autistic opinion

Sunday morning. Not much sleep. Too many reasons to list. I am grateful always for Lucy by my side. Difficulty with sleeping is another one of the many struggles that most autistic people face. Again, it’s probably less to do with Autism per se, and more about the state of high anxiety that we seem to be perpetually in. Hyper vigilance inextricably blended with acquired trauma (just staying alive can be a traumatic journey for many an autistic person) would be my own guess.

I am listening to Joan Baez today, because of an ear worm that began to wriggle in my headspace as I got out of bed today. This song. So beautifully sung by Joan Baez. “The Water is Wide”. Continue reading


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I dance because I cannot walk…

Should a disabled person have to apologise for not performing according to ableist constructs?

Should a wheelchair user apologise for not zipping up steps and not running marathons?

Should a deaf person apologise for using sign language instead of the spoken vernacular?

Should a blind person apologise for feeling, touching, smelling and listening to the world instead of seeing the way the sighted do?

Why, then, should an Autistic person apologise for not performing to normative social standards?

Who writes the librettos? Who pens the symphonic blue prints?

Look me in the eye!

Don’t stare at me for goodness’ sake!

Sing when you’re told to sing.

Stop singing when you’re told not to sing.

Do not flap, you look silly!

You need to learn to self regulate!

You’re crying for nothing again.

Can’t you see I’m hurting, how insensitive can you be?

All the world’s a stage… but who directing the Grand Theatre?


Yesterday, I tried valiantly, and with great determination, to return a faulty dishwasher. The person on the other end remained stolid. It was I, not the dishwasher, that was the anathema, the malfunctioning entity. There was much spewing of verbiage completely irrelevant to my pleas, throwing of sparkly dust hither-thither and blowing of bizarre smelling fumes into my face. Exhausted and worn out to the very crisp core, I finally threw in the proverbial towel, recognising this as an exercise of futility.  I threw out the dishwasher. It now sits, sad and forlorn, in the junk heap. I swear, when I walked past this morning, I saw a malevolent snigger painted across its glass face.

This morning, Lucy woke me up at 6am, asking to be taken outside for our morning walky. Without her, I am not sure I would have the strength to get out of bed, even though sleep, most of the time, is pretty much like the spawn from a trashy, poorly written novel and an elusive goblet of sweet wine.

My eyes hurt. A stabbing pain. My skull throbs. A vice across the front squeezing intermittently. My brain is screeching a high pitched, dehydrated and incomprehensible sprechstimme.

It’s still April. Yes, I did check.

This Autism Awareness thingy, and the chorus of dissent from the actually Autistic community (justified and worthy of support), has already kicked a deep dent into my fragile construction of Clement Space.

Today, I just want to celebrate April as Adopt a Greyhound Month. Please.

Here, I present to you, Lucy Like-a-Charm in Sonorous Repose. A collection of photos I created in 2015, about her innate ability to identify, take possession of, and craft intimate spaces of comfort and calm, wherever she may go. A skill I very much want to learn.

Lucy Like-a-Charm in Sonorous Repose 2015

Available as limited edition prints. Enquiries welcome.

Greyhounds are such pulchritudinous creatures. Adopt a Greyhound this April! Bring back beauty into your life, Oh, Weary Soul!

(Or, perhaps you might want to bring one of these limited edition prints into your home? It would help an Autistic Bunny and her Greyhound Angel to procure much needed rations for survival of April BlahBlah Month!)

let’s twist

Not succumbing to subtly sinister forms of discrimination, refusing to acquiesce to the persistent compulsion of bullying, and standing in the glaring sensorially triggering light, daring to make a stand for one’s Being: an extremely exhausting and debilitating exercise.

But it must be done. And so I shall do it.

The Oppressors know that, of course. I have learned, by now (what took me this long?), that it is for them a perverted form of ‘entertainment’ and ‘invigoration.’ A delicious morbid game of chance, in the casino of tyranny.

And so… the saga continues… for now anyway…

The actual scenes shift and change, like a never ending Theatre of Menacing Absurdities. Wherever there are bullies, there will be brutality in some form or other.

Currently showing in nickelodeon nearby: The Twisted Evil Twins Circus (otherwise known as the UnHoly Duo).

