just sayin’

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Agedashi Tofu and Speaking Through the Body by Lucy Like-a-Charm

This morning’s rambling spinning thought processing (involuntary) brain exercise is about words. Ironically, I have to use more words to express my despair of wordedness.

As an Autistic person, as well as a researcher and practitioner in the field, and inevitable advocate, certain words people use to refer to Autism affect me greatly.

Autistic. Not Person-with-Autism. Our neurology is not a handbag we carry with us, or a handy gadget to wield as and when our fancies strike. The vast majority of autistic persons now prefer to use identity-first language, and it is the choice of official Autistic advocacy, yet, the neuronormative world is steadfastly refusing to respect this. Why? Because they think they know better. Words are little missiles containing perception and attitudes. When a person insists on delivering words that hurt, even when repeatedly told to refrain or

Using Autism as a derogatory slur is becoming more and more rampant too, for example, “That’s so autistic!”. And lately, celebrities who have been caught for heinous deeds have been wielding the deficits-focused pathological descriptions of Autism to excuse their vile behaviours.

Meandering onwards from the above mental rumblings, onto more about Words. Words. Words everywhere. Continue reading

gobbledy-goop

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goop

This is porridge. It is goop. You do not chew on goop. It is sluggish, it does not flow, it is not pretty, the sound it makes is murky. Goop does not sing in clear mellifluous tones. Goop just flops and blobs and generally obstructs refinement.

I have been living in a state of goop lately. Despite the unwelcome sensory atmosphere, or perhaps even spurred on by the discomfort and often sheer agony, I have been ruminating… and chewing… and gnawing… there has even been a goodly gnashing of teeth… over the colossal conundrum of EMPATHIC RESONANCE.

Let me try to put this mammoth in two simple, broad categories. Continue reading

vomitus

pigeons

It is a damp, cold, spring morning. The pigeons are still bravely cooing despite the rain, and I find my mind contemplating the flotsam and jetsam bobbing, shuffling, jostling and heaving in the social seas. People with verbal diarrhoea. People who spew words willy nilly. People who speak the truth. People who cannot tell the difference between truth and lies. Gullible people who seem really smart. And savvy people in cleverly woven cloaks of false innocence. And, of course, the social measurements attached. Continue reading

word-spinning

Weaving, spinning, crafting words all week. Today, my brain decided to grind to a halt. No more words, please. The sky needs no explanation. And neither does Lucy’s beauty.

Word smithing is a very important part of my life, a key to my survival in a world full of words – from meaningless, vapid chatter in noisy social parties, to wave upon wave of ponderous academic parlance, words are such an essential aspect of neurotypical life. There is so much to say and not enough words to say it all with.

This is when we should look at different communicative channels, different paradigms for expression and conveyance of meaning. Is it so necessary to “talk words” so much? Music and all its tonal-rhythmic-patterned richness can be a language that transcends  the weighty worded domain. Just as our senses may provide yet another realm of communion with Beingness. Continue reading

pain speak

carrot cupcakes

I read this article, How to Talk About Pain, while sipping on my hot coffee and milo, after our brisk early morning walk. It struck a very loud, clanging, and still jangling note in my mind, which was already being forced to listen to an insistent pounding basso continuo created by some tiny pixie with a sharp fork stabbing at the walls of my skull from the inside. It is a cold morning, and I had to wear a beanie, and gloves. Continue reading

mosaic

I am down with the flu, along with being just down. A vicious cycle really, as I find that although this affects everyone, the mind-body connection is ever more cogent in autistic individuals, However, while some people are looking to rid themselves and others of autism, I cling on to my own functional ability and embrace it, because being me is very precious. I only wish I could be less affected by my physical comorbids, but then again, would that still be Me in totality? I am not sure. I guess nobody wants to be always in pain.

I read this post by Aspie blogger Lynn Soraya today. It was first published in 2010. In this post, the writer describes her father’s peculiar way of communicating via so-called ‘unoriginal’ channels of borrowed words and phrases, as a kind of “mosaic.” Three thoughts stand out in my mind above the plethora of other threads and buttons. Continue reading

ineffable

Lunch consisted of leftovers from yesterday, check out the visual variation and see if you can spot the theme and subtle difference? For dessert, I had tea and orange jelly (made from, what else, gelatin, tea and orange juice!), with a few slivers of homemade candied orange peel. At dinner, I felt like a lighter meal, so I made cucumber salad – Thai fish sauce, lime juice, seaweed and sesame seed sprinkles – and a steamed egg. I actually steamed two, one for me and the other for Lucy. She loves egg, but I don’t like to give her too much, for fear of runny tummy. As usual, she lay nearby, in that majestic, elegant sphinx position, watching my every move. Her head would turn this way and that, as I chatted with her, sometimes in words, other times just making little noises, and her eyes carried a knowing that echoes beyond what any human eyes could convey to me. Continue reading

voice

I have a voice. It makes noise. Sometimes, when I speak with Lucy, my voice makes sounds – onomatopoeic gibberish to the rest of the world, but Lucy understands perfectly.

I like to observe myself from a short distance. I like to speak from afar, what they call the ‘third person,’ it makes for a better view. That way, I can hear my voice, listen to my heartbeat, and see myself clearer. Yet, my voice is always personal, there’s no other second or third person here but me. Just me.

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When I was little, I wanted to sing. I could play the piano, but people said that singing was for the pretty ones. So, my voice settled into my fingers and sang through the piano. I played for the pretty ones, listening to them sing, a tiny figure, hidden behind the ponderous piano. People could not even see me. They thought the piano was playing itself!

I had a dream once, when I was seven, I dreamed that I was singing, a beautiful song, a smooth and sweet voice, not loud but strong. It was just a dream, and I thought nothing of it, until one day, many years later, I discovered it again, just by chance. I wrote some songs, but did not have money to pay anyone to sing them, and so I sang. That was when I realised I had a voice! They lied to me, that I couldn’t sing. Why did they lie? Perhaps the pretty ones were afraid that I would find out, and prove them wrong? Perhaps they were afraid I would take their voice from them if I found mine? Perhaps they didn’t want me to play piano and sing too? I don’t know. I don’t understand this thing called competition and jealousy. I just want to Be.

And, yes, I have a voice!

I can speak through words. I can paint with words. Make words dance. Teach words to sing. Words have music. But music has more than words. Music is more important than words. Music holds a universe of meaning inside just one note. Music speaks even when my tongue cannot prattle. Music helps me dream. Music makes all other art for me. My voice is lucky to have music. It is a precious thing, but it cannot be held, music is to be shared, it lives inside its own body and soul. I cannot tell music what to do.

I am glad for my voice. And for music. With my voice, and the help of music, I can touch, smell, taste, hear, see and dance the universe, awake inside my dreams.

no parking!

no parking!

no parking!

No parking here, or you’ll be run down! OK, so that isn’t quite what the sign says, but that is the way I am now feeling. (My French isn’t really good at all, but I think the sign actually says that that is a busy thoroughfare for vehicles, so you mustn’t park your car there.)

Suffering from mental fatigue. But very often, one has to do what one dislikes, in order to make some money, so that one can do what one likes. So, I have been hard at work all day, engaging in a mentally strenuous task that entails reading a lot of words, making sense of the words in my head, then rewording the lot of words so that they make better sense to the readers of that document. It’s not torturous at all, but it is a mentally and physically ponderous exercise. I feel like a mouse having to carry an elephant  uphill. Continue reading