creeps & creepers

A cover version, quite lovely too. I was sent this song by a former boyfriend, some self-styled maverick quite talented musician person, and it turned out this was his one and only honest declaration ever – yes he really was a creep. No joke. Beware, you people with autistic children, we grow into adults and we’re still not very socially savvy! Creeps love creeping around us.

hope & hatred

Everyone wants to be a hero these days, it seems. Or maybe not just these days, but as long as humans have existed? With social media and the internet, things are of course speeded up and magnified, because the world can just burst through your computer or mobile phone or tablet screen right there into your living room (or wherever you may be at whichever moment).

Greta Thunberg is making news now – probably going to be a far more prominent autistic figure than Temple Grandin ever was. And she is attracting far more bullies, haters, jealous critics etc than Grandin did during her time-in-the-sun.

Why are so many people up in arms about Greta Thunberg? Here’s just one little article in a sea of articles trying to figure out this phenomenon: “Much Ado About Greta.”

I can understand and even expect the ableist haters, bullies and naysayers. It’s sort of a ‘regular’ thing in the autism world for us autistics who dare to speak out about anything at all to be spat on, chewed upon, derided and mocked with vigourous venom by loud non-autistics. (Or to be tokenised.) What I find intriguing and sad, are the autistic voices mumbling and grumbling along the sidelines. Continue reading

leaving & returning

Breakfast is my first meal of the day. I am a Foodie, that means food and all its accompanying sensory input, is important to me. If breakfast is somehow not ‘right’ to my senses, I am thrown off kilter for the entire day. This morning, while tucking in to my Nutella on Toast breakfast, I felt a sense of excited tranquility seeping in and slowly filling me – for those who understand what I call “elemental empathy” (i.e. the way some autistics relate and communicate with the material world around us), this was one of those connected full-body moments. A sense of relief followed the first thrillingly refreshing wave.

I am leaving the fierce, aggressive and thankless (for me) arena of focused autism advocacy here in Singapore. I jumped into the fray with a great deal of trepidation, and it was just as I expected it to be every step of the way. It did not disappoint my anxious predictions, but I am glad I did it. With the help of strong allies, the heavy door into the mainstream autism platform was held open just enough for other hopeful and enthusiastic autistic adults to step through. Whether they are ‘ready’ or not for this, it is not my place to critique or assess. It is now all up to those who wish to step into the limelight of advocacy.

Continue reading

memory

JS Bach Invention 1

J.S. Bach Invention 1 in C major, BWV772

I am slowly retraining muscle memory. It’s only half true that if you’ve learned something well in childhood, you’ll not forget it ever. Of course, I can still read music notes, of course I can still ‘play’ the piano in my mind, but seated in at the keys, J.S.Bach’s Invention 1 in front of me, a piece I mastered as a young piano student, my fingers just stolidly and stiffly refused to respond according to how I remembered it in my mind. In fact, I could not muster enough strength to last more than an hour before my fingers, wrists, shoulders and back began to protest vehemently.

Of course the arthritis is a key factor, but the truth is, I had forgotten. My muscles had forgotten the rhythmic precision, the measured force, the intensity of focus, the phrasing, embellishments, the whole body coordination, the mental concentration and the holistic stamina required for something that appears so simple and straight-forward.

Nevertheless, the sheer pleasure that takes over the corporeal being when engaging every part – internal and external – in this innocuous activity is indescribable. ┬áMy mind and body, all my senses, are activated in a fulfilling and vigorous way that no other art form does for me. Even though ‘making’ and creating my physical installations bring a great deal of satisfaction, for me, nothing compares to the space I am in when I communicate with music and music with me. There is a mutuality that exists beyond the audible, the vibrations, that which is unheard but sensed throughout the body,

I have been gifted with yet another embodiment of Clement Space. And this time, at last, I am able to share my practice ‘sphere’ with mother. I used to recoil from sharing this intimate space with anyone, it would literally send me into meltdown should someone invade or interrupt my practise, and I would only happily share when I feel ready to ‘perform’. Now, however, the process is freed up to include and embrace external entities as guests inside what was once sacrosanct. Is this “overcoming” an autistic trait? I do not see it that way. There was nothing wrong with my not wanting to share what was sacredly private, and there is also nothing wrong or right with my now allowing a very select few to enter this space. It is merely how I have evolved, without conscious or forced effort. That is not to say that all and sundry are welcome, but more a symbolic gesture that perhaps mother is at last someone that I have allowed into this space in this way.

And I am glad for it. For mother, mostly, but also for myself.