I love Japanese cuisine, especially the rice, sushi and sashimi. My beloved brother-in-law now works in research and development at a large Japanese food company, and he takes us all out for a meal at least once a month at one of the many Japanese restaurants owned by the company. “Arigato” is the Japanese expression for “Thank You.” I am so fortunate! Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon, a friend took me to a little nooky cafe, tucked inside an industrial estate. A former hardware shop, the entrance decorated with eclectic vintage clutter served as a thematic introduction to the atmosphere within. As soon as we pushed open the creaky door, I felt a draft of musty, humid, cool air blow directly into my face, then wrap around me like a nebulous mouldy snake. My skin tingled, as my olfactory senses picked up the various miasmic odours emanating from each visually charming piece of history on display.
The waiter ushered us towards the back. Slipping within a split second into a bubble of wordlessness, I followed obediently, semi-somnambulant, my sensory system already engaged in a (routine) contrapuntal wrestling match with the onslaught of smells, sights, and sounds. As we were about to sit down at the allocated table, speech suddenly returned, and words fell out of my mouth like marbles, tumbling down and bouncing sharply against the concrete floor.
“I don’t want to sit here, it smells funny. I don’t like the smell here.”
Photograph description: Lucy Like-a-Charm creates Clement Space wherever she goes. The above three photos show how she appropriates her Bichon-poodle cousin, Bizcuit’s, bed, which is a tad too small to contain her massive Greyhound body. In the first photo, she tries to pour into the bed, but her Greyhound butt falls off the edge. In the second photo, she lays her head down, she decides that she is content, and settles down for a snooze. The third photo shows Lucy sleeping, butt on floor, legs and head on the bed.
Lucy is a major influence on my concept of Clement Space, especially the idea that we can create mental and physical spaces of grace wherever we may be. Momentary respite. A place in which to repair and replenish sensory equilibrium.
Sometimes, to the casual observer, it may look awkward, seem uncomfortable even, or appear bizarre. However, Clement Space is ours, it is intimate, and we should feel safe to own it.
Little morsels of grace. Foody Dogliness while pup-sitting.
Some weeks ago, I spent a few days at my friend’s place, looking after my Godson, a handsome young Greyhound. Lucy came along, of course. It was pleasant, I actually relished the quietude and isolation. I was in good company, with two beautiful black Greyhounds by my side, wordless communication and elemental empathic resonance.
The photos of my food speak about this gentleness. Most of the time, I ate what came delivered by the caterer. Other times, I ordered in. There seems to be a tranquil Sarabande quality to the images captured. I like eating alone.
Sometimes, Clement Space can exist inside inclemency.
I recently spent 3 days and 2 nights at a holiday chalet with immediate and extended family. A grand spectacle of non-stop sensory overload. Unceasing noise. Human chatter at booming, roaring, shrieking, penetrating volume. Clattering of mahjong tiles into the wee, wee, wee-est hours. Thick, choking smells from the barbecue, food being cooked all day, cigarettes (smokers were very considerate, they only smoked outside, but my olfactory receptors picked this up too), and burning mosquito coils.
Oh, yes, and food. An over abundance of food. So much that it became overwhelming, even for a Foodie Bunny. Continue reading
As the BIG Anxiety festival draws ever nearer, I am plunged into a flurry of making, musing, more making and more musing. While crafting the installations for Clement Space in the City, contemplating the concept itself, and trying to find spaces of clemency along the way, an old song of mine wove its way into my consciousness.
“The road is long and the dark night is lonely“… A line from one of my songs, “To Touch the Edge” written and recorded 1998/1999. I did not realise it at the time, but it was a plea to find Clement Space: a place – mental and/or physical – where mind, soul and body may dwell, even for a few brief moments, without threat or assault to intrinsic Beingness. (Click on title of song to access on SoundCloud.)
Days are now filled with the sensory textures of netting, organza, cotton, linen, yarn, thread, pinpricks on fingers, and the whirring gargling rattling of my mother’s trusty old Singer sewing machine. Continue reading
Words … Meltdown … I couldn’t have put this across better than Sonia!
Selfie, taken at Oxford train station while texting Rhi, drinking flat white coffee and squinting at the camera in bright warm sunlight. By the time the train arrived ten minutes later a sudden cold wind had brought on numb fingers.
Occasionally I read autistic blogs and the writing feels remote. Slowly I’m identifying a difficulty in matching words to experience. Meltdowns have been one such area of disconnect, but today, as I prepared to make an overnight journey, words and experience coalesced to bring a new understanding.
A brief essay on words(skip if you just want to read about the meltdown)
I mean words – what are they and where do they come from? I’ve previously described how writing feels like plucking words from the sky. I sense them rather than understand them in a precise manner. Sometimes I get the ‘right word’ but often I don’t, and I have…
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Executive function roadblock. Heartbreaking news. Soul destroying dissonance. The autistic empathic resonance is painful, weeping and grieving for a callous humanity, a humanity so oblivious of our delicate gut-wrenching empathy for the things unspoken, yet so powerfully reverberating through the very fibres of our Being.
We need Clement Space.
Get away from the terrible soul destroying news. Humanity at its worst. And – you know that I know that we know – there is no end to it, for as long as humans survive.
Yet… somehow… there is goodness in humanity yet. What conundrum is this?
Here is a poignant and beautiful piece by Sparrow M. Rose, musing on my theme of Clement Space (a concept inspired by Lucy Like-a-Charm).
I need this today. We need this today. Come inside Clement Space.
by Sparrow M. Jones
“Assume a kind world where everything you need is everywhere you go.” – Patti Digh
Endogenous space. Contracting to the single point within. Free-fall to the center where infinite smallness expands, hidden in the waistcoat of antimatter.
Exogenous space. Expanding to an infinite perimeter encompassing nothing. Drift, gravity-free to the periphery where infinite grandeur contracts, hidden in plain sight. Continue reading
The dark despair of failure. Those depths of acrid, rancid, dissonant putridity. Purple – thick, viscid, slimy, clammy, choking and Stygian – swirling manic whirlpool inside corporeal core.
That feeling that one has failed a precious Parallel Embodied child. Closest companion. Most faithful entity who walks alongside without questioning.
Each and every decision affects this beautiful being – such cogent reverberations – in ways no human mind will ever fully grasp. Yet, just sensing the very peripheral waves, catching those soft crying top notes or unheard vibrating bass notes, is enough to thrust the human soul into the vortex of forlorn, hapless gloom. That is, if the human possesses just a sliver of empathic resonance for Other, and a tiny beam of light shining onto Self. Many, sadly, do not. Yet… Some humans really do. Some humans truly try.
What would one give to understand in full the abundance that thrives within the Canine Angel’s inner world?
What may this human proffer in exchange for this harmonic-rhythmic enlightenment beneath the mantle of verisimilitude?
Would the knowledge and the weight of its pulchritude and agony annihilate the tenuous human fragility?
No words. No answers. The silence deafens, as the senses listen intently, skimming the surface of myriad textures, smells, tastes, vibrations, images, sounds… Ebbing, flowing, undulating…
This gallery contains 18 photos.
Originally posted on Dawn-joy Leong:
Scattered pieces. Little chips, broken off a brittle whole. Windblown. Each one a part of entity, identity and embodied Beingness. Sensory assault. Social weariness. Harsh terrains of normative colonial tyranny, treading through landscapes only the…