book, which to me is truly a work of art. It’s not their fault it is unfortunately the way it is, but I want to change that. I want children to hold a book in their hands and treasure it like we used to, tall order but possible though maybe only one child at a time.

Much to the displeasure of many authors I'm sure and likely the people around me, such as my husband, I don’t sell books during schools visits either. When I visit I want to spend time with the children, to show them a side of the writing and creating process I know they rarely experience. Now not all of the children I visit are going to love words or writing but it never fails, there are always a few in every group that love words too. Little writers at heart that just need to ‘hear’ they can write and it’s not wrong because it’s theirs, and sometimes during those school visits I meet the neatest kids and this past week was an example of that. I met writers and brilliantly gifted kids!

First and foremost, I don’t know a single thing about Autism. I do not have an autistic child nor have I been around such beautiful children for any lengths of time before. I did not know that the academy I was visiting had such gifted children among their students. I realized immediately these beautiful children attended this school too and couldn’t help but notice their little minds at work.The school is small and they were having their first book fair at Barnes and Noble that evening. I presented all morning and we book faired that evening. Participation via the students and parents at the book fair was limited. But some of the parents that did come, I believe were the parents of the autistic children. I never asked because I didn’t need too.

These particular parents were patient beyond belief with their children and had so much love reflected in their eyes, and their words were so gentle in regards to their re-actions surrounding their busy children’s actions, it was as if one was witnessing a true example of what living love is. One little boy stood out above and beyond the others, he was never still. He was beautiful and engaging, talkative and interested for a second, every other second or so, for only moments at time. He read me a story; it was perfect, though I’m certain he never saw the words. But what I saw was incredible and I wished more than anything he could tell me the answer to the following question though I’m sure his parents do too. “What right then, then at that very moment popped into your mind and took you from here, from me for a second? It must have been amazing, for I see your mind at work. Where did you go?”

I could literally see his little mind racing; moving at a rate I’m certain there must be a medical term for that I do not know. He was so smart, quick, non stop thinking. I know that because he would discuss with me interesting things though in seconds at a time, switching gears instantaneously and I couldn’t help but wonder, “Do you see me when that happens, because I see you. I see the moment it happens, do you see me?” I would love to know as I’m certain his parents and every parent of such gifted children would, what fascinating something had caught his attention in that particular moment and grabbed him away for a second. It must have been really something, can you even imagine!

As I watched and visited with him, I noticed how each place he went, seemed to be a wonderful place and bring him joy. He was smiling and each second he caught site of something new he embraced it and went after it, happily. He was so happy and so loved, you could see the love his family has for him and him them. I knew immediately I was witnessing brilliance in motion!

One day he may write those vivid things that he sees in his mind each and every second he’s removed if only for moments. How beautiful his work could be, would it not. I’m willing to bet the images are vivid and bright. I asked his mother if he was a painter because I was certain and I don’t know why, that if he painted and had the opportunity to go wild, he would create beautiful, unique art. His mother smiled and nodded, “He loves to finger paint,” she said. “We have some lovely finger paintings.” I wondered right away what colors he chose and why?

I hope one day that beautiful boy will write down what ever jumps into his mind as he goes about his day, if only single words at a time.  I just know we could all learn something from him. I can’t stress enough, I swear, I could see his mind at work. I learned from that little boy that he truly is an example of brilliance in motion. He may grow up and do amazing things that I will read about. I hope so, why not!

I witnessed something else this week; it killed my soul but only for a moment. I witnessed a woman walk into a building to escape the rain. Many people looked at her with such disdain it made me sick. To her credit she held her head up high, took pleasure in a book, smiled and walked away. She was homeless, she was beautiful, and she had more hope than we allow ourselves each and every day. A lesson for all of us I think and I know I will never forget her though she will never remember me and that’s not important. The impression that she and the little boy left on me, has changed my perspective on many things. Hope is never ending; brilliance in motion is beautiful to watch and though sometimes at a slow pace, my journey is on the right track!

Brilliance in Motion…Lesson Learned! 

By Amanda M. Thrasher