broken angel

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an angel’s trust

once betrayed

how soon

if ever

to win again?

rage deflected

fell

a deafening thud

upon innocence

blow once dealt

cannot be rescinded

how contemptible

such horror this?

devil’s mischief

humanity’s defeat

heartbreaking cry

angel’s grief

sleep now

my sweet

rock-a-bye babe

human tears

are made of folly

dear sweet angel

i have failed

your love

so undeserved

yet pleading

forgive me

my disgraceful

humanity

this morning

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Fish & Chips Da Capo

This morning. Today. A slowly unfolding, passing, flowing ‘now’… I am inside… Lucy is inside… We are both inside… Here…

They say the mark of a really good meal is in its rehashing afterwards. Well, I reheated yesterday’s fish and chips in a pan for a hearty late breakfast half an hour ago. In some ways, it seemed to taste even better than before. This AirBnB kitchen has no toaster ovenette – and I didn’t want to heat up an entire giant oven just for my leftovers – so, I used a frying pan, a dash of virgin olive oil, on low heat. The batter become crispier and the chips crunchier. The salad was fresh enough to not taste soggy-faded too. Thank you, dear Massimo!  Continue reading

bump!

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Meltdown

It’s Wednesday. Midweek. Lucy and I hit a few bumps along the road today.

This morning, as if she somehow had an inkling of what lay ahead, Lucy was less happy than usual to get out of bed for her early morning breakfast. During our little walk around the block, she was sniffing around a familiar patch of grass, when she stopped, walked very deliberately to the gate leading to a gallery where I had held my first exhibition, and stood at the gate. She resolutely refused to move from that position, even turning away from her favourite lamb puff treat when I tried to persuade her. “It’s locked, honey, we can’t go in from here.” She usually understands this, and will follow me thereafter, but Lucy stood frozen to the spot, as if in a mini, silent meltdown. Her nose began to drip, another sign of distress. I checked her all over to make sure she hadn’t suffered any injury, or stepped on glass shards etc. All ok. Something must have triggered in her mind. A sensory issue? An olfactory memory? She seemed insistent on going inside via that particular gate. Or perhaps she was just reacting to the big change of being back with me after 2 months at ‘holiday camp’ with my lovely friends Jan and Pete, and their five dogs?  Continue reading

A Greyhound in My Wheelbarrow

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Greyhound racing banned in NSW, Australia today!

Four years ago, when Lucy came into my life, I had no idea we would have such amazing adventures and even witness many historical makings.

Today, in the wee hours of the morning, after a lengthy debate in parliament, Greyhound racing was banned in NSW. It is historic indeed, and what a huge fight it was too! I am, of course, celebrating this event. Continue reading

mindDog needs help!

For many people with invisible disabilities, an assistance dog makes the difference between living a richer life or one shut inside fear and terror. Without Lucy, I would not have had the amazing inspiration trajectories for my professional work, and I would not have the courage to keep going when overwhelmed by the cosmic maelstrom that I have found myself hurled into over and over again during this incredible PhD journey. I can honestly say that on more than one occasion, Lucy has saved my life in very concrete, palpable ways. An assistance dog is not only a beloved companion animal, but one trained to address specific disabilities in practical and essential ways. Continue reading

hugging the hug

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Photo from “Your Dog Hates Hugs.”

I made an FB rant in response to handsome TV celebrity vet Chris Brown’s post refuting the recent news going around that dogs actually do not like being hugged.

A hug is not the same as soft cuddling, stroking, snuggling.

A handsome TV celebrity vet may be attractive but he is not always right.

It is dangerous and yes, even harmful, to push personal agenda over that of our animals and indeed even the neurologically differently wired.

Chris Brown says very wisely, “If you see wide eyes, ears that are down… etc…” Yes, agree… but when you are hugging (remember hugging is not the same as cuddling, stroking, snuggling) how can you see any accurate signs of these? Besides, you will be too emotionally centred to want to be observing, wouldn’t you? Isn’t that the whole basis of hugging?

Is it not time to consider – yes, just merely stop a moment and consider – the paradigm of the other Being that we say we so adore and love, to find out whether their modalities for affection are being properly recognised, alongside our own?

I hate hugging humans, but they make me hug them anyway – they even have ABA ‘scientifically proven methods’ that make people like me learn to appear normal and like hugging etc, and we comply because why? We wish to please and we don’t want to be beaten down anymore, that is all. BUT… I would LOVE for this so-called ‘non-scientific’ observation to be wrong, because I love to hug my Lucy, she’s the only one I want to hug. But I know there is grave truth in the concept that dogs do not really like being hugged. Because I can feel her muscles. And I have hugged many of my family dogs. Enough to know that I have made a practice of ignoring them since age 5. Luckily, I was not bitten. Just because one celebrity vet tells you it is ok, then it is science? What about the many many non-celebrity vets who tell you otherwise, from their own experiences?

