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

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consumed

Engulfment. A consummation. Completely devoured, imbibed with palpable force. A concrete visceral knowledge. Empathy with the elements that bring both delight and grief. Feeling resonances of clemency and violence. A pragmatic and empirical embodiment, the beauty of intersecting with the elements is not a romantic notion but a sensory exuberant peace, and there is really nothing fanciful about a splitting headache derived from wet, damp cold. Reality is just what it is.

Well, with all the above in mind, I had a rather benevolent weekend. Continue reading

ichthyo synchrony

My friend Rick came over for another of our Saturday bruncheons. His visits are always welcome, and ever so politely brief. Today, I was running a fever, and didn’t feel like eating, but I did manage to have a great time rambling anyway (while Rick ate whatever was on offer with true sporting spirit! ­čÖé ).

I put together two more DIY pizzas – the pita bread is still sitting in my fridge, what better way to use some up? Half a green capsicum and half an aubergine, both from my Thoughtful Foods veggie and fruit box (two weeks ago!). And of course, some of that smoked salmon, which I had placed into separate ziplock bags and stored in the freezer. Continue reading

fiasco

Stupid People Live Longer!

Stupid People Live Longer!

In the midst of a near meltdown, a friend posted the above onto my Facebook timeline. It made me chuckle, which helped avert the grand crash. Never so apt a poster than this one to describe the current fiasco.

Here’s the reason. Continue reading

go, go, go!

Yes, the Aspie Bunny is cooking up a storm again! It’s therapy for me, a sort of calming technique for raw and frayed nerves. Continue reading

sustenance

Pain is no fun at all. And those who experience a great deal of it over a long period of time can attest to its power to drain you of all energy and even trigger serious depression. For me, pain has been a great frustration, pulling me back and pushing me down, from all the wonderful things I want and can do, were it not for the screaming pain.

Anyhow, I am still soldiering on! I missed a performance today that I had paid for, because the back pain was too intense. But I did stay in and managed to do some work nevertheless. Of course, I need sustenance. I had instant noodles for lunch. Continue reading

pancakes and vegemite

Yesterday, for breakfast, I made pancakes from the last egg I had left in the fridge.

pancakes!

pancakes!

Living from day to day, week to week, has taught me a great deal. Not just about budgeting or merely how to stretch the dollar as far as it would go, but perseverance as well. It is a different kind of perseverance, though, from that of creative perseverance, i.e. pursuing an idea from germination, to realisation and to execution. Rather, it is a kind of stubborn doggedness, a kind of indefatigable will to survive and not break down from frustration and stress of not having enough to eat, and not having the ability even to save any money and/or spend wisely (see “special price conundrum,” my previous post on the irony of poverty). This is what, to me, represents a tenacity of spirit, something that I never knew I possessed, because it is a situation I have never had to face before.

Throughout my life, I have had to pay very ‘special’ prices, sometimes excruciatingly costly ones, to achieve the things I really desire, what the rest of the world calls our “dreams.” For many autistic individuals, this is the inexorable compulsion that vibrates very strongly, though not often recognised or developed, because, just as no man is an island, no autistic individual can succeed entirely unaided along the way. Sometimes, we are even thwarted by the people who profess to ‘love’ us, because they understand so little about us, and perhaps are so limited and selfish that they do not wish to find out, in case they fail us or they lose us (some of us can be pretty useful!). My journey has been in fits and starts, but creativity has always been the driving force and the saving factor.

The pancakes didn’t turn out very well, just like almost every fledgling attempt at a skill, the conceptual knowledge is just not enough. But I saved the soggy, sad blobs by cutting out cheerful shapes with cookie cutters. Hearts and Hello Kitties. What is it about these two shapes that bring a smile to almost anyone’s face? Well, even if not Hello Kitty, definitely hearts. There is something mutlicultural about the shape of the heart, it is, in some way, a visual agency for the sharing of a commonly understood suspended, shared symbol of warmth, goodness – nice stuff, anyway. I will win no prizes for this creative effort, but it made me happy to eat the failed attempt.

And who can resist Vegemite?

maxed out

Haven’t had time to post. Taken lots of photos. Been back in Hong Kong, once a love affair of mine, but I think the last two weeks of hectic frenzy and doing battle with the throngs in crowded buses, trains and walkways, have cured me of all romantic notions I had had. I came this time on a working trip, as a poor PhD scholar living on a tight grant budget. No place for the poor and hypersensitive in this harsh city. And the air… Reminds me why I left in the first place. After two very crazy weeks of hard work, sensory overload, fatigue and enduring ridiculous disorganisation, my brain became frazzled, my senses strained to breaking point, and I finally succumbed to a lousy infection at the end of the ordeal. The grand dramatic ending came complete with bleeding throat, flaming ulcers, fever and a hacking cough! That meant, the two days I had set aside to see friends and shop around a bit were instead spent lying in bed, unable to eat because of serious nausea, and zonked out from medication!

The end of a love affair. I shall return, if work calls, but in love, I no longer am. Back to my homeland tomorrow, for a few days respite and recovery. The lovely pool at my home beckons, and some sourcing for material for my work, in relative calm and this time, I call the shots on organisation of time and schedule, so no time wastage!

photos coming along soon!