on refrigerators, trees and dust



        When the refrigerator door swings closed, it flattens a button located somewhere in the refrigerator’s interior. Once said button is depressed, a small light bulb winks out and the inside of the refrigerator is cast into darkness. Now that’s an indisputable fact. Some people cross-examine it nonetheless:

“Fact or not, If I cannot view the darkness for myself, then how do I know the light is truly extinguished?”

Embracing facts is difficult for some persons who need to ‘see things for themselves.’

Grand old trees give up their ghosts eventually. A diseased tree cracks and topples powerfully to the forest floor, even though no human ears are present for miles around to acknowledge the sound of the crash. And still, there are ponderers who pose the question:

“If no one is around to actually hear the tree fall, does it really make a sound?”

Surely they know it does, don’t they?

A lot of people on the autistic spectrum struggle with expressing emotion. Anger, happiness, and other emotions are often not communicated in a way that is seen or heard by observers through facial expressions, gestures, voice inflection or body language. We’ve all heard the following statements, (usually by neurologically ‘typical’ people):

“If I can’t see or hear certain emotions expressed by autistics in a way I’m most accustomed to seeing or hearing, then how do I know for sure that that emotion really exists within the autistic person? I can’t see or hear it. Like unfeeling robots, perhaps they don’t feel at all.”

I’m telling you it’s a fact that most people on the spectrum feel more than most. An emotion “unexpressed” can nonetheless exist. Like the ‘mysterious’ refrigerator light and the crashing tree, trust me.

Aspergers is on the spectrum of autism. Although it isn’t severe all-out autism, the Aspergers person relates and finds belonging such as they have never known, with severely affected autistic persons.

I’ve had my share of curious questions; as to what makes the world tick (although I have always believed the fridge gets dark when you close the door, and I also have always known trees that fall in a forest make a sound even when no one’s around to hear them.) And I’ve never questioned, as I know firsthand, that because you can’t see, hear or sense an emotion visually or audibly from someone, it doesn’t mean that very strong valid emotions are not there, right under the surface.

I’m a kinetic mess these days; and I got to thinking of cats, who hide it if they’re hurting, because to show pain means to attract predators to their weakness and it means they’re vulnerable.

“Everybody wants to pass as cats…” -Adam Duritz

I’ve got some personal drama going on in the homefront and yet I’m still painting, sitting for grandkids, writing chapters for an upcoming book on Selective Mutism (with Carl through JKP), and doing my part time job. But there’s a logjam of emotion under my skin. Yesterday I nearly collided with the same woman twice at the library. Then I did collide with Al in the kitchen: HARD. I nearly broke a glass but caught it in time. At work I choked on a mere sip of water and had to rush to the bathroom, coughing.

That said, it’s no wonder that I was once fascinated with dust. How is dust like emotion, you ask? We all originate from it. It can be dangerous. It can be a nuisance. It can be beautiful. I wrote this poem during my dust perseveration phase, and sometimes I return to it just to feel centered and establish some perspective:



Outside church I climb cracked steps.

Not for the service (I confess).

Inside, I take a pew

with an obstructed view

beside my pillar, my favorite beam.

Startlingly, men burst into song like ladies in the choir:

High, high above me, voices shrill. Unseen.

I lose my self to watch dust twirl in rays that make it

gloriously through-


colored glass windows. The light tries so hard

to penetrate them.

Sunbeams make it through.

Dust motes dance, twirl, with sass!

They somersault, and land on kneeling bent

people around me…slow…fast.

unbeknownst to them. Their voices stir the dancing lint!

The beams shining through the stained glass-

color the hair of the worshipping people-

in subtle tints.


Blonde hair looks blue, green, pink…

No two specks the same.

And Adam always thinks

that if you’ve never stared off into the distance

then your life is a shame.

So I stare off into the distance and-


So many dust motes twirl and spin –

I almost cry from the joy I’m in.

Swirling, twirling, arcing.

One rolls onto the bald pate of a singing man.

Specks turn to, then fro, some

nestle unseen in a grandmother’s brow.

She will never know.


I smile as I watch the dust motes

cavorting in the sun’s warm gold rays.

Whirling eddies of

silent dust dancing in the colors.

Sharing secrets with me.

I will take some dust motes home with me too.


Some have chosen to land in my own hair, and in my clothes.

Holy dust motes!


by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker (pls do not reprint poem or writing without permission)


though this site has nothing to do with dust, the pic of dust motes found here on digital site  https://getgero.com/blog/view/connected-air-what-if-smart-dust-future-quantified-world.html

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