How does your dog like to show affection, without prompting? Lucy likes to lick me. I do not like it much, but there is some comfortable compromise to be made. Lucy likes to paw at me, and ask me to stroke her ears, while looking at me intently. I am not keen on looking in the eye much, so I look away after some time. I want to hug her, and she endures it for my sake, but I now minimise it because I can feel her muscles subtly tightening, even though I cannot literally see those things that Chris Brown says to look out for – because when you are hugging someone/dog/cat you just cannot see those things, can you? Anyway…. long rant…

All I am saying is, please, people, try to look at those you profess to love from their native modality. Try. Just try. I still get it wrong. Lucy is a patient teacher. I am not a very good learner. But I want to keep trying with an open mind. That is ALL I am saying. That there are possible paradigms that are not our own, and I just want to explore those from within Otherness, rather than insisting on my own needs and my own concepts. If that is pushing my own agenda, then it is true. My agenda is to try and learn from the modalities of the neurologically differently wired from myself, while at the same time persuading the normative social community to try and step into my different paradigm.

This was on my own FB space. But the Bunny had previously offered a frank opinion on a friend’s repost, and got promptly accused of pushing my own barrow, and then the thread was deleted. I respect my friend’s right to do so. It is, after all, a personal FB wall and he is entitled to his opinion. I actually thought we were having a nice intellectual debate, I failed to see how intensely he disliked it, and I guess I was being insensitive in that instance.

No, I will not stop being honest with my thoughts, but I will from henceforth try to be more sensitive about dishing my thoughts out in this way to this particular friend’s personal FB space. The lesson I learned (and continue to learn with each new experience) is exactly the same lesson that I am trying to convey: let’s make effort to empathise with Other from their native framework, instead of our own. So, now I realise my friend does not like this kind of disagreement and does not see my intellectual discourse as what it is intended to be, I am responsible for putting a lid on it, after all, it is his space. I will refrain – cease and desist – henceforth. (Different scenario if it were my space.)

We do need to keep wanting to learn. Empathy is an Endeavour. That was my whole point where it came to my comments re. the dog-hugging argument anyway – but people who are too emotionally heated up tend not to perceive logic in a … well… logical way. And yes, fact is, in this framework of emotionality or emotion-focusing, the babbling autistic does indeed come across as irritating, annoying and “pushing our own barrows” (steamrolling really). How do we strike a good compromise? I do not know for sure, but I am learning from Lucy. She is a patient teacher. Maybe I will learn enough to apply it better to my human interactions? Go, Lucy Angel!

tired sausages

 

Literally. Exhausted. And the pain… but nobody wants to hear about the aches and pains of a middle aged autistic woman. Come to think of it, nobody ever wanted to hear about aches and pains at any stage of life. I know that, because mine began from as far back as I can remember, and probably even further back to pre-memory and pre-verbal stages, judging from reports and anecdotes about my behaviour as an infant. “Psychosomatic!” “Pull up your socks!” (where are my socks, by the way?) “All in your head!” (it’s bursting, just sayin’)… Since the age of five. Amazing stuff, adults tell suffering children, yeah. Continue reading

familiar space

It’s not ‘nostalgia’ really… just… an elemental empathy with familiar and clement space. We returned twice to our old neighbourhood last week. Once in the middle of the week, with our special guests Misty and Colin, and then on Saturday for breakfast with Rick. Not Just Coffee has to be our very favourite place in Paddington!

Life is in a state of unstable flux … I don’t know where the cosmos will lead us next, and how clement it will be to one Bunny and one Greyhound called Lucy. For now, we will do our best to treasure and savour the important things…

not just a dog

 

No dog that is loved is “just a dog.” Someone I lived with in the past used to say of her own dogs, “they’re just dogs.” She treated them well when they were delightful and healthy, but the moment illness struck, she euthanised them, even the one that was healthy, because she couldn’t be bothered to deal with the burden of caring for a sick dog or an aging dog. This echoes the attitude of people in the Greyhound racing industry, who swear blue that they “love” their dogs, “like family” or “like royalty,” but have no qualms in killing them when they are unable to run for money. Yes, the official figures are admitted by the industry – 17,000 are killed a year in Australia, by the Greyhound racing industry… people who say they “love” their dogs.

A beloved pet dog is not “just a dog.” They are family. I know people who truly love their pets, not just when it is convenient and easy. Pets are companions who bring us joy and comfort. The emotional support that pets give to us, and what we can learn from them are immeasurable. I know that, because I grew up with pets – dogs, bunnies, chickens, ducks etc.

And assistance dogs are very special angels that do tasks beyond and above the already wonderful things that beloved pets do. Assistance animals help keep some of us alive and functioning. They do specific tasks that alleviate our disabilities and open up an otherwise inaccessible world to us. This video is about these special angels. Doogle, Buddy and Lucy are just three of many, many assistance animals that help people with disabilities, visible and invisible, to live fuller and richer lives. They help us in ways that humans cannot.

I am so grateful for my Lucy. And to mindDog Australia.

MindDog Australia is a wonderful organisation. They have helped many of us to live better, fuller and enabled lives. Thank you, mindDog!

documenting the maelstrom

 

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Documenting the maelstrom through comestibles.

Movement. Moving.

PhD submission deadline. Stretto-crescendo. Nearer and nearer.

Being (re)moved just 4 weeks before deadline.

Finding grace – saved from self-destruction by a Greyhound gaze… a kind offer, Lucy is safe, a cheap airticket, and a trip home.

Clement space. Familial grace. Old friends. Rally round for Bunny.

Work, work, work – at last! Phew!

More grace – a 3 week extension and a new deadline. Continue reading