function

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I can do a whole lot of things, and superbly well too. But autistic executive dysfunction is a very real thing, and I need help with the simplest stuff, without which, I am unable to do all the marvellous things as marvellously as I can. Autistic persons need support, no matter ‘where on the spectrum’ we may seem to be. That is why functioning labels are harmful. Stop referring to us as ‘high’ or ‘low’ functioning, we are autistic, we are humans. Start trying to understand how you can support us to do the things we can do well, so that we can in turn help you do the things you cannot do well.

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gaseous exudations

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Respectful social communication 101: In this day and age of technological advancement, there are multiple ways to communicate. If a person (with or without disability) tells you their preferred mode of social communication, please respect it, that is, if you wish to communicate with the person. Insisting on your own way and disregarding that person’s repeated requests is nothing but utter contempt and disrespect. Simple.

Communication is a complex effort. However, respect can be a really simple thing.

Sadly, there are people who just cannot connect in a straight-forward way, with mutual regard, across respectful space. I’ve come across many such folk along my more than half a century of traversing the hazardous human social-scape.  Continue reading

coming home

Dear Lucy,

Mumma’s coming home.

I know you’ve missed me. I missed you terribly too.

I am so sorry, my dearest love.

I will work ever harder, I promise, to provide a better life for you and me.

Thank you for your unquestioning patience, quiet endurance, and silent forbearance. I am devastated at having caused you pain.

I am coming home. In just a few hours, I will be with you again.

All my love and gratitude,

Mum Continue reading

more lessons with Lucy

We are almost there. It has been a flurry… a dizzy tizzy tipsy trippy scary one… anxiety hitting the roof and splotching everywhere now… getting ready for… The BIG Anxiety festival!

Preparing the final bits to go… and still learning about Clement Space from Lucy Like-a-Charm.

See you all there in Sydney!

clemency

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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

creating clement space

 

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

fail

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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…

dogly comestibles

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Food. Nourishment. Sensory engagement. Pleasurable. Challenging.

Textures so beautifully sublime. Textures so horribly excruciating.

Decorated. Sloppy. Aromatic. Stinky.

Synaesthesia. Association. Memory. History. Imagination. Creativity.

Every morsel contains a story. A luxurious narrative. A simple note.

Tendrils spreading and intertwining inexorably.

The good, bad, and the downright ugly. Not forgetting wonderment and gratitude, so often delicately woven into comestibles too ordinary to warrant reviews. Yet, for many with sensory atypicality, the aversions are real, as are the struggles. And for others, there is just no food. Or not enough. I am grateful that I eat. I am also mindful of my own sensory attractions and aversions. My interest in food in its complete resplendent glory emerges from this multi sensory, multidimensional engagement.

Go ahead and photograph your food. Capture in the visual as much of the sensorial richness as you possibly can. Make no apologies for food obsession. I don’t.

Dogly. Full of dogliness. Thinking of my friend Rick, as I tuck in. Thanks for the noshful souvenirs!

wobbly

Musing on a puff.

Uncertainty is wobbly. It tastes like stale reflux from mushrooms. A purplish-brown. An insistent low howl in the ear. Not pleasant at all. Wobbly. With no known cadential resolution in sight. Even the seemingly random reflections of nature contain discernible patterns, and comforting pulsations of regularity, order and organisation.

The autistic brain is not bosom friends with uncertainty. In fact, this quivering gelatinous dynamic mass often creates unnecessary mental, emotional and physical grief for the autist. It is a contentious point that creates friction between the autistic and non-autistic neurocultures.  Continue reading

desolate

I went there today. It was one of our favourite places, Lucy’s and mine. I sat at our regular spot. Smiling faces and hearty greetings from everyone. It was good to be back. The humans, the smells, the sounds, the colours and images, the textures, they are comforting in their familiarity. Yet, there was a void, a resonating desolation. There, in that space, that little nooky corner by my feet, Lucy was not. Instead, a walking cane, to help my unsteady hobbling, ungainly swelling of ankle and metatarsal joints. Bunny keeps on keeping on, while Lucy awaits patiently in her new faraway abode. Here, back in our former home, our old neighbourhood, the emptiness reverberates gentle memories of our adventures. Bunny and Lucy.