dedication

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This blog is dedicated to:

My canine angel, Lucy Like-a-Charm.

My baby sister Althea, her wonderful hubby Robin, and her two furry boys Bizcuit & Tiny.

My loyal friends YS and Rick.

Without you, there would be no adventure, no narrative, no amazing tales to tell.

Giving is getting: the social ‘cure’ for autism (the power dynamics exposed).

If you read only one thing this weekend, read this!

“The truth is that the current neurological hegemony practices daily micro-aggressions in which autistic people are not welcomed. They’re also barred from giving in the mainstream of life.

Some of us experience just enough welcome (important to acknowledge a relative privilege) and gain the tools with which to carve a niche. But too many don’t. Every human needs a baseline of welcome, and access to the power of giving.”

The other side

Sonia Boué, artist performance image. Sonia Boué – process image for a forthcoming performance piece.

I acknowledge my privilege – I am enabled to give in my art practice. How many autistics are excluded? Process image for a forthcoming performance piece. 

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Giving is getting.

Yes – I’m talking power dynamics and socially embedded disadvantage.

My thoughts flow from a series of encounters.  Most notably a comment about ‘functional’ language in autism. Neuro-normative culture misinterprets autistic expression.  It tends to frame what is considered  ‘functional’ through the lens of its own (culturally dominant) social orientation.

Dominant cultures tend to make pathology of what they perceive as ‘other’. For example, not recognising language acquisition on its own (collecting and repeating words) as functional because it seems to serve no obvious ‘social’ purpose.

Neuro-normative hegemony has it that a child of a certain age ‘should’ talk about their day, their friends, and so on.  Within this framework of understanding, building…

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watery graves

Slow streams of unconscious

Melting rubberbands

River of tiredness

Drying up the sand

Strength seeping

Knees weeping

Purple cobalt

Orange ochre

Sunlight making way

For bland leaden grey

And time runs down sink holes

To swirling watery graves

When even fragmented words in poetic paintings fail, music – that wordless communication of the soul and spirit – overtakes.

fools & horses

2015-Little-Sarabande

Little Saraband – Lucy Like-a-Charm

So much fluttering the past couple of days around social media, on my feed and that of others. Someone really quite brilliant once confided in me, that he feels an overwhelming sense of loneliness because few people are able to properly understand what he is conveying to them. It is a lonesome space to be, when one is extremely intelligent and intellectual, I suppose? I won’t know. I’m really not all that clever, but painfully few people fully grasp my communications too. Maybe my friend and I are at opposite extremes? I don’t feel lonely, though, because I have Lucy. No need for words between us, though being human I tend to use words a lot. She knows what she knows, and what she knows is enough for me.

My friend said of me, that I do not suffer fools gladly, but perhaps he is wrong this time about why. I merely despair because humanity seems hell bent on folly, while riding rigid-backed upon nervous horses on stilts.

Too many words flooding my brain lately. Maybe I am the greater fool after all. I’m happy inside wordlessness, and it’s once more time to repair frayed nerves, so I shall take my leave from here until my human ego and folly returns yet again with more words to scatter.

Fools. Here’s a song I wrote and recorded in 2000. This version is the instrumental, without words, but today, just the music is enough conveyance.

https://soundcloud.com/dawn-joy-leong/fools-instrumental-version

questions

“Questions” – A song in search of Clement Space of Mind and Soul.

Lyrics, music and vocals are mine.

There is a lot of pain in this grand cosmic struggle of things. Mental agony. Physical affliction. Emotional torment.

Autistic people are no strangers to pain. Very often, excruciating.

In the endless interrogation of truth, celestial mutterings and terrestrial enunciations, the enquiring soul meanders round and round in a seething, fermenting swirl of questions unanswered. What is the meaning of all this suffering? When will it end, or is there an end at all to the excruciation and vexation?

 

love me

 

An old friend. Probably the only one left from that era of innocence. A little petite dinner. A small humble celebration. Love. No need for big glamorous party. I don’t want many many flittering fluttering bits flying around my sphere, making me nauseous and giddy. Happy with just one old friend, a takeaway meal, and two mini little cakes for dessert – to celebrate my very obscure arrival on earth.

 

Love me, or leave me. Simple as that. Many have left, others have entered the clement spaces. New and old, a blended grace. And there is now Lucy Like-a-Charm. I am content.

 

happy birthday Bunny

Yesterday was my birthday. 53 years ago on this day, the Autistic Bunny was introduced into the soggy boggy sparkly world.

53 years later, still trundling along but such a difference it makes, with a beloved companion, the most precious of all life’s gifts. A Gift from Cosmic Heaven.

How did we spend this day? Continue reading

the greatest of all is Love

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the greatest gift

Something I posted in my Facebook page awhile ago that I’m putting out here, after weeks of pondering. Why did I hesitate to make public my own views, since I’m not the kind who is usually ‘hush-hush’ about biting honesty? Perhaps because of the overwhelming aggression displayed by both sides of the argument, but most especially the judgemental religious factions. I already suffer deep trauma, PTSD, from my experiences in the Christian Church in which I grew up – why dig all that pain up and fling it around, why uncover the mental, emotional and physical agony? But silence – especially on issues that matter to my own moral compass – will not bring me additional healing or redress for the heinous crimes I suffered at the hands of Organised Religion. So here it is. Public utterance. Continue reading

remembrance

Remembering dad through the music he brought me. I’ve inherited his love for music, for eclectic sounds – from Shanghai Jazz, Chinese pop, Cantopop of the Golden Era, to Jazz, Tin Pan Alley, Irish Ballads, and all the way to Western European Art Music, what people call ‘Classical Music’ (which isn’t exactly accurate, since the Classical Era was actually a specific time in Western European musical history).

Dad left us 11 years ago. Mid-Autumn festival would never again be the same for me. I promised to bring back lanterns to fill his room with, I asked him to wait for me, but he could not wait. I did not get to say a proper goodbye. Our goodbye will always be suspended in that promise – I had envisioned little multicoloured paper lanterns adorning his bedroom, and our last Mid-Autumn together. I knew he was dying. He knew he was dying. To this day, I ask myself, why did I leave his side? Continue reading

songs

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I am listening to the gentle rise and fall of Lucy’s breath, her warm scent wrapping around me like a soft blanket of wellness – a song in itself so masterful in grace and pulchritude that it cannot be of human construction.

For some time now, I have been feeling a deep longing to return to music. A Facebook friend posted some guitar arrangements he did and listening to them brought me back to my own songs from a very distant time and place. Looking back, it was as if I was lost and meandering my way through like an Alice inside a dreamscape – a blend between Salvador Dali and Kandinsky, with the intermittent clarity of Paul Klee. Entrapped and enslaved by malevolent Other, music was my only pathway to salvation of Self.

I revisited these old songs on my SoundCloud page tonight, and Lucy doesn’t seem to mind at all. It feels like a strangely sweet layering, listening to these sounds and enunciations swirling above Lucy’s comforting breathing in and out, a rhythmic anchor that I did not have at the time, but was searching for. It took 12 years for me to find my way to Lucy. Now, I think I am slowly finding my way back to music again.