scrambled eggs

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My brain feels like badly scrambled eggs. You know the kind where the fire is too hot, and the eggs become a jumbled mash of squidgy hardened blobs, not at all light and fluffy? Well, yep. That is how it feels like now.

So, what does the foodie Bunny eat when frantically rushing against the madly ticking clock? Ever the determined foodie, I am valiantly trying to feed myself as decently as possible. Of course, having spent all my money on the exhibition, the fare is less than luxurious.

Have fun with the food pictures. There is humour somewhere, though I am not sure I can manage anything more than a strangled gurgle for a laugh. Oh, and yeah, I threw in the photo of my swollen fingers for good measure.

Tally ho and on with the show!

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haptic pyjamas

“Haptic pyjamas!” has been bouncing in my mindscape with sonic, rhythmic, and visual vim and vigour, refusing to make a quiet exit. I am not sure why, but I have a strong suspicion it has to do with this latest piece of work and its nocturnal unfolding.

Two fluffy 60x60cm cushion covers, a vegetarian dinner of stir fried flat rice noodles and red capsicum and a gentle evening doggy-walk later, I decided to embark on reworking the Haptic HugShrug. It was already 10pm when I began. Lucy was snoozing in her favourit fluffy rug, occasionally opening an eye to check on me, and interjecting the quiet night air with a huff and groan every now and then. She does not like it when I stay up late. Her bedtime hour is 8pm, and I usually crawl into bed with her, working on my laptop until she shoves my laptop off the bed at around 10pm. Our routine has been very much upset lately, of course. I managed to complete it at 12am, by which time I was nauseous and dizzy, but feeling rather chuffed.

The Haptic HugShrug was first created in 2012, as part of the Haptic Interface event in Hong Kong. It is inspired by the concept of deep pressure stimulation as a calming therapy. It is made from Woolmark Merino wool top, but instead of crochet, this version (#3) is arm knitted, giving it a looser weave and more floppy movement than the former two versions.

Dimensions approx 110x70x4cm.

Available for sale as part of the installation catalogue, 100% of proceeds will go to mindDog Australia. Reservations and all enquiries welcome. Please message me at scheherazades.sea@gmail.com

tumbling with Grace

Yesterday was a difficult day, the culmination of a week of difficult days. The lead up to any important deadline or event is inevitably filled with high anxiety and escalating stress. That is something my mind is prepared for and has sufficient information in its database to anticipate and deal with. But some, no in fact many, elements interfere with the orderly frame and hurtle with a force that threatens to crush and crumble the most well organised “In Case of Emergency” list.

I took Lucy to the vet to have her nails clipped. The vet is a very kind person. He loves Lucy, and Lucy adores him. But sometimes, the unexpected and unpleasant does happen. The vet clipped too much off a nail in the front right paw and in the left hind, and my poor baby was screaming in pain. Continue reading

housekeeping

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Those dust bunnies are overpowering. So ominous and relentless, the minute I think I’ve achieved some semblance of a ‘clean’ floor – i.e. smooth textured parquet, no disturbing micro-grit underfoot – the next wave appears. Legion!

While grappling with this force majeure that has been pushing me to the edge of the sensory abyss of housekeeping, my brain formed an association with another kind of clean-up. Ridding myself of extra weight. No, not the physical, bodily kind, but the things that we accumulate and drag around with us, that slow us down in myriad ways. Continue reading

neighbourhood

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I love my neighbourhood. I’ve lived here since coming to Sydney, with a brief 8 month interruption last year. The separation was traumatic, and both Lucy and I were so relieved and glad to be back. I am about to move on again, though, and I am very sad. Nobody likes change, but for the autistic person, change is a huge challenge. It isn’t that our minds are slower to process, or that we somehow lack the logical ability to grasp the inevitability of transformation, transfiguration and transmutation. In fact, quite the opposite. My mindscape is so inundated with a plethora of small bits of data gleaned from vibrant elemental interlocutions – patterns, shapes, sounds, smells, tastes, from the heartbeat and breath of cosmic life itself – that my cognizance needs peaceful anchorage, order and sympathetic familiarity. However, that is not a luxury that I am able to relish at this point. After the frenetic anxious flurry of the next one and a half months, as soon as my exhibition, Sonata in Z, is complete, I shall have to move on yet again. Continue reading

overwhelmed

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A long ramble. A not-well-written meandering babbling. But I am unable to execute beauteous sentences and coherent semantic tapestry. My mind is exploding, and here it is…

Sensory struggle. Anxiety overload. Overwhelmed by the mocking interplay and combined assault of the inexorable passage of time and mounting anxiety in a bizarre Call and Response (on perpetual da capo).

Then comes a flood of benevolence.

And I am engulfed in a deluge all over again – no, not anxiety this time, but a gentle humbling at the Hand of Grace.

The path of scholarship is never easy, and too many people struggle with crushing student debt. For me, it is an ongoing lesson in pespectival shifting and readjustment. My familial background eschews loans and looks down its nose at debt. When I won my PhD scholarship, I plunged into the real world of student debt. Ironic, but true. The scholarship stipend provided minimal living in the most expensive city in Australia. I scratched the bottom of the barrel and grasped for straws just to buy my passage, so as to take up the scholarship. Along the way, I needed help, a lot of help, which came from my one loving sister and her husband, and a few good friends. Each time I cried into the roaring void at a moment of panic and despair, Grace has answered in a soft still voice. Some old friends fell away, other friends I’ve known for ages stepped up and re-emerged, and I made new connections with people who have become trusted friends and loyal supporters. Trundling along in our rusty wheelbarrow.

