I was assigned to our Discovery Gallery for a few hours yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with our guests about the 26-foot long, 56-thousand-piece Lego ship.
Built by Brynjar Karl, an autistic ten-year-old from Iceland, the ship is an inspiring tribute to human achievement.
I was surprised with how open our young guests were in their admiration of the accomplishment. Two boys were visiting from Houston, and they told me they were getting ideas for their own projects. They have built a much smaller Titanic and plan to make a film featuring it.
“But this . . .” said the older of the two, gesturing with his hands toward Brynjar Karl’s magnificent Titanic.”
He trailed off, just shaking his head in wonder.
His brother made me laugh when he said, “And I thought my Lego Death Star was something.”
I had fascinating conversations with many of the adults, as well. One man shared his own experience with his autistic granddaughter. He told me of how she loves to read and has stacks of her favorite books.
“Sometimes at bedtime I’m reading to her and I think she’s already asleep, and I’ll skip ahead. The other night she opened one eye, took the book from my hand and turned back to the place where I had been reading before skipping.”
After we chatted a bit more about how special these autistic children are, he looked thoughtful and said, “You know, maybe we’re the ones with challenges.”
In other words, we who assume we’re the normal ones are perhaps comparatively less in many ways.
Certainly autism often comes with enhanced abilities.
I very much enjoyed my several hours sharing Brynjar Karl’s Titanic with our guests. Such proofs of what is possible call to something deep within each of us. The Lego Titanic is a fitting conclusion to a tour of Titanic Museum Attraction, which showcases a major accomplishment for society in the early years of the Twentieth Century, more than a century ago.