Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: Somehow Without Any Words (Autistics Speaking Day 2015)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Somehow Without Any Words (Autistics Speaking Day 2015)

 I do speak through writing and oral communication, but I communicate that which is beyond words through music.
The piece before you is "Everything's Alright" by Laura Shigihara. It is from the visual novel "To the Moon." River, one of the main NPCs in To the Moon, has Asperger's Syndrome; she folds paper rabbits after seeing one killed at their wedding and is attached to a lighthouse named Anya. In an early childhood belief, she said the stars to be lighthouses far away from each other, that they were lonely and in need of friends, but unable to reach out to others.

Aside from music having an integral role in To the Moon and my obsession with Laura Shigihara's music, I chose to arrange "Everything's Alright" to, somehow without any words, tell the story from River's perspective. The blend of dissonances and consonances illustrates a life with Asperger's Syndrome for the bittersweet reality it is.

Throughout the game, River speaks a language of symbolism. She uses rabbits to try to get her husband, John, to remember their first meeting and why he wanted to go to the moon. In the same way her condition manifests as seeing others dispersed throughout her life, but being unable to reach them. By befriending a lighthouse, she communicates her need for connection, but inability to express that desire.

The other NPC with Asperger's Syndrome, Isabelle, was diagnosed while young and learned to acquire a "systematic guise of social norms" as she calls it. She feels that the real her has long become a stranger and both envies and pities River due to her decision to "remain an outcast." It is not uncommon for girls and women with the disorder to "become chameleons" and try to blend in, thus masking the presence of Asperger's Syndrome and the related needs and difficulties that come with it.

To my fellow autistics, I ask this: Are you more of a River or an Isabelle? There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches that work (or don't) for people of different temperaments and experiences. Through my arrangement, I said more than I ever could have in my entire history of blogging. If someone were to tell me to describe a life with Asperger's Syndrome/autism/PDD (I use these terms interchangeably in reference to myself.), I would use this arrangement to do it. I'd do it somehow without any words.


1 comment:

  1. That is really cool music! I love how it is kind of quirky. I listened to the whole thing. I think I am more like River because I have a need for connection but I haven't wanted (or been able) to disguise myself for long periods of time in order to appear normal. Sometimes I manage to appear normal during the work day, but it is very stressful and when I come home from work I have to take a nap for three hours!


Comment! I won't know what you have to say unless you say it.