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 →
Making a giant cushion cover – Lucy keeps watch over me
Lucy is my best muse.
Sewing the sides to Tent #2
Lucy is ever vigilant 🙂
Tiny helps with pompom making.
Putting on the pompoms.
Testing out the softer netting.
Do you approve, Lucy?
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 →
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 →
Lucy has been busy inspiring this autistic Bunny yet again. We are crafting “Clement Space in the City (2017)” – getting ready for the Neurodiverse-city exhibition at the Customs House, Sydney, opening 20 September 2017! All part of a huge and amazing project, the BIG Anxiety festival 2017.
(Sorry, all Lucy-fans out there, I will not be taking her to the festival – not unless someone is willing to sponsor a return Business Class ticket on Qantas and the preparation costs.)
Finding comfort in familiarity. One of my two favourite spots in Paddo, the Arthouse Kitchen. This time, though, Lucy is not with me. I miss her terribly. That space she occupies – physical, mental, sensorial – is now a softly whirring void. I gravitate towards our usual table at the far corner. It is a cosy place, just right for one, and a comfortable area on the floor for Lucy on her fluffy rug. Continue reading →
Sunday brunch with Rick at “dog cafe”. A pocket of clement space. Empathic resonance. Deep laughter. Ranting at cosmic tragi-comedy. Summoning Artaud and Wagner. Light in darkness. Cosy cocoon inside Paddington.
Good to be back. But… I miss Lucy. Especially here, in our beloved Paddo.
Sensory overload. What is it really like? Difficult to pin down, common to most autistics, yet different in each individual and varying from one circumstance to another. No, it’s not just “all in the imagination” and no, we are not deliberately playing some dramatic role for whatever purported attention-seeking accusation.
Nausea. Vertigo. Uhoh… think I am going to throw up – search frantically for a plastic bag. OK, this is going to be awkward, standing at the bus stop. Should I give up and go sit down somewhere? Bus is arriving in 2 minutes. Determination and stubborn grit – just get home, Bunny!
I did it!
Safe, tucked into bed with my panacea for all woes – Canine Angel and warm vanilla hound.