dedication

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This blog is dedicated to:

My beautiful, big-hearted baby sister and her valiant, generous hubby, and my most loyal and supportive friend YS – thank you for helping me eat better, look beyond my feet, reach out, live my dreams and keep on keeping on, knowing always that I am loved.

My canine angel, Lucy Like a Charm, who shares this wonderful journey.

familiar

 

Bruncheon in Paddington. Back to familiar space: sounds, smells, sights, textures and tastes. We know this well. It speaks peace. The basso continuo flows gently, meandering knowingly through patterns established. Home. Yet no more ours. Still, its benevolent space remains embedded in mind and soul, a soft unspoken clemency.

First to Not Just Coffee. Then the Paddington Markets for round two. How many more appoggiatura will the universe accord us here? Time suspends yet moves forcefully onwards in a contrapuntal dichotomy. Thank, loyal friend, for today. Tomorrow, where shall we be?

unreasonable fear

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sleep…

Voices outside the door. Low droning baritone melding with alto interjections, a contrapuntal interplay of human verbal exchange. Rising and falling dynamics, punctuated by snippets of silence, ebbing and flowing. Footsteps on the wooden boards. Shuffling sounds. More footsteps. Rustling again. Clicking, I hear plates and glasses being gathered. The tap turns on in the kitchen. Someone is washing the dishes.

Ordinary soundscape, ordinary living.

Why then the white fizzling silent roaring of fear? Trapped inside without locks. Frozen cocoon. Holding breath. Muscles stiff. Auditory nerves straining and fraught. Continue reading

little gems

Today is the last full day of sensory peace. We return tomorrow at mid-day to swirling, whirling, churning, gurgling, belching chaos and fetor. Barely settled into our blessed tranquility, time propels us once again into the fetid da capo.

It rained all day today. Lucy does not like the rain, and we stayed most of the day indoors, snuggling in the day bed while I worked on some writing. Continue reading

quest

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Lucy Like-a-Charm, my Canine Angel & Muse

Yesterday, I received the wonderful news that my PhD award is confirmed! The above photograph was taken a few seconds after reading the congratulatory email from my supervisor. I wanted to capture in a little visual document a snippet of the much larger and cogent moment embedded inside our very ordinarily extraordinary co-existence. Just Lucy and me, inside a cocoon of Clement Space.

I am extremely relieved, and grateful. Yes. Gratitude is the overwhelming emotion right now. Where I am at present is merely yet another part of an intimate adventure that I hope somehow manages to emanate some oases of ‘shared wonderment’ along the way. Continue reading

sensescape

After the foggy, damp start, the sun broke through with a forceful brilliance. A great day for washing, washing, and washing! A mission it was, after all, to breathe and touch cleanliness once more. So here, today, the full languid process unfurls.

How glorious is a gentle, warm shower, twice shampoo-ed hair, conditioned,  soaped and scrubbed down all over, turning slowly, touching cool smooth tiles, toes wriggling, and twirling carefully inside happy space. An old bathroom, just like the other one, but scrubbed and maintained. No cloying stink of rancid human embedded in threads of unkempt soggy towels, no dust or grime smeared across floor tiles, and no running out of water mid-way through. A little luxury too much taken for granted – basic, unhindered access to hygienic practice. Ah, the wonderment of squeaky clean hair! Continue reading

sticky notes

A grey, damp morning for Day 4 of our little retreat.

Some ‘sticky notes’ to remind me of life, and little clemencies…

Someone to watch over me. Lucy by my side.

Muesli. Yes. The ability to eat this crunchy, texturally eclectic and considerably challenging concoction is testament to being alive.

The view of green by my temporary workspace. It is not spectacular, unlike the “million-dollar-view” of the bay and the water, but it represents respite to me.

And Lucy. Always. Lucy.

ants!

Lucy didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. It wasn’t until 7.30am that I managed to persuade her to unwrap from the blankies.

When I coined the term ‘Clement Space’ in my research, and began working on the concept expressed via my material practice, I had an inkling that I was on the verge of something extremely cogent. However, I did not at the time anticipate the palpable impact that this will have on my own daily life. As in the case of a great deal of potent research and artistic praxis, ‘the work’ takes on a life of its own and traverses inexorable pathways, leading the researcher and artist along, sometimes hurtling through psychedelic, iridescent multitextural-sonic-olfactory extravaganzas, and other times crawling through asphyxiating, oppressive tunnels that seem to lead nowhere into infinity.

Day 3 of my sensory retreat. De-sensitising from the grip of hapless overload, delighting in little teaspoons of honeyed grace, the mind is still scrambling desperately to revive, while the body continues to demand rest and respite. Continue reading

voicing the voice

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Off to face the world!

It began foggy, damp and cold. We lay in bed, unwilling to emerge from under our warm cocoon. Angel alarm has not been working for some time now. Is it her age? No matter, mumma’s turn to take over the waking up process.

All quiet, apart from the whirring of traffic and birdsong – absolute bliss. No anxious listening out for grating vocalisations and cling-clang-slam of doors etc, planning the morning dash to kitchen and bathroom to avoid having our morning peace cruelly interrupted. Or destroyed. Continue reading

support

This article is gold. It describes my own struggle succinctly without fanciful embellishment.

Here, in this video, Sonia gives an excellent summary of what I am facing right now. Thank you. This is why I keep reiterating the need for support and concrete help, though the neurotypical world tends not to understand the import of need, because they see only the autist’s ability to function pretty remarkably in the normative realm, and hence the juxtaposed disabilities are not discernible to the normative way of perceiving and analysing information.

In short, the world does need all kinds of minds!