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Cocoons Can be Comfy

an introverted autist retreats

Sleepwalk

Exploring some old favorite tunes in the last day or so.  “Sleepwalk” by the brothers Santo and Johnny is an amazing, unique piece from 1959 that always makes me think of a wanderer deep in thought, perhaps struggling with a secret sorrow. This last listen inspired both sketch and poem. I thought linking to the song would add to it. Enjoy. 

https://youtu.be/2rwfqsjimRM

Some days, I feel like I’m

Sleepwalking,

Eerie steel guitars puncuating

My slumbering wake,

Tallgrass swaying for background’s sake.

And I find I am just

Dragging time in my hand,

Rope-burns grinding like sand.

Body tired to the marrow,

Yet brain urging thoughts

Further on and

Further on in the high and low,

Twining notes resounding over and 

Again in my folly,

Binding spells of piercing melancholy.

Sometimes, I want to cry nay to the

Beckoning shadows of the deep ponder,

But, something in me refuses to lay down

Till there is no further to wander…

Autistic Pride Blogger Award

Autistic Pride. Such a beautiful and sorely needed concept. Makes my heart soar to think of it.💟💟💟

My dear friend, Laina, over at one of the bestest online hangouts, The Silent Wave-https://thesilentwaveblog.wordpress.com/ – has created a Blogger Award! 

( incredibly creative as she is. 😘)

 The Autistic Pride Award! Yeah!!!

The following are her rules, which are so amazingly non-burdensome I have to clap my hands and grin with glee.😘😸 :

Very relaxed and informal, of course.  There’s no pressure.  No having to think up people to tag and invite.  

The rules are really simple…

  1. Whoever wants to participate, participate.  I’m focusing primarily on Asperger’s/autistic people, of course, but anyone who supports autistic people and neurodiversity is welcome!
  2. Do link back to the blogger who gave you the idea 
  3. Do link back to this blog as the original creator.
  4. Describe a bit about yourself.  However much you feel comfortable saying.
  5. List your main “special interests” or areas of primary focus/niche specialties.
  6. If you’re on the spectrum yourself, describe why you’re proud to be Aspergian/autistic or what you like about being Aspergian/autistic.  
  7. If you’re not on the spectrum yourself, you can use this opportunity to describe a loved one in your life who is and what makes them awesome, or you can explain what autism means to you and why you think the world would be a better place if it were to be more embracing of autism.
  8. (Of course, you can answer more than one!  For example, someone who is autistic can also describe how much better the world would be if it was more open toward autism.)
  9. If you like, you can list other blogs or resources that are autism/neurodiversity-positive, to give them a shout-out, too.

That’s it. 🙂

Okey-dokey, then..

I have a fair amount of interests, so I will try to reign myself in, but I love opportunities to actually get to share the things which light me inside:

poetry/writing ( duh)

history ( esp. Civil War, Victorian, Roaring 20’s and WW2)

art ( everything from abstract patterns to more realistic portraits)

baking ( sometimes for others, but mostly for the process and experimentation.)

Vintage items, especially 40’s-60’s ads, magazines, knick-knacks, clothing, furniture, and just plain oddities

Classic film and TV

Big Band and Jazz

50’s-80’s rock, folk, soul

Reading and research ( almost anything but especially about autism, history,  origins, psychology,  vintage, and favorite film, actors, and music.)

Language, Word games, and Word origin

Christianity and Church history

Butterflies

Working with children, especially through creative expression 

Ok…that is a sizable list, some more “mainstream” than others. But, I find the level I love these things on-while soothing for me-are often looked askance on by others, especially “peers”. 

My husband and two of my four kids are also a part of the spectrum, (though I am beginning to highly suspect my middle boy is a missed Aspie, too, based on recent struggles.) each with their own list of special interests. I think they could each express a similar thought about how they are received by others.  

If I could say one thing for all of us, it would be as my last poetry post stated:

Let me be me. Or, rather, let us be us.

Our world would be infinitely easier and more joyful for it. 🙂

Because, honestly I love who I am. They love who they are. Being taught to feel otherwise-purposefully or incidentally- is not only cruel but detrimental.

