Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seeing each other through tiny keyholes...

I happened to watch the movie, Adam, recently. Adam is an autistic adult with aspergers syndrome who struggles in the world of normal social intercourse. He is also a science wiz. One of the science facts that fascinates him is that, according to the Big Bang Theory, the entire universe was created out of a very small amount of matter that weighed less than 20 lbs and all matter was formed in less then one second to the negative 39th power. The Universe continues to expand at more than the speed of light (the universe itself is moving faster than the speed of light - it is just things within the universe that cannot travel faster that the speed of light).

This bit of science fact as well as the theme of the movie - "autistic or not, communication of who we are (deep down) is a daunting task (which I would point out in the Hollywood version of reality Adam does better than many despite his syndrome (or maybe even because of it) made me think of this passage from the story "Good Old Neon" by David Foster Wallace.

"...You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny key holes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.".

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