I love food. I love the aromas, textures, tastes, colours and visual compositions, not just the way food is presented, but the actual patterns and formations. Wrinkly crinkly chicken skin, taught and shiny tomato skin, curly edges of lettuce leaves, or scattered sesame seeds, food is endlessly fascinating to me in a multi sensory way.
Lately, I’ve been particularly enjoying the tiny details in everything I eat. Apart from spending time with my beloved Lucy, food, and all it encompasses – the sensory fullness and the activity – is an excellent relief for stress and anxiety. My nifty little Fujifilm X100T (gifted to me by a very good friend) is fabulous for street photography, and not really the camera for portraits or close-ups of little things, but it’s a challenge that I welcome – with some hits and misses, and a great deal of satisfaction and fun.
Another rough night. Sensory overload, anxiety attack, fever, white noise, hyperventilating, hyper vigilant. Sunken into the abyss of dark heaviness: not dreams, not nightmares, just a huge mammoth weighing down my consciousness. I could feel the heart pounding in a feral frantic dance trying to escape its mortal corporeal cage. Even at that moment, my mind was whirring and making associations – the final dance in Pina Bausch’s choreography for Stravinsky’s Le Scare du Printemps (The Rite of Spring). Continue reading →
I am so tired of being told not to “sweat the small stuff” – the people who tell me that have no idea a) what detail focused cognition is and b) how their very lives depend on people who DO “sweat the small stuff” on their behalf.
One of the “small stuff” I delight in is decorating my food plate. Even when the substance is simple, cheap, poor-man’s fare. It brings me joy. It makes the exercise of eating on a budget bearable. Would you like to be served your food in a haphazard lump,when at a cafe or restaurant? Then why do it to yourself at home?
Here is something I came across this morning. Small stuff that made a big difference. Science and research is all about chasing the little things. Sometimes, scientists get it wrong, but when they do get it right, it is huge, very very big stuff!
A simple down-home common-man breakfast of kaya and butter on toast, accompanied by a childhood favourite, ginger marmalade. Not ‘healthy’ fare, but comforting. And I need comfort now.
Overwhelmed. By minutiae. Every little detail matters to my brain. On a low physical day, specks of dust on the parquet floor become a legion of warring animations, and the little bits and bobs scattered around waiting to be neatly and systematically organised start to scream out a terrifying Wagnerian chorus. Continue reading →
Struggling to tune out the overwhelming heaviness of evil in the world. There is nothing I can do about it, and the news of it is crushing and incapacitating me. I also need to sieve out extraneous disturbing crackle and pop that distracts me from my purpose and holds me down.
Impossible? Yes. I know. Nevertheless, I will try.
The final inspirational / driving trigger for my current determination, this sudden spurt of resolute intent?
A good friend of mine had a nasty experience in our lovely, almost idyllic neighbourhood that reeks of the times we live in. Continue reading →
[This is not a Pity-Party Poor-Me post. I am voicing these thoughts because I hope that there will be greater awareness and understanding of the conundrum faced by autistic people who struggle to live and function within a system that is largely alien to our innate make up. It is not a grumble either. There is no “Us vs Them” anymore in my mind. I strive for Neurocosmopolitanism – a coming together and blending of minds – rather than to emphasise the divide.]
After two days of intense sunshine and heat, last night, it finally rained a little. We woke up to cloudy skies and a relatively robust wind. I have a love hate relationship with robust wind. On one hand, I love the refreshing feeling of a good cool breeze, the way it skims over my skin in a firm, passing yet continuous caress, but my auditory senses become increasingly stressed by the cornucopia of sounds that the wind stirs up. Rustling leaves are delightful, but my senses can only absorb and contain a limited volume – decibel level, frequency and yes, ‘volume’ as in capacity – before becoming overwhelmed. Continue reading →
Every day is a little adventure, for me and Lucy. I do treasure our life together very much. The struggles that dot the canvas, the small rips and tears, the unintended splotches and spills, the hazy bleeding of one colour into another, the nebulous abstract forms dancing with concrete ponderous entities… all these constitute eclectic parts of our rich tapestry.
And dinner too… accompanied by sago pudding and homemade salsa.
Here is a photologue of my attempt at Sweet and Sour Pork. I don’t like the idea of deep frying, as it’s not only super greasy, makes the air stink of stale sizzle, and leaves a thin film of tackiness all over, but it is also a waste of oil, especially since I am cooking for just one. So, instead of deep frying, I pan fried the pork cubes, which were first marinaded in soy sauce, then coated with beaten egg and tossed in corn flour. I added the gravy and pineapple chunks when the cubes were cooked and after draining away excess oil. I was quite pleased with the result, though it isn’t something I will repeat too often, as it involved a bit more preparation than usual.
For many autistic detail-focused minds, the process is itself the goal, wherein we find immense satisfaction. Life can be a fascinating learning journey, ending only when our own life force dissolves into nothingness. However, when we are prevented from pursuing our passions, the burning interests that fire our imaginations, then our journey becomes arduous, frustrating and even excruciating.
“Relaxation” thus takes on a very different meaning and complexion in our dimension. Continue reading →