Let us have our enthusiasm! The enthusiasm we roll in for the things that we are drawn to is on such a level that I cannot fully describe it.

It allows us to hone in and dismiss the extraneous. It has and can prove useful, but, beyond that, it makes us happy! 

If only others could see this and let us be us…

Let Me Be Me

Been ruminating as only I can on a days-ago instance of someone trying to squeeze me into friendship and the resulting struggle to make myself understood. Longish but feel a release, so that’s good. 🙂

I know you imagine me lonely,

Reclusive housewife and mother,

Seemingly tucked into her nest,

Profound oddity

In this know-everybody-and-their-cousin,

Spread-your-arms-wide, but watch-your-back place.

A non-engaged little freak of the fringes

In this socially-saturated, raise-a-toast- to-shallowness world.

You presume I am desperate to

“Fix” it, I guess.

To “fix” me.

You see me on the proverbial outside 

With nose pressed

Longingly against the glass,

Looking in,

Shy but oh-so-hungry to be 

Partaking of the table of

Social acceptability.

And, yes, I will grant you times and 

Even full seasons

I am filled with frustration for who I am

As well as who I am not.

There are days of wrestling 

Rampant awkwardness

Just to walk these country streets,

Knowing the “shoulds” of greeting others

But not always possessing of the audible tongue.

There are nights propelled solely by

Anxiety and sheer endurance,

My mixing in the fray of the 

Meeting place 

Only for the sake of

Those closest to my heart.

That, in fact, is where you found me,

Out only for the sake of

Precious offspring,

Surviving a conversation because it 

Was presented to me,

Congratulating myself inside for not

Too many lulls.

Seeking something more never once

Sprung to mind

Till you inserted yourself.

Hang outs and girl talk?

Slicked-up nails and gossipy coffee outings?

Never had the desire.

Even further intellectual stimulation,

Where very pleasant on certain terms,

Does not often sway me from my

Quiet repose.

I have my people I can permit in

And I am finding that is enough for me.

It isn’t a lack of care for my

Fellow man, mind you.

That I feel intensely.

Rather, it is a constant need to

Conserve the limited currents of

My people energy.

It’s just not in me to be

What you think I am supposed to be.

I can only operate as He made me.

But, yes, I grant you the ache that 

Waxes and wanes,

Though your emphasis is misplaced.

For, this ache comes not of 

Pining to be as you 

As you suppose.

No…

It is rather the burden of being 

Among the 

Perpetually misunderstood.

For, try as I might to explain myself,

So few accept me just as I am.

If I feel any pain, it is the pain of

An expectation,

A superimposed obligation

I can never reach,

No matter the preaching inflicted on me.

And, you,

As many before you ( and likely many to come)

Thought your aim was compassion.

I cannot entirely fault you, any of you.

But, enlighten? 

Yes, this I must put into action…

Please, friend…let that kind but misguided arrow

Root itself not in what befits you,

But, instead, give a willing ear to

 My truth-

Letting me be happy being me

Will go so much farther,

Be of infintely more help than

Matchmaking and make-overs 

For “friendship”

Ever could.

Let me be.

Let me feel the joy of being

Understood…

Noise

Spent last night at the community center per my daughter’s request. ( She is still recovering but itching to be out among people.) Lots of sweet kids, but the level of voices and chit-chattiness of others had me running for cover a bit. Stole away to the art table and drew this with simple crayons. Normally, bright colors are drawn lovingly in my pictures, but here I wanted to represent noise and the attempt to escape from it…

Enigma

Finally caved and watched the movie “The Accountant” last night, if only to see how autism was portrayed ( yes, I am typically months late to the party. ☺). No offense to any who enjoyed it, but where it wasn’t all bad, it did spark some annoyance at yet again seeing a guy’s autism complete with the usual numerical capability….

“If you were a genius,

We might have more use for you,”

They say.

“As it is,

You are far too…mundane,”

They fairly snort.

“What sort of enigma are you?

Where lies the puzzle prowess?

