bog

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Another wet, cold, clammy and sensorially challenging day. The weatherman says it will last all the way till Monday. My mind races around, frantically trying to find a solution, but at the same time I know there is none. I shall just have to ride the waves of agony until the dry sunshine reappears. At least I am not living in the tropics anymore. I used to wonder why I was constantly irritable, always feeling like some part of me would explode or implode, always nauseous from the assaultive heavy smells around me. Now, I realise that humidity is to blame – or rather, my own hyper sensory reaction to humidity. I am grateful to be living here, where the dry days do outnumber the wet ones, and the challenges thus vary accordingly. Lucy hates the wet too. We have this in common, among many other things. She refused to go outside for her evening micturitions last night. She held it in, until 2am, when she woke me up from my unpleasant dreams, indicating that she needed to go downstairs. Always gentle in her approach, she does not paw at me, nor does she bark or jump on me the way some other dogs do in their communication. This time, she merely rose from her bed and shook herself. I am a light sleeper, I woke up when I heard her sheets rustle and saw her dark form rising. I watched her, ready to respond. She came to me and sniffed briefly at my hand, then walked towards the door, pointing her long nose at the door. The rain had abated at that very moment, was she aware, had she been waiting for this? I threw on my jacket, grabbed some treats, a torchlight and two poop bags, put slid her Glodoggie collar over her long slim neck and off we ventured forth into the dark sogginess. Now that the sunlight take longer to arrive and darkness shrouds the sky earlier, this wonderful gift from my thoughtful friend, Fiona, proves ever so helpful. Three huge piddles and two steaming poops later, we were back home and in bed, where we stayed till 8am! Sensory acuity and the resultant extreme reactions to triggers, often very disabling at the same time, is not well understood, not even by the so-called experts. Hypersensitivity occurs in non-autistic people too, it is not exclusive to autism. However, I do observe some affective differences. Apart from the biological explanations, as an artist, I have been thinking about the elemental atunement that so many autistics seem to possess, the synergy with concrete materiality, documented variously in the writings of Tito Mukhopadhyay, Dawn Prince, Temple Grandin etc, that may, perhaps, mark the difference between autistic hypersensitivity and non-autistic hypersensitivity? As I type this, I have just finished a bruncheon session with my friend Rick. Always a welcome exertion, and of course my friend knows when to exit too, which makes it all the more clement. It is not cold, my body does not feel at all cold, but my legs and feet have become icicles since yesterday. Encased in a pair of socks and tights, they still scream at me in disturbingly manic melismatic fragments. I stubbed my left small toe on the leg of a chair just now, and the pain was excruciating, reminding me that my feet do indeed exist after all. My head has been on the verge of physically exploding too, and I have now wrapped a bandana around it to mitigate the roaring pain. Lucy is uncomfortable too. I have wrapped her in her cosy fleece blanket. We are both suffering, but we are not complaining. I write about my sensory world because I need to give voice to this lively realm of silence, and perhaps invite those who wish to catch a glimpse of the eclectic fullness to partake of some humble samplings via visual image and word painting. Lucy and I are both treading the icy waters and waiting for dry weather to re-emerge. In the meantime, there is a wealth of activity to engage in, if only I had more strength and functional control over my overwrought physical senses! Postscript: Fever has set in now. And dizziness. Time to reach for panadol, stemetil, the granny crochet and my warm vanilla Angel Hound. Have a good day, everyone!

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