Posts

Writing as tonic

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Dearest readers,
The recent influx of writing I have been able to complete is quite astounding. This is my sixth post that I have written over the last week (I'm staggering them so they don't come out all at once, so it won't be the same week by the time this comes out) so you can safely say that writer's block has passed. I also find writing incredibly soothing; it helps and guides how I can make sense of new concepts and situations. I honestly feel like one of those Japanese bowls that every time they have a crack in them, the crack is mended and guilded with gold. It did feel like very unstable PVA trying to do the job of superglue, yet superglue just sticks you back together. The gold shows the break and the grace not to look abrasive or harsh. It is gentle and sympathetic, giving new life and beauty.
Writing, for me, has healing properties. It allows me to express myself and craft something, carving out expression that is right for my voice and the situation at h…

Addendum: another verse

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Dearest readers, 
A short one. 
The poem/song this adds onto is not my creation. The original song was written by Nick and Anita Haigh (2000 - Empty broken here I stand) but has been playing through my mind quite a lot recently. I then this morning had some ideas about the below... putting some of my personal experiences of invalidation and ignored pain down. I guess this can be seen from any perspective, but for me it is about being excluded through others practice and beliefs, and the impact this has on me. Because if I am honest, yes this is real and brushing it off as 'well we can't include everyone' without a dialogue and empathy is, just... well... ableist to be blunt. 
I wrote this to explain how I feel as we are just not really in a place to accept this happens currently or if we do accept it, it doesn't always reach us so we can do something. 
This adds to the real complexity of groups and communities and how they interact within and to external events. Nothi…

Grenzenlos: I am not your defined category

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Dearest readers,
A friend suggested this post following off from four reasons we are all not a little autistic, as a quote she often gets thrown at her;  'you shouldn't put a label on yourself, honey.'  The tagged on honey at the end just annoys me, if you know me, you'll be able to tell that part will really get on my nerves and completely rub me up the wrong way. Certainly in this sense it seems like one is throwing the smallest pinch of sugar into something horrendously bitter in an attempt to be nice. I don't do all this nicety stuff, not because I'm not nice (although sometimes I am not really), but actually just because no one in my house does, it's learnt behaviour and a bit odd if anyone does it. I think this sentence needs a bit more deconstructing and explanation as to why it is inherently problematic, not only in terms of actually saying it to someone, but through actually the words being said and how they fit together in terms of the concept be…

A message from the White Rose: do not be silent

Wir schweigen nicht, wir sind Euer böses Gewissen; die Weiße Rose läßt Euch keine Ruhe!

translation:
We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!

(from the Fourth Leaflet of the White Rose, 1942, German original here and English translation here)

Dearest readers, 
I've wanted to read these for a while but just haven't had the chance to - the leaflets written and distributed by the Weiße Rose (White Rose). Since I've had a bit of free time recently, mainly by accident, I've thrown myself into exploring what I am actually interested in examining and thinking about: how our social nature influences our interpretation of theology and how this plays out on a wider scale, how we can effectively untangle why we think what we do - particularly about autistic people - and I decided sitting in the car on the way back from a local shopping centre yesterday: I want to be a part of emancipatory disability theology. There needs to be a…

Some reasons why 'you should notice'

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Dearest readers, 
Some time ago last year I wrote the post 'we just didn't notice' in response to a comment that was raised at a training session for a faith group that I did last September. I wanted to build on this. I was definitely on the war path there, I would definitely recommend giving it a read if you have not yet. It seems to be something that flies around quite a bit and this exclamation of ignorance an almost seem an excuse if we are not careful.