Recently, my scholarship stipend ceased. My own college has stepped in to pay the tuition fees for this final semester, and for living expenses, a childhood friend in Singapore has generously extended a loan, as has another friend in the USA. And another friend has kindly offered a roof over our heads for the write-up months leading into submission.

My very pressing and present focus is on the upcoming exhibition, Sonata in Z 2015, marking the final part of a trilogy of experimental works in autism, parallel embodiment and alternative empathy.

As I hurtle through time and space, nearer and nearer to the setting up date, I grow more alarmed at the emptiness. I am one. And I have just one and a half months more to filling a space 10 metres by 3.5 metres, with a height of 2.8 metres, with all the luscious details and sensory engagement that I have in my mind. An impossible task. Yet, the show must go on. That has been the mantra of my life – perhaps of many an autist’s life, struggling through alien and inclement systems to forge some form of independence, hoping to make a tiny contribution to our worlds. But this time around, the show teeters on the mocking edge of the abyss of nothingness.

In this dismal setting, once more comes another wave. Of Grace. From Grace.

Last week, I received a surprise package from lovely friend and talented artist, Skye – beautiful hand crafted jewellery, a delicate necklace with horse-shoe pendant, a handbag, and a pack of trotters for Lucy.

Then on Saturday, my friend Rick came for our usual bruncheon session armed with gifts of sustenance. Water biscuits, Double Brie (no less!), fruit juice, and a tub of tiramisu!

Yesterday, lovely Rodrigo dropped by, bearing yet more wonderful presents, carried all the way across the world, from his travels in Europe and the UK.

Another precious bestowment, small but no less consequential – a CD of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 4 – from my friend M, who lives in a beat up old van.

A phone call from Lucy’s beloved Godma, Rose, also brought a sliver of hope to the bleak horizon. She suggested that I ask a crafting group for help, to create the small little details for Sonata in Z. I am not sure what may come of it, but I am deeply grateful to Rose for her vigorous and rigorous care and endorsement of my work and my very embodiment. Hope is sustenance in itself.

Strangely enough, during our bruncheon prattle, Rick and I somehow meandered into this biblical quotation, from the book of Hebrews 11:1.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Just as I was agonising early last week over budgeting for food, questioning my needs and muddling through the finances, making lists and cancelling orders in a cyclical manic haplessness, worrying about Lucy’s nutrition and projecting onwards to some necessary medical procedures in the near future, screaming into the resonant silence and mumbling to myself and anyone else who was willing to listen to my drivel how I need an army of Smurfs to help me complete the little yet monumentally volumnous details required in my upcoming exhibition – and wondering how I would make it through this final passage to the finishing line of my Grand Quest!

Grace once more intervenes. Not with small morsels of charity, but with a Tsunami of gentle affection and regard. I am overwhelmed. But not crushed.

My exhibition, Sonata in Z 2015, is about creating clement space within which grace provides strength and enabling of Beingness, and wherein empathy propagates and emanates across all states of existence. The process is as important as the corporeal creation, and Grace forms the architectural foundation of all my work, as well as the fountain of Living Water.

I thank my friends and supporters for their channeling of this profound clemency. We are building Clement Spaces together – and across neurological cultures too! Welcome to Scheherazade’s Sea!

someone

Someone to Watch Over Me

It’s not easy bobbing around on the surface of Scheherazade’s Sea. Sensory challenges are a huge feature, contributing to 90% of my existential struggle. However, if I was asked if I would give up my autistic embodiment for a life without piercing acuity of this nature, my answer would be a very vehement and resonant, “Of course NOT!” The 10% of wonderment is indescribably precious: so intense and rich in its tapestry and multidimensional juxtapositions, that realm is what many people can only refer to in dreams and fictitious stories, yet it is reality for me. And I have Someone watching over me for this part of the journey – an Angel Hound! Continue reading

feast!

Is it Friday evening already? Time is whizzing by too quickly, I can hear the howling of anxiety, the dynamic searing and cutting through, as we hurtle through into the inevitable. I wish I had an army of smurfs to help me with all the little things that need to be done for the upcoming exhibition!

The warmer weather is finally arriving. Clear skies (until next week at least) and sunshine – Australia does it best! Continue reading

vomitus

pigeons

It is a damp, cold, spring morning. The pigeons are still bravely cooing despite the rain, and I find my mind contemplating the flotsam and jetsam bobbing, shuffling, jostling and heaving in the social seas. People with verbal diarrhoea. People who spew words willy nilly. People who speak the truth. People who cannot tell the difference between truth and lies. Gullible people who seem really smart. And savvy people in cleverly woven cloaks of false innocence. And, of course, the social measurements attached. Continue reading

walk

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We enjoyed a bracing early sunrise walk this morning.The photograph is a sample of the lovely flowers we encounter along our route. In my headspace, there were three thematic components interwoven and unfolding. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D and Piano Concerto Opus 1, and Brahms’ Violin Concerto, also in D. Please don’t ask my brain how it mashed these three together. I am not sure how to dissemble this strangeness myself. I just revel in it, that is all. Lucy doesn’t seem to mind my occasional humming of fragments either. I literally see musical lines as moving tendrils, and my entire body thrills to the proprioceptivity inherent in this movement. And the rhythmic structures help me to walk without tripping or losing the feel of the ground beneath. Continue reading