ingénue

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There is no word I know that adequately expresses the fullness of Lucy Like-a-Charm. This simplicity interwoven with regal poise and quietude, wrapped around a gentleness so profound and sublime, my heart bursts with infinite gratitude to have her in my life. Another year has passed. My Angel has graced my human domain for a little more than 5 years now. I promised her a better life, away from the horrors of the racing life she once had. I wonder if she still remembers those perilous years, where her life and soul teetered on the brink of annihilation?

I do not ask, “Do you love me?”, but rather, “Are you happy?” “Are you well?”

Would I give anything to hear her tell me she loves me? No. But I would give my life and world to know just that she is happy and well. No words needed. No neurotypical-style longings for verbal and physical reassurance of my own worth as caretaker of this majestic, unblemished wonderment. I am an autistic human custodian of Unadulterated Pulchritude. Lucy Like-a-Charm is a once in a lifetime miracle of life – a gift from the cosmos to me.

Nonpareil.

Happy New Year, Lucy Like-a-Charm! My hope for 2018? That I may continue to bring you wellness, happiness and contentment. A better life. I am still working towards that. Thank you for your patience with me.

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stillness

Stillness. Tranquility. Quiet contemplation. Sonorous repose.

Much needed especially in sensorially chaotic times like Christmas, New Year and other festive seasons.

Too much noise, too much food, too much smell, too much light, too much human interaction… just too much of everything, no matter how lovely, can easily derail the autistic with hypersensitivity.

My head is pounding and my muscles tense from all the pre-Christmas preparations and mini celebrations ahead of time. I love to see people enjoying themselves and I like the sound of laughter, but too much is too much and my senses start to scream.

Nevertheless, I do look forward to spending the next three days at our family holiday chalet together with the extended gang. This lot are cheery and easygoing, they do not insist on making me or anyone else join in their raucous goings-on. There is no oppressive social demand to sit at the table and silently cry into one’s soup while pretending to keep up with the meaningless babble. Two Christmases ago, that was what I was doing, entertaining wave after wave of superficial, self-important people in a fancy but not really classy apartment in prime location by the sea. I was the general dogsbody, locked inside a tedium dictated by charity. No more of that social rubbish. With this lot now, the food is always great – they are super foodies – and all that is required of me, mandatory, in fact, is that I turn up at meal times to eat. I am not even needed for small talk. So, the noise can be pretty daunting, but one unpleasant sensory bombardment in exchange for another delicious one, that is more than fair enough for this Foodie Bunny!

And Lucy has brought me a long, long, way indeed. Now, I have a Canine Angel. Non-speaking, elemental connectivity, no need for prattle and babble. Lucy is my Clement Space. My little nook for repair, restoration and refreshment. There will be lots of ‘alone-time’ with Lucy at our chalet in the suburbs. We can go for walks on our own, something I haven’t done much of since returning ‘home’. But now, I need to pack. The Angel needs her food. Oh, don’t forget to bring the Christmas Doggy Cookies!

Merry Theory of My Mind

Theory of Mind is a theory, or is it? Dancing around alien fires. Whose Theory and whose Mind?

While it is not true that autistic people lack empathy due to their inability to decipher other people’s mindscapes, I myself admit to being stumped, over and over again, by other people’s thoughts, motives, and actions.

Take, for example, this somewhat questionable penchant for offering help, mixed with an innate inability to make quick enough assessment of character and/or predict potential disaster. Not a good combination by far. Continue reading

food therapy

Have you ever gone to great lengths, put in a lot of effort, and been greatly inconvenienced just to help someone, and then had your bum bitten in return for all your sacrifice? Not a happy thing. Not for anyone. For the autistic brain that is given to long and arduous processing, it’s ponderously unpleasant.

Well… the encumbered Being needs therapy. Nothing better than food therapy for a Foodie Bunny. What’s a wonderful, loving and relaxing food-ing activity? Why, cooking for Lucy, of course. Continue reading

here, me

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what child is this?…

This weekend, I revisited an early musical work of mine, from 2008, about the agony of communication across neurocultural differences. I spent a bit of time contemplating the work, the obvious (that which is performed and disseminated), as well as the intimate and private (that which remains in the heart and mind of the composer alone). I also put in some closed captions, and, in so doing, realised that I was in fact creating another separate work, an extension perhaps but still separate from its original.

 

Almost ten years afterwards, my journey has taken me through amazing wonderment, experiences I couldn’t have imagined ahead of time, and some even surreal or bizarre, yet no less valuable intrinsically. Continue reading

coming home

Dear Lucy,

Mumma’s coming home.

I know you’ve missed me. I missed you terribly too.

I am so sorry, my dearest love.

I will work ever harder, I promise, to provide a better life for you and me.

Thank you for your unquestioning patience, quiet endurance, and silent forbearance. I am devastated at having caused you pain.

I am coming home. In just a few hours, I will be with you again.

All my love and gratitude,

Mum Continue reading

more lessons with Lucy

We are almost there. It has been a flurry… a dizzy tizzy tipsy trippy scary one… anxiety hitting the roof and splotching everywhere now… getting ready for… The BIG Anxiety festival!

Preparing the final bits to go… and still learning about Clement Space from Lucy Like-a-Charm.

See you all there in Sydney!

Happy Dog Day

Lucy Like-a-Charm - Sonorous Repose 2015

Lucy Like-a-Charm – Sonorous Repose 2015 by Dawn-joy Leong

Today is International Dog Day. I celebrate with Lucy our differently embodied existences. Her canine Being is precious to me. Lucy is not “just a dog” – she is a dynamic and sonorous entity to who has not only saved my life on many occasions, but continues to enhance, enrich my realm with pulchritude worth far more than any human is able to provide. Thank you for being a dog, and so much more than my humanity can be. Lucy Like-a-Charm, I love you.

Lucy creates clement space

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.