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Sunday, April 24, 2022

Wheat of the Moment: Riding the Dark Horse -- What Neil Young Taught Me About Autism and Fear

Neil Young & Bridge Kids
@ Bridge School Benefit Concert 2011
Photo Gallery by By Jay Blakesberg Photography

The karma of blogging.  

From the TW Vaults, here is a post from 2012,  "Riding the Dark Horse: What Neil Young Taught Me About Autism and Fear" by Hannah Brown.

In her essay, Brown blogs about how Neil Young's song  "Tell Me Why" from the album After the Gold Rush, helped her through a difficult period with her son's autism.

One day I was driving home when I got a very distressing phone call from Danny's school. 

He had had a terrible tantrum and still wasn't calm. I wondered how I would cope with him when he got home. We had just moved and I was finishing the final edits on my novel, If I Could Tell You, about four mothers raising children just diagnosed with autism. I couldn't help feeling frustrated that I had immersed myself in writing a book about autism, yet my son was still having such a difficult time. It was as if all my knowledge and experience wasn't enough to help Danny. After the conversation, I put on a Neil Young CD, After the Gold Rush, which I had just found in a box I had unpacked that morning. I hadn't listened to it in years. I heard the first song, "Tell Me Why," which contains the lyrics "Still the searcher/Must ride the dark horse/Racing alone in his fright," and a light went on for me. 

I pulled over, crying. 

Because then I understood what it was like for that dark horse, how terrible and intense his fear was. 

We parents are the searchers and we can't give up, no matter how rough a ride it is. 

A must read for all of us on the healing powers of music, here is  Riding the Dark Horse: What Neil Young Taught Me About Autism and Fear by Hannah Brown, Author, "If I Could Tell You".

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At 4/24/2022 01:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Bumped comment from original thread @ @ 7/30/2012 09:56:00 AM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

Very enjoyable and moving piece of writing; thanks for highlighting.

In a recent Comment, No One said something that really struck home: "Life is hard. Neil Young has made it better....".

We all have ways of enjoying, enduring and enlightening our lives.

Some of these are positive moves, some not so much. For me and so many others, Neil has been one of the brightest lights in some of the darkest times.

Many of us deal with a family member who has challenges. I'm pretty sure everyone at least knows someone experiencing this, either directly or as part of an extended family or group of friends. And whenever it starts to seem overwhelming and too much too handle, it's so helpful to have someone who can remind you "It's time to get behind the wheel". Thanks to Hannah Brown for sharing her tragedies and triumphs, and I hope the Dark Horse finds a pasture for comfort. Good luck to you and your son!

"Discover real peace and harmony within yourself, and naturally this will overflow to benefit others."
--Satya Narayan Goenka

At 4/26/2022 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Steve L said...

There's a new concert of the moment loaded up - Leipzig '96.

I've also just noticed that parts of the Where the Buffalo Roam soundtrack has been uploaded. I'm sure that wasn't there the other day?
7/15 of the tracks are available.

At 4/27/2022 03:10:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

He gives us hope to carry on,no matter how heavy the burden may be.Comes a time we all live in peace?I'm afraid that'll never happen as long as there are people that are not satisfied and don't care for another human being or living soul.Cees Mostert,Europe.Only love can break your heart.Love and only love...

At 3/30/2023 07:17:00 AM, Blogger Hannah Brown said...

It was nice to see that you re-posted my piece. Things have become much better for my son and part of what helped him was how I learned to accept him for who he was, and this song helped so much with that. He is almost 27 now and works in a carpentry workshop.


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