unable to look away

I have been looking into the Empathy-Theory of Mind conundrum again. This time, for research purposes. Writer Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg has done a lot of work in this area. Here is an excellent article to provoke more thought on the issue. I am posting the link here because it rang a bell in my head, and I don’t want to forget it. A five note phrase on a glockenspiel. My own personal experience in this area warrants some self-investigation: I am definitely slower on the uptake to figure out other people’s intentions, and very often, masterful manipulators get the better of me because of this. Is that a lack of Theory of Mind specific to my autistic condition? I don’t yet know for sure. However, I have no lack of empathy, quite the opposite. I shall have to leave the pondering to another day when my mental faculties return to me. In the meantime, I am reading and re-reading Rachel’s piece, with an instinctive ‘feeling’ that there is a lot in there to wrap my brain around.

Right now, fighting the demons of influenza, my mind is awash with purple goo-ey nausea-inducing slimy substance peppered with frightening colourful beads of “hundreds and thousands.” No, I am not sure why and will not attempt to analyse this association. Wrapped in a blanket given to me by a friend, two ends held together by a clothes peg, and trying to read the many emails and blog posts that are fed into my inbox, while shivering from fever, coughing and struggling to clear a stubbornly blocked nasal passage. I love this blanket, because the friend who gave two of the same to me is a homeless man, living in a van, a valiant warrior of life, with a wealth of ideas and information about the art world, and art politics. He and our other homeless friends are a huge reason why I miss my old neighbourhood. Here in the university, living on campus, I am among an abundance of privilege and youth, both of which I can understand and recall, but neither of which is any longer a huge reality to me now.

I listen to the sound of rice congee bubbling in the pot (my attempt at palliative support), and my own wheezing breaths as I battle the choked airways. My Angel is wrapped up snugly in bed, a giant silken black velvet vanilla bug, dressed in handmade purple jersey pyjamas, inside a pink fleece blanket with childish lamb motifs. This is all the language I can muster right now. Words on a page. Fortunately, I am not required to speak audibly. Lucy makes no such demands on my frayed circuits.

Right. I leave you to peruse the excellent piece of thought-writing by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg.


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