Some of the more ‘sticky’ snippets of the bizarre libretto that lend themselves to looping echoing effects:

“Well, you should have declared your autism in the rental application!”

“Well, let me tell you, in the future, if you ever wish to rent in Australia again, you must remember to state that you are autistic, as a polite courtesy to the property agent.

“You’re not the only person with problems, you know! My husband is dying! Do you understand, DYING!!! Do you want me to cry in front of you? Do you? Huh? Do you?????”

“Well, everything that is said inside this room is inadmissible in the court of law, so I can say whatever I want!”

Prancing in the shadows

Boxing in the dark

Breathing veiled threats

Murder in the park

Arhythmic Disorder

Screeching Chaos

Tangled Perplexity

Round and round and round and round…

This is not poetry

Just in case you ask

…Stayed tuned for the wrapping up of this episode… 27th January 2016.


The UnHoly Duo Saga continues. I attended a ‘conciliatory meeting’ with one half of the twinset yesterday afternoon. She had a screaming toddler with her and a mousy little attendant who was introduced as ‘the one who answers the telephones.’

Inside the conciliation room, we proceeded to bring forth our case notes.

Once again, I was chided by this person for not declaring in my rental application form my disability and the detailed specifics of my needs.

We were there to talk about end of lease conflict (I am accused of leaving the premises in a dreadful state) but over and over, this person persists in reiterating the irrelevant – and in fact illegal – demand that I disclose my disability. The fact that she is mentally fixated on this, and repeatedly points to the beginning of my tenancy, i.e. the application form, with threats and insults, is very telling. It shows that this whole fiasco is a direct result of a long festering vendetta centred upon her repeated theme, spun out in as many twisted ways as she and her twin in this fiasco can think of. A libretto of deliberate discrimination, no less. Continue reading

climbing mountains

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Nosh has been blah-boring lately. But I am sharing the visuals anyway, because this blog is about sensory adventures after all.

Immediately after Lucy was out of danger, I suffered an intense autoimmune flare. For two days, I was battling pain from inflammation everywhere, and unexplained nausea. Lucy kept me going, she was the reason I had to get out of bed and take slow walks, of course, and that made me take in some sunshine and fresh air. She kept my mental processes in check, no sinking into the abyss of despair, because I need to be well for her. At the back of my mind, whenever I feel the tugging downwards of depressive thought, there is this solid rock: “What would happen to Lucy if something bad happened to me?” I cannot, of my own volition, allow her to face such a desperate situation.

The conversation is fresh on my mind, and it makes me smile. It has also spawned other trajectories that I shall explore in my writing and research-practice.

“Lucy is spoiled because you do everything she wants,” said her vet to me.

“Yes, true, but she does everything I want her to do, and there is no conflict, so I consider it fair exchange!” was my reply.

We both laughed, and the vet did concede that I had a winning formula. Continue reading

no rest for the weary?


Food reflects culture and mental states. Especially the meals of a foodie. My breakfast this morning was a combination of effort at Self Cheer and textural visual reflection of a dull aching oxymoronic state of throbbing-melancholia. Soft boiled egg with mayonnaise and plain yoghurt on a bed of cheap Aldi bacon (microwaved for less olfactory intrusion) and spring onion sprinkles, accompanied by cheap Coles coffee laced with cheerful caramel chocolate. The aroma of the caramel was balm to my sensory discombobulation.

We had another rough night. No rest for the weary. The Door Slammer kicked off the fabulous evening with a supremely noisy party. Her visitors traipsed in, announcing their arrivals with less pomp than raucous ceremony, then the customary now obligatory door slam to welcome each one’s initiation into invigorating zest for Extreme Neurotypical life. Then came the cacophony, introduced by loud out of tune singing of Happy Birthday, then variations on a trio-theme of Shriek-Scream-Guffaw. In and out they went, revitalised no doubt by every sharp slam of the door. No, I was not standing outside. Our units are separated by several feet along a corridor. My door was closed. But I could hear ever single sonic embellishment. Then, thankfully, towards midnight, there was a mass exodus to another party venue, and although the exit was marked by brilliant screeching coloratura and booming basso continuo, I heaved a sigh of relief.

