Sometimes, when extremely stressed, my brain goes into ‘word stimming’ mode, and seemingly random words flood my mind in a literal, concrete flow. They wash in, swirl around, bob up and down like flotsam and jetsam, and then seep out eventually. Other times, one single word gets stuck in the echoing space, and performs its own dance – which may be gentle and undulating, or vigorous and dramatic.

How do abstract words become tangible, palpable entities? I am not sure, but they do, for me anyway. There is a holistic embodied aspect to each morsel, they do not remain just semantic words (with association body-less meanings) but actually take on multi-sensory characteristics of smell, texture, taste, movement, vision and sound.

Last night, grappling with some intensities in the wrestling arena of anxiety and fear, coupled with interwoven jarring threads of physical pain (reactions to overload and stress), plus the hot-and-cold reverberations of fever, this one word pirouetted alone inside the dense, chaotic, darkly purple hued stage setting of my conscious and subconscious mind.


Dressed in gentle warm light, silken chiffon garments, a non-gendered shape, smelling like ginger lily, this entity danced and hummed liltingly inside the troubled theatre of my mental dissonance. Repeating… arabesque… arabesque… arabesque… differently rhythmed, patterned, then repeated, looping…

Angel Alarm woke me at 5.30am, we cuddled in bed till 6am, my attention momentarily drawn away from the arabesque-figure-word, but as I sat down to breakfast of oats and banana slices, the odour of ginger lily wafted back into my consciousness. And then, the piano piece by Claude Debussy, one that I had memorised and loved to play back in the days when I played piano. (I have not touched the piano for many years now, though I still yearn for this tactile-auditory-proprioceptive engagement, I cannot yet afford or accommodate a piano in my home.)

Added to the mindspace now is the sonic resonance of this piano music, and the visual, tactile, olfactory strokes of Lucy’s elegance. I think I shall carry this little capsule of grace with me throughout the day. There is much work to be achieved today.

Please, dear friend, do not think that the autistic person, when withdrawn and inside our infamous “world of our own” is not communicating meaningfully. Those of us that may appear to be at times vociferous about our subjects of intense passion, may not wish, at other moments, to converse with the human-verbal-social world at large. Nevertheless, we are all (whether deemed ‘verbal’ or ‘non-verbal’ by neurotypical social constructs) in deep and richly luxurious communion with elemental forces that available semantic language just cannot begin to properly describe. My attempt here is actually quite pathetic at best. This is a precious domain. And, perhaps, if you, too, could taste, touch, smell, hear, see and revel in the same, you would understand why this inner realm is so inviting to those of us autists who know it well.

I recommend this to all my friends, regardless of neurological cultures, this inner oasis of renewal and repair. To some, it is imperative and innate, to others, it can be acquired with a bit of practice, but wherever there is a thought-space, it is freely accessible!


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