The Last of the Red-Hot Unicorns

I have forgotten that men cannot see Unicorns. If men no longer know what they’re looking at, there may be other unicorns in the world yet, unknown, and glad of it. ~Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

Deer...they NEVER understand

 On a personal note…still debating as to whether I made the “right” decision going from part-time work and a partial unemployment check to a job that may or may not give me 40 hours a week and security. This time, I may have to use my wits to survive for a while. That’s why I ordered the Writer’s Market books (used, of course) to see what markets exist. That being said…

In my last post, I think I mentioned unicorns. They don’t exist…or do they? They are mentioned several times in the Bible, as well as folklores of many cultures, and appear in medieval illuminations and tapestries. People think of them as shiny white super-horses, in some cases with sparkly manes and tails and Cool Powers. In any case, they are rare creatures and only glimpsed by those who are pure of heart.

Mythological creatures are a nice image for those in society who are different. Most people want to capture, sell, enslave, exploit or otherwise use things or creatures they don’t understand. Look at any human conflict in history, and what does it boil down to? Palestinian vs. Jew, Catholic vs. Protestant, native Africans vs. white invaders, the Crusades, the Inquisition…

It’s about the Other in the midst. Instead of trying to reach out and understand just for a while, we lash out. It’s human nature. In the rare instance it doesn’t happen, the poor Jewish kid who might be willing to think all Palestinians aren’t so bad, or vice verse, is so afraid of peer pressure that progress dies before it can ever get started.

"We come in peace in search of cat food"

Yesterday, I had an unusual experience, and one I feel is worth sharing. I attended my first GRASP meeting (GRASP is an adult support group for autistic people.) I didn’t necessarily want to go, and I was nervous as I always am meeting new people. but it was enlightening, to say the least. For the first time in my life, I was in a room where EVERYONE was on the spectrum.

Maybe I’d pictured a sort of AA meeting for autistics, in a dingy church basement with folding chairs and a lingering unidentifiable smell. If you went, it meant you were somehow defective.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. While the meeting was held in a church, it was not in a basement and the group leader was even kind enough to dim the lights (one of my greatest fears is bright fluorescent lighting.) I won’t identify any of the attendees by name, but I will say it was a nice mix of male and female, old and young, professional and not so much. They weren’t flapping their arms or talking in too-loud voices or obsessively prattling on about train cars or forensic science or the components of a gasoline engine. In fact, if it weren’t for the dimmed lights and the large number of Irlen lenses, I’d have guessed it was any other gathering of adults on a Sunday.

I was still really nervous. That part may never change. But I know now that there are other “unicorns” in the world, and here I was thinking I was the last one of all.

The world as a whole is still adapting to the many “unicorns” who live among us. Many think the unicorns don’t exist at all, or if they do, they are convinced that they must be hunted, caged, or worse. 50 years ago, being born with autism meant being condemned to a life in an institution. Today, there are many provisions in place for kids on the spectrum to learn and develop and grow into confident adults, without being deprived of who they are.

Because, as the saying goes, “do not deprive the unicorn of his horn…you may deprive him of being a unicorn!”

I'm keeping MY horn!

Questions? Comments? Think I’m completely nuts? Drop me a line at!


~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 31, 2010.

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


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