Ignorance is not just, in my eyes, something that is equated to one dimension. I believe there are the 'well intentioned, uninformed ignorant' and the 'unacknowledging ignorant'. Both types are ignorant by nature. I think due to the loading we have on ignorance culturally to be so inherently negative, but the reality is that you can just be ignorant through not knowing and being unaware. I know there are many things that I am ignorant about or that I have been ignorant about. By the by, the 'well in…

Where love lies in fighting ableism

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Dearest readers, 
An interesting question to pose: where lies the love in fighting ableism. It's a crucial one to consider, especially as some people so not assimilate "fighting" and "love" to always fit together in a sentence. There are obviously sayings and song lyrics about "fighting for love", but it's never in the sense of equality and justice, challenging oppression and questioning societal 'values'. I think this also comes back to the sense of what love is in it itself, and that much rougher, much harder and much harder to actually quantify what it constitutes. 
It might further be useful to define ableism, given how fearful many are of it:
Google gives -  'discrimination in favour of able-bodied people' Urban dictionary gives an even better one, including: 'discrimination or prejudice against people who have disabilities' including 'ideas, assumptions, stereotypes, attitudes, practices and physical barriers'…

My poor little engine

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Dearest readers,
No picture or otherwise today. I have a lot of titles in my drafts with no effort to start them. Each time they start but then they quickly end up off track and not saying what I want to say. I think I have a bit of writer's block. I want to find my words again and I'm hoping my voice returns soon.
As I lay here I can hear the ambulances from the local hospital whizzing down the main road. We live quite close to a main A road and to the local fire station so it's not something I am not used to, but today it's quite nice listening to the noises from the road and the helicopter flying overhead. This also makes it sound like I live in a very busy place when I don't. It's like an enclave surrounded by green with a view of the river, with the trees all the way down the hill to the river. We have lots of birds too: Jays, doves, wagtails, sparrows and the odd obese pigeon. Listening to these sounds is grounding, it makes me feel at home. Not home hom…

Four reasons why we are not all "a little autistic"

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Dearest readers, 
Time to bust another myth, hard hats on. The title is the question: Why are we not a "little autistic"?  The gif has my answer: no. Actually, the gif has the shortened version of my answer. It's an absolute no for various reasons, although I can trace some of the reasons why this conclusion might be drawn. I guess I write this to explain what I mean and potentially what others may mean when this question is raised, or more often than not, as a statement of fact where others try to make sense of autism or  try assert that they know something rather than an opening to discourse and learning. It ends up with a discourse dominated with inequality, statements, false truths and assumptions. 

Reason number one: it's unreachable  Being autistic is a state, a status quo, a way of being and experiencing the world, however this may be. It is woven intrinsically into who you are, how you exist, whatever your standpoint is. This, added to the fact that you canno…

Learning to amplify my voice: why loud is not always best

The strongest minds are often those whom the noisy world hears last - William Wordsworth
Dearest readers, 
This post is going to discuss one of my pet peeves. It has been one throughout my life, moreso when I was much younger however the more I meet people and groups of people vying for attention, clamour and recognition, the more I find myself drawn back to this. As I have grown, I have come to appreciate what actually it means to be "loud" and to be heard, what it means to speak over others, what it means to step on others trying to climb upwards. My pet peeve? The valuing of loud individuals over and at the expense of those who do not hold the power to be heard: be it through volume, power, experience, lifeworld, popularity or majority among other concepts. 
Why is this so utterly infuriating to me? For a start I am a bit of a bossy boots and am known for 'getting things done', but I sadly do not possess a loud voice in day to day life (apart from at home). Often …

Listening to what you want to hear

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Dearest readers,
A question to start: are we listening to what we think others say... or are we listening to what others actually say?
How about we look at it this way. Are we placing our own bias purposely into our consideration of what others say? Are we framing  what we hear on previous experiences and also on what we would say in that situation? My argument would be that we always do this to a certain extent, for we use what we do know as scaffolds to piece together what we don't. We construct these 'new' ideas using reference points, many of which are likely to be our own. It is highly likely there are times that we don't realise we filter all information through our own understanding, but I can bet you we can become more aware. I furthermore argue that through using this filter to scaffold together our understanding, we can, and do, distort what others may mean or rather, intend to mean, in communication. 
One reason for this is the difficulty in constructing id…