the dilemma of trauma



One week of excruciating physical pain. Stress reaction. A serious one. I was caught by surprise this time, I didn’t expect my body to react so viciously.

I was physically assaulted last Sunday. By someone I know. The person is very sorry to have caused me harm, and he has admitted to me it was a psychotic episode. I am psychologically and emotionally fine.

Last Sunday, I attended a theatre performance. I was standing outside the theatre, in a basement lobby teeming with chattering voices bouncing off pristine white walls, waiting for the show to begin, when a pre-show drama literally exploded in my face. Continue reading


clement space – by sparrow m. jones


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.


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

broken angel


an angel’s trust

once betrayed

how soon

if ever

to win again?

rage deflected


a deafening thud

upon innocence

blow once dealt

cannot be rescinded

how contemptible

such horror this?

devil’s mischief

humanity’s defeat

heartbreaking cry

angel’s grief

sleep now

my sweet

rock-a-bye babe

human tears

are made of folly

dear sweet angel

i have failed

your love

so undeserved

yet pleading

forgive me

my disgraceful


more grace notes


Head down, bottom up… SOS!

Grace notes occurring in the midst of forceful fury.

Overwhelmed inside churning, heaving and seething vortex of existential and corporeal torment – unrelenting in its pursuit of dignity’s destruction, unrepentant in its indecent mockery – the arhythmic pounding of crass insistence overtakes consciousness.

There, the little grace notes appear. Silent fluttering wings of delicate rectitude, without force, without rude encroachment.

Listen to the soft, gentle and sometimes whimsical intonations of clemency, and the sighs of gratitude amidst shimmering spasms of tender affliction. Continue reading


Return. To gentleness.

Amidst tumultuous churning, a clement space, meekly tucked inside the cosmic comic-tragic drama, a woolly mammoth opera buffa of epic girth, length and ponderous weight.

For a brief few hours, we went ‘home’… But it is no longer home for us. Continue reading

no goodbyes


Lucy & Janette @ Sonata in Z 10 Nov 2015- the very last time I saw my friend.

Throughout the tumult of the last four months – betrayal of trust, instability and almost not completing the PhD as a result – I had been thinking of her. My friend Janette. A beautiful soul, so gentle, intense, refined and deeply kind. Our last communication was a hastily written email about my traumatic hurried return to homeland to write up my thesis. She wished me good luck, and we planned to catch up after my submission. Janette died a few days afterwards. Caught in the flurry of fear, anxiety and desperation of PhD dissertation writing, I did not email Janette, until early this morning. I had been thinking of her throughout, but that email never was sent, just like the other important email to the university library (see below) – everything got swallowed up and lost inside the terrifying whorl of survival… and now, I shall never see her again. Continue reading

empathic resonance


Can you hear me bouncing down the stairs? Crash, crush, squish, boom… First the sound of my skull hitting the wall, then my elbows cry against the merciless edges and the joints of each flailing connection pop and plop. Down, down, down, the body a gibbering ragdoll, wordless scream that sounds like a distorted cartoon jingle.

Can you hear it now, as I fit semantic symbols to my pain?

Or are you too engrossed with your navel bowlful of hisses, sighs, shrieks and squeaks? Continue reading

frantic pain


I would give anything… if only I could…

Lucy has been unwell. Two months already. The trouble hasn’t stopped since we moved home. And yes, that accident… The schism that eternally severed the rhythmic flow of unfolding, cutting away from that split second on the former ecology of Being. Weeks of nightmares, twitching and crying in her sleep, ensued. The pain, sadly, did not end with the physical healing of the amputation.

Multiple vet visits for one thing after another. Vomiting. Diarrhoea. Lethargy. Weight loss with excessive hunger. Blood tests. Body checks. The works. Nothing conclusive. I don’t know what else to do anymore. All I know is that she is in pain. Still.

And it breaks my heart.

She is my nonverbal child, a parallel embodied entity, whose life interweaves with mine. Her sentience has propelled me into dimensions of knowing, weaving rich tapestries of narratives that I would never have entered on my own. Yet, I am unable to help her resolve her pain.

Today… frantic discomfort. A reaction no doubt from the latest medication – a painkiller – what twisted irony, wasn’t it meant to relieve her of her pain? But that is what happens. I know all too well, after a lifelong tumultuous relationship with pharma myself.

Pacing. Panting. I run outside with her. Rain pelting down – and Lucy hates the rain – we were soaked to the skin, she and I, but there was a more desperate mission at hand. Round and round, back and forth, up and down we walked and walked and walked. She stopped to sniff, then went on. Stoop, strain, stoop, strain – nothing. Repeat all over again. Thunder. Lightning. Run, pant, run, run, run! Stop, stoop, strain again… Little slivers of excreta… Her whole body taught… I massage her even as she is in position… It seems to calm her a little. What else can I do?

We return home. But she is restless, inconsolable… and a few minutes later, we are running downstairs again. Rain… wet… we are splashing across huge puddles… Stoop, strain, stoop, strain… run, run, run… more slivers, more massaging… Two bizarre creatures in the pouring rain, no umbrella, no time for her raincoat even…

She is at last in bed. I massaged her and she fell asleep. But only for awhile. Yet another nightmare. Whimpering. Shaking. So much of this lately. Ever since… that day…

But my brave child of another species, unlike the human one, she does not throw her hands up in despair, she does not give up… she just keeps going… and so, too, must I.

wheels of the bus


A 2 hour visit to friends for lunch in the city on New Year’s Day = $100 in Uber taxi fare. (This is part of the reason I do not like to go out much at all.)

Everyone uses the bus. Why not you? Everyone uses the train. Why not you? Continue reading


Another difficult morning. Waking up to overwhelming pain – physical and mental. My heart beating so fast it felt as if wanting to escape the confines of ribcage and skin. Dizziness and nausea. Lucy was there, her eyes told me she knew, and that was enough for me. She is not demonstrative in the way many other dogs are. Which is why I treasure her so dearly. She will not jump on me and lick my face to ‘comfort’ me. Instead, my Lucy Angel just lays there, touching but not intruding, gazing with a knowingness that seems to emanate from a different universe. Were it not for her, I would not get out of bed in that situation. And who have I to call for help? How many times can you call a friend to come to your aid? What constitutes a real emergency anyway?

Pain is a complex conundrum. For many people with chronic painful disabilities, pain is so much woven into the tapestry of daily life that they would need to be admitted into 24 hour care, finger on the buzzer or ear to the phone, summoning help from near and afar, if they approached their suffering in the same way as some ‘normal’ people do. For me, I may not be in as severe a situation as some other people I know, but I am nevertheless extremely grateful to have Lucy. No fuss, no effusive emotionality, no nagging, no unwanted ‘advice’ (try this or that herb / medication / exercise / filtered water etc), no expectation for social reciprocity (hello, I’ve dropped by to see how you are and cheer you up, so you should at least sit and chat with me for awhile) – just a silent witness who needs me to get up and get going.

I was listening with great empathic amusement the other evening, to my friend recounting his misadventures with a man he was dating. Continue reading