Or the mathematical equation-spouting,

Computer-savanting,

Mystery-solving

We are so used to seeing?”

And they smirk almost…

Disapprovingly.

Certainly disbelievingly.

I’ve disappointed them, after all.

I don’t put off the vibe they recall.

And, then, I wish I could say

I stand up and politely give them hell.

But, more often than not, I lose words in conversation,

Wind up sputtering fruitless 

Protestations

In ways they summarily chalk up to

Profound ineptness.

And so, I have to watch them walk away 

Shrugging

At how the phrasology

Doesn’t sound like any whiz kid’s…

Ah, but here?

Here it flows out undisturbed by any

Errant comment or expression…

Thus, today, I must firmly say

We are not all of us

Walking calculators or

Made of the same variety of quirks.

Some have those particular gifts,

Some don’t.

But, whatever we have or don’t have 

Do not sum up our worth.

Too often what you envision are 

Merely endearing stereotypes 

Designed to sell books and movies

Or make things more palatable for you

At school or work.

Because, to you, if one is smart

In the requisitely cool

Or markedly profitable

Sense of the word,

Much, much more can be forgiven.

Oh, don’t try to deny this truth.

For, you see, autism looks almost stylish then,

Like a pet in a purse,

Something cute to dangle from your arm.

Just put us in front of a screen with

Fidget spinners in hand

And we can blend right in 

With the rest of this electronically-induced age

To beat the band.

Heaven forbid you find you are wrong

Or start catching the strains of a 

Different song!

For, all your gold mines dwindle then.

To be autistic and yet too “ordinary”?

An enigma of a rather unsatisfying sort!

And, apparently, the gravest of sins

According to your tried and true reports…

Dandelion Games

Taking time for dandelion games today.

Floor may be sticky,

Some would even say icky.

But, sun is kind this morning,

Tuning down the glare.

Wind is only lightly adorning

Our section of air.

Time is too precious to squander

On scrubbing tiles to a mirror shine.

When the minutes align for a bit of a wander,

More and more, I am choosing to 

Follow after that whimsical sign…

Autist Fire

Fiery lines.

Don’t even know quite what they mean.

Veins humming with activity, I suppose.

The autist brain exploding inside,

Snaking out past the edges.

Rushing rivers of thought,

Some branching wider than others 

From the source,

Yet remaining connected,

Intersected,

Like great thumping passageways,

Leading each to their separate worlds, 

Different functions,

Yet all traced back to this buzzing hub

That begins it all.

Yes, I can feel them each in turn.

Some days frightening,

Occasionally overwhelming,

Once in a while, prelude to the

Inescapable crash and burn.

But tonight? 

Ah…tonight.

Tonight, just…

Beautifully busy and…

Highly interesting.

So, I say,

Sing, bright autist fire, sing….

Contentment

Voices blend in bright splashes of

An eternal child’s song.

Enjoyment rises and wraps around

This funny old place

Like an eiderdown quilt,

Patched in prettiness

And crazy mismatched patterns that

Somehow all work together nevertheless.

Happy is often a hard thing to

Define in me,

Or, perhaps, more so, to hold onto.

For the years have not been kind

In keeping with the smiles.

Where I have strived to pull it round me,

It usually winds up tatters all the while.

But, this. 

This day. This hour. This moment.

I can feel it-Contentment.

Without the constant nagging of fear

In what lies ahead.

Without the relentless tugging in my ear

That whispers past and present dread.

Oh, that I may relish this respite

And allow it to cover me.

Oh, that I may rest 

Without spoiling it in the restless wonder of

How long it will last…

Peace in Purple

Peace grows up in purple petals,

Vivid against the dense canvas

I’ve been walking in.

Words of healing collect like tiny pools of

Clear water,

Drop by precious raindrop.

I dip my finger into the coolness,

Appreciating the soothing flow

Against my tired skin.

Once more, the delights my Creator blessed me in

Obligingly assemble

And underscore the thickness of

Being heartsore

With the quieter beat of simple beauty

And I can move slowly into

Serenity above the chaos

Once again…

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