However, my peace was short lived. Continue reading

learning how to stand

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We went to the imaging centre again this morning. It was the same centre where I had had a number of Xrays not so long ago. The staff on duty at the time were very friendly, and Lucy was welcomed as an essential part of my presence, just as a wheelchair user and her wheelchair, or a blind person with his guide dog. This morning, however, we were met with a disapproving scowl from the radiologist, and I was told I wasn’t allowed to bring my dog in. She then turned her back to me, and walked on ahead towards the door leading to the imaging rooms. I followed behind, and explained (speaking to her back) that Lucy is my service dog, but she cut me short, and rambled on like an annoyed school teacher that this was a “sterile environment” etc. At that point, I just stopped in my tracks and said, “Well… if it is a problem…” as calmly and clearly as I could, even though my head had begun to pound and my heart felt like it was falling into a greasy pit of cheap cheddar cheese. Continue reading

Of Dogs and Spirituality

Of dogs and spirituality 2012 01 19 – a sad musing on a sleepless night.

Lucy loves churches. She would pull me towards the church doors each time we walk past. I let her sniff around when the doors are closed and nobody is inside. She can linger for a long time. Tonight, the church nearby was open. Someone was playing the piano, and there were people walking in and some going in and out and in again. Perhaps preparing for a service. Lucy walked up to the entrance, she strained at the leash, she wanted to go inside. We struggled for a good eight minutes, which seemed like an age to me.

She was insistent, and didn’t want to leave. The one thing that rang a deep chord in my memory about this situation was that nobody invited us inside. Nobody even smiled at us and stopped to chat. The religious folks were too busy going about their religious activities to bother with the odd figure of a lone woman tugging at her big black dog at the church entrance. Irony, isn’t it, because to go in and out of the church, they had to walk around my Lucy’s large body, which was planted like a rock right in front, in the middle of the thoroughfare.

What is it that draws Lucy to church? Why does she insist so vehemently on entering a confined and unknown space – built by humans for the supposed purpose of worshipping God, Creator of All Creatures, but where humans do not welcome all creatures apart from certain conforming humans? Is there something, or “someone,” residing inside that she sees and senses, which the humans frequenting the place do not seem to notice exists within? (If they did, would they not allow Lucy and her kind in, in fact, even welcome them, then? Doesn’t their Holy Bible say. “All creation worships Thee, Oh Lord?” – it does means ALL, doesn’t it????)

Is the spiritual a deep sonorous extension of the sensorial?

I have too many sad and horrific stories to tell about my skirmishes with organised religion. But that was about me. There is one markedly disgusting one about yet another dog who loved to sit in church, quietly, not a single sound, inside his pram, all zipped up and disturbing no one. After a few weeks of quietly enjoying church with mummy and daddy, this perfectly behaved pooch’s human parents were approached by the priest and told that other parishioners had complained about the presence of the dog, that nobody wanted to worship with a dog, so please do not bring the dog again. The disgusted couple left, never to return.

I am not an atheist. I believe in my ability for a spiritual existence. My problem is not with God. My problem is with the humans professing to know and love and worship God.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I care not for a man’s religion if his dog or cat is not the better for it.” Amen to that. But who is listening? Most are not. They are too busy being pious.

What’s even more sad is that this church is one I used to respect, because of their liberal stance on homosexuality and their wonderful service to the homeless. I guess their Christian love just doesn’t extend to ALL God’s creatures after all.

My guess is that humans, in our search for superiority over all creatures, have left the sensorial behind, and robbed ourselves of the spiritual in the process. Perhaps we ought to turn back, and look at and learn from the ones among us we now deem as weak, disable, unwhole, the specially different humans who sense better but yet seem to care less or know less about mainstream humanity’s complex social structures of power mongering and manipulation of self and others – and yes, look also upon the animals, to find our original souls again, our purity of spirits, and indeed, to find GOD.

[P.S. I know that there are many churches in Europe that allow worshippers to bring along their dogs. But not in Singapore, and not here in Sydney, Australia – and probably all of Australia, which, although is far more dog friendly than Singapore, is still many centuries behind Europe’s Italy or France where being dog friendly is concerned. Another personal observation of mine is that Catholic churches tend to be more tolerant of dogs than Protestant congregations. Perhaps the example of St. Francis of Assisi is a valuable one for all church goers to follow?]