Allied forces grey and green and flying
Originally posted August 6th This was written more as me considering my feelings and inner conflicts when I think about what it means to be an ally for those whose communities I’m not a part of. (Specifically, I was thinking of my Women of Color, Trans, and Asexual friends.) But I think that it does apply to anytime we claim to be allies of a group of people, and in particular I post it as a challenge to those taking part in the shutdown. Think what it really is you are doing, and does it meet the needs of those who you are declaring yourself an “ally” to?
When I published “To Inspiration”, I had to come up with a way to make it more accessible for people with cognitive, intellectual, and Learning Disabilities. I firmly believe in each person taking what they need to from a work of art, but I also wanted my core message to be accessible. So I wrote this along side interpretation/study guide which was published along side the original poem.
I let myself become frustrated, and my words to become “dry” when I take how I feel from what I am trying to say. I have difficulty saying in words what I mean, and I feel like my meaning is lost when I try.
Sometimes, I cannot write in Prose, or sentences, what I mean. There is too much moving from images (how I think) into “understandable” words. So I write poetry using the images I think in. But I only allow myself to write it in private, where people can’t see how messy and difficult words are for me.
This is how I make the two parts of how I think set apart. My emotions and experience of a thought I put into poetry and hide from people. The facts and exact meanings I put in the words I write in public. This is difficult, and makes my emotions a stressful thing when I write instead of a positive thing.
Art can have a strong effect on how we feel. This art does not need to fit into how people think art “should” be. It can be more powerful when it is not. Speaking, hearing, or moving like other people isn’t needed to make art.
I have difficulty saying aloud words. This is even more true when I talk about things that have had a strong effect on how I feel. This does not mean I have nothing to say. The feelings that other people’s art give me help me worry less about people’s thoughts about how I make art. It is okay the way I am.
Some people make jokes about the number “69″ but this is serious so I remind you not to. A woman who thought about the hows and whys of how women are treated said “the personal is political”. This was when people put down people talking about their problems. They said it made no change. Carol disagreed.
For a long time, maybe longer than we’ve been human beings, Art has been a way to say something without talking. It allows people to talk about things that are hard to find words for. It allows people to let others know about things even when it is uncomfortable to talk about. Some things cannot be put into words properly, but art allows these things to be “said” without speaking.
People tell us- sometimes with strong words- that the negative feelings and our unmet needs are private. These are things we are told not to tell people about. When we are allowed to talk about them, we can only tell them to certain people or professionals. We are told that the things we feel are just what we feel. we are told not to look at how the people around us treat people like us.
I think that instead of limiting ourselves to what others say is okay to share we should share what we want to. We should take our experiences and put them into our art. Through art, we can take all the bad things society teaches us to feel about ourselves and change something. We can recognize our differences and our shared experiences and show people who we are, rather than who they think we are.
I allow myself to wither
My passions separated out from
The core of thought desiccated
While I try to ferment these thoughts
From time to time the dam breaks open
and my need for poetry to
out my thoughts, unable to
my scratch work in my head
In this way the disparate parts of me
I segregate the elements that make me
from my thoughts, and so I dwell in the
facts and figures
moving out my emotions through a
There is a time that a story can move
words without sound
dance more powerful without music
ecstatic exhalations of
power, emotion and thought in one
gigantic swoop of expression.
My own words trembled and failed to pass out
the encompassing effects.
But though my speech doesn’t move
my thoughts do, my soul does
and, guided forward by the winds of fellows
already moving, I move too.
In 1969 (no jokes just now please)
Feminist Theorist Carol Hanisch declared
“The personal is Political“
A response to the idea that when a group
of people suffering under
oppression come together to discuss their
oppression, it is “Just group therapy.”
Throughout the ages (maybe longer than we’ve been homo sapiens sapiens)
art has been a method of non-verbal declaration
Expression of our interior into the exterior world.
To dare to speak the unspeakable,
Expressing in words-
or without them- that which might,
in fullness, not lend itself to language alone.
This is not ASD specific, obviously- This is about bringing our personal experiences and the way the world treats people- particularly those with disabilities- to our art and how we otherwise express ourselves to the world.
There is a guide/alongside interpretation for those with learning or cognitive disabilities.
I pour out these words
Originally posted August 6, 2010
The arch curling round
Originally posted August 4, 2010
Note: This poem is about being in a relationship as an Autistic, and how it contrasts with the ways that people think a relationship is “supposed” to look like. I debated posting this, but I think that it is important to recognize that Autistic Adults have relationships, and that many of our relationships don’t match up to what society tells us they should. I’ve dated several young people who were either on spectrum, or who had “cousin” Dxs such as ADHD or OCD, so this is SEMI-Autobiographical
Originally posted August 9, 2010
It is confusing when you say it-
Originally posted September 1, 2010
In case you haven’t heard yet, an organization has been promoting “Communication Shutdown” to raise Autism Awareness. They have been encouraging people to not use social networking accounts today. Supposedly, this is somehow supposed to help NTs understand our difficulties with communication and the resulting feelings of isolation.
What they are missing, though, is how much social networking sites have allowed us to connect. Some of us- like myself- do speak verbally, but have difficulties with initiation or understanding social ques, or might even on occation just not be able to get words out verbally. Some of us only speak verbally sporadically. And some of us don’t speak verbally at all.
But Autistics of all different types have benefited from social media platforms. Some of us were able to find communities that were inaccessible before. Some of us have found people who are willing to accept us as who we are, unorthodox communication needs and all. And for some of us, we’ve established our own communities and even developed our own culture. There are even those who have been able to maintain relationships- romantic or otherwise- in ways that would have been impossible before. All of these things are much much more difficult for us to do out in the “real world”.
And often, the real world doesn’t make space for our needs, or for our communication. Our communication might be labeled as overly aggressive, as “funny”, or even identified as problem behaviors and not recognized as communication at all. Online this isn’t as true- so how is this event supposed to help raise awareness for how our lives are?
Some people- including the wonderful Corina Becker- Have decided to have “Autistics Speaking Day” instead. We are sharing our stories, our communities, our thoughts, our art with the world. And you know, maybe we will actually be heard this time, since those who claim to speak for us are being silent.
I’ll be posting some poems of mine that are about my experiences as an Autistic person on this blog today, and linking once an hour over on twitter to them and to some of my friends and their works. I hope you join us!
Here are some other posts on this topic:
Kim Wobbles: In Which I Get Pissed Off: Not shutting down.
Facebook Event: Autistics Speaking Day