Face-Blindness Fridays #5

“Prosopagnosia can be socially crippling. Individuals with the disorder often have difficulty recognizing family members and close friends. They often use other ways to identify people, such as relying on voice, clothing, or unique physical attributes, but these are not as effective as recognizing a face. Children with congenital prosopagnosia are born with the disability and have never had a time when they could recognize faces. ” MedicineNet.com

So, last week, I wrote about the first day of my second year of kindergarten. My face blindness is fairly moderate. it takes me probably 2-3 times longer to learn a new face than it would take an average person, and if I haven’t seen someone in a couple of months, depending on how well I know them, I can forget who they are entirely, until they tell me their name. If I know them well enough, it might take me like an extra 3-5 seconds to recognize them.

It may not seem like that big of a deal to take that long to recognize someone, but it creates an emotional disconnect. If it takes an average person half a second to recognize me, and it takes me 3-5 seconds, they’ve already recognized me, waited for acknowledgment, AND felt rejected by the time I actually recognized them. I try to make up for it, but it’s definitely something that I’m aware of.

I used to walk around, displaying a full amount of friendliness at all times, but that got exhausting. So now, people have to deal with me not being particularly happy to see them until I know who they are.

Minstrel Mondays #5

Across the vein of night
There cuts a path of searing light,
Burning like a beacon
At the edges of our sights.
At the point of total darkness
And the light’s divine divide,
We can let our shadow stretch (Correction: A soul can let its shadow stretch)
And land on either side. Either side.

Balanced on the precipice,
The moment must reveal,
Naked in the face of time,
Our race within the wheel.
We hang beneath the heavens
And we hover over Hell,
Our hearts become the instruments
We learn to play so well.

So, wealthy the Spirit
That knows it’s own plight.
Stealthy the hunter
Who slays his own fright.
Blessed the traveler
Who journeys the length of the light.

That’s all of Nexus that I can remember without re-listening to it or looking up the lyrics.

And here’s the rest of it after looking up the lyrics:

Outside the pull of gravity
Beyond the spectral veil
Within our careful reasoning
We search to no avail
For the constant in the chaos
For the fulcrum in the void
Following a destiny
Our steps cannot avoid

Across the vein of night
There cuts a path of searing light
Burning like a beacon
On the edges of our sight
At the point of total darkness
And the lights divine divide
A soul can let its shadow
Stretch and land on either side

Wealthy the spirit
That knows its own flight
Stealthy the hunter
Who slays his own fright
Blessed the traveler
Who journeys the length of the light

In a spiral never-ending
Are we drawn towards the source
Spinning at the mercy
Of an unrelenting force
So we stare into the emptiness
And fall beneath the weight
Circling the Nexus in a
Fevered dance with fate —

Wealthy the spirit
That knows its own flight
Stealthy the hunter
Who slays his own fright
Blessed the traveler
Who journeys the length of the light.

Just delightful imagery in this song. It’s been a while, otherwise, I would have been able to remember the whole thing. My favorite thing about some of Dan’s older songs is that the further you go back, the more it’s written like poetry. Later, you get story songs and message songs, but my favorite stuff is generally the poetic stuff. Although, I have to say, I’ve memorized The Outlaw before, too. I can’t sign it though because Dan sings it SO fast. Great story song, though. For now, here’s Nexus:

The song starts with a full minute and 20 seconds of frantic but euphonous guitar, setting the background for when he sings over the same melody throughout the rest of the song. This song is a tongue twister, not just because of the clever wording but because it’s sung so quickly. Not that Dan makes it seem hard, the words just slip off his tongue. Having sung along to it about a billion times, I know how hard it is to keep up. There aren’t any long, drawn out words that give you a chance to remember what’s coming up next.

Dan kind of fetishized Native Americans a bit, and that influence shows up toward the end of the of the song. Before the final verse and chorus, some kind of Native American chanting underplays Dan’s singing and drums accompany the guitar. It’s got a nice effect, adds dimension to what would otherwise be only guitar. One of Dan’s strengths was composition, and the reason his songs don’t get boring to listen to is because he had an instinct for when a perfectly good melody needed to be switched up to enhance the lyrics, or just the listening experience. This is one of my favorite songs.

Face-Blindness Fridays #4

I did kindergarten twice, and have never been given a satisfactory answer as to why. However, since the first year of kindergarten was spent in two different elementary schools, and the second year was at a third, I didn’t really notice. I also don’t think I had any friends until my second year of kindergarten, or that may have given away.

I was a solitary child. I shared a room with my two brothers, and I HATED that. I wanted a room to myself SO BAD that on weekends, I would encourage them to go out and play with their friends, and while they were gone, I would pretend like the room was just mine. The extra beds were just in case a friend wanted to sleep over — I didn’t particularly LIKE that idea, but it was nice to have the option.

I don’t even remember what I used to do with all of that free time. I vaguely remember coloring a little bit. Once I asked my mom if I could play dress-up in her closet, because the twins who lived around the corner said they did that. My mom said “no” but that I could play dress-up with my own clothes. I thought that was a terrible idea, but it worked out.

My best friend in kindergarten’s name was Simple Tan. I don’t think I was her best friend, looking back, but she was the only person who went out of her way to be kind to me, so I liked her. We run into each other once in a while and I’m always happy to see her. She and her family are still the nicest people I’ve ever met.

The first day of kindergarten, I was excited because I’d been going to school for a while and I still didn’t know how to read (boom, there’s your answer as to why I was held back). I really wanted to learn to read because I loved being read to and my mom didn’t do it nearly often enough. She had read a book to me (and probably my brothers too) called Morris the Moose Goes to School in which he learns to count, write, and draw in perspective, all in one day.

So my first day of my second year of kindergarten, I walked to school (probably with my older brother), determined to finally learn how to read. The first day was mostly coloring, and I guess I didn’t know how recess worked because I remember sitting at my table as the other kids all scrambled out of the room.

The teacher came over to me and kind of gently urged me out of the classroom. I stepped over the threshold reluctantly. I didn’t know anyone, and the kids at my past two schools hadn’t been particularly friendly. For a moment, I was hopeful. None of these other kids knew each other, either, right?

My heart sank as I stepped out onto the playground and saw clumps of kids running around, chasing each other. How did they all know each other already? There was a large tree very close to the classroom door, and I decided to spend my time there until the teacher let us in again.

I was walking around on the roots that were growing up out of their concrete prison. A girl came over. She had black pigtails and dark, almond-shaped eyes. She had tan skin, unlike the other kids. “My name is Simple,” she said. I thought that that was a mean name for her parents to give her. Her eyes sparkled brightly. She didn’t seem very simple to me.

“Crystal,” I mumbled.

“Those are my friends,” she said, pointing to twin girls with identical brown pigtail braids and a blonde girl I’d never seen before. “Do you want to come over and play with us?”

“Oh, no, that’s okay,” I said, torn between desperately wanting to have friends like everyone else, and having no idea what to say to any of them.

Simple just looked at me for a moment, and then smiled and took my hand. She led me over to her friends and introduced me. I stood there, listening to them talk, glad to at least seem like I was a part of the group.

Back in the classroom after recess, the little blonde girl sat down across the table from me.

“Were you sitting there before recess?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, frowning. “You borrowed my blue crayon.”

I wanted to laugh about my mistake, but she seemed upset by my question.