Invisible

 

Invisible Me

I am not black.

I am the wrong shade of white.

I speak with no accent,

Yet people shout at me,

To help clarify their words.

My hair is too dark,

My nose is too hooked.

I am too female,

So my mind must be faulty.

I am too small, too short, too young,

Therefore I must know less.

I am not feminine enough,

I use masculine words,

I must be a threat,

Unfriend, delete, deny access, exterminate!

I am invisible,

Yet everybody notices these things.

But what they don’t see,

Is Me.

 

 

 

*In participation of Blog Action Day. If you would like to participate, register your site via the link provided. Remember also to include ‘inequality’ in your tags.

Because of you SWCC – Where Time Stands Still

As a synaesthete I find myself falling into the individual notes of the music like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, into a world that is far removed from the one my eyes describe to me. Whole landscapes spring forth as the notes cascade with me, mountains, forests, and rolling clouds in the evening sky giving encore to a day and a place that exists somewhere separate from my usual awareness. A place that looks as old as time, but as fresh and new as the music that is giving it life. In these moments I become hooked in the emotions that well up from the deep gorges scored by the slow pulse of the double bass, like dark earth anchoring tree roots in paternal embrace, as I soar high above riding the currents of the vitality that emanates from the musical landscape below. In that moment I am smitten, entranced by the richness of the melodies, riffs, and bass lines of the musical notes as they find their place in the multidimensional space of my synaesthete mind. As the track comes to an end and the next begins, so the landscape changes, along with the tones, emotions, and I am instantly transported elsewhere, feeling something completely new and different.

It’s a roller-coaster ride listening to an entire album, and often when I write I will have the same track looping over and over in order to preserve the sentiment and the world that that particular piece of music allows me to inhabit, until I have finished the piece I’m working on.

Learning to put into words what I experience through my multi-sense-awareness has taken me a lifetime already. Often though, there just aren’t words that can convey what I’m experiencing, so I hope that through my words and images that some of that original intent is delivered and shared, even if there are no words to describe the sentiment that is felt by the person experiencing my art.

Music in particular is a such  powerful medium for me, that I cannot help but be drawn in by its gravitational pull. At times I find that I have to avoid it because if I allow myself to get hooked then it can completely throw me off kilter, introducing emotions and experiences that lead me astray, and detract from other things I may have to do. There are times however, that I use it to my advantage, with one album in particular that I listen to that serves as a reset button when I feel I have lost my way and forgotten who I am. Who needs drugs right?

Beautiful sunsets, sunrises, moody skies, art, photography  have a similar effect on me too. I think of the film ‘Highlander’, and the moment Christopher Lambert extols the infamous line, “There can be only one!” as a shaft of light pulls him up into the air connecting his soul to the soul of heaven (I’m assuming), and thus renewing his life. The power of the shaft of light is what I’m really alluding to here as being akin to what I experience when I connect with something, with little control over it as it flows from the area of my solar plexus outward and inward.

Absolutely everything within my external and internal environments affects my mood, and as you can imagine a great deal of self-control is required in order to maintain a semblance of composure much of the time. It’s like trying to control a very powerful electrical current into the low voltage appliance of my human body, and short circuits happen frequently affecting my health. It’s both exhilarating and a burden to be a synaesthete, but it is who and what I am in every conceivable way. As I breathe out I can see pale blue mingling with the ambient yellows and golds of the surrounding room I’m in. The blue tells me of the exertion I am experiencing at trying to tame the energy of the writhing serpent that is my multidimensional sensory awareness into tight little black words taking root into the illuminated electronic screen of my laptop, who sits upon my lap, patiently and faithfully like a cat.

I am not materialistic, but once I establish an emotional connection with something, I find it very hard to let it go. To me there is no difference between an inanimate object, a sunset, or an abstract concept. I sense them all in the same way, through raw energy and emotion, and all that that entails for me. Makes me think of the North American Indian concept of everything having a soul. It’s a bit like that I suppose.

When I connect with individual people, well, that’s an experience all by itself.

October Window Through Sunrise Skies.

October Window

The catharsis I seek is untenable. It isn’t of this world. It lays within a brown envelope full of letters that speak of a time different from this, and although the colours and shapes of this vision are simple and balanced, nothing of this otherworldly composition is incomplete or basic.

My life is full of colour, shapes, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations that I can seldom relate to others, and to which others can relate. My life is a symphonic, dynamic work of art with every word that is spoken, and with every scene experienced, and it can be a lonely place because it seems that few others have a brain that is wired like mine. This part of me I keep to myself, because to those others it sounds like lyrical nonsense when I speak of loud reds, and B-flat greens, smooth purples and mint-flavoured skies. It sounds like I’m tripping, having had a good dose of narcotic candy after having listened to some avant-guard 60s psychedelia.

“Far out man, this is good shit!”

Yeah, my shit is good shit, except I can’t switch it off. I can’t stop sensing and experiencing what I do at any point. Much in the same way that a ‘normal’ person can’t switch their eyes or ears off, if they have eyes or ears to see and hear with. Furthermore, how could I possibly imagine what it is like not to sense things in the way that I do?
Yet I have learned the language of convention, and I laugh along too when I say something as apparently ludicrous as, “I don’t like the flavour of that brick, because its attitude stinks”, however, to me it makes perfect sense, and as I think of it I can see and feel exactly what such a brick would be like. It’s a brick I would give a sideways glance to, and never use to build a house with. Go on, laugh. I would.

Maybe I could meditate it out of my system, choose not to respond to all this stimuli? Yes, why not give that a try. Just let me clear my throat, and find a space between fits of laughter, and floods of tears. Irony can be troublesome stuff, getting stuck in your orifices like dust thrown up by a passing truck carrying big blue aardvarks.

I close my eyes lately, and all I can see is photo after photo of scenes I’ve no recollection of, like a slide-show on fast forward. It’s cool because I’m enjoying each and every shot as I see it, but each one carries its own historical energy stamp, like being shocked with a cattle-prod, except each shock is different from the next, and not always favourable, so the only thing I can do is open my eyes and hope that the light bouncing off my retina is enough to dampen the images speeding past, just as the sunlight filters out the stars in the day-time sky. It’s not always effective, and often I will be aware that I’m still dreaming the dream I had the night before for example, in the periphery of my mind’s-eye, aware of the changing tones of scenery almost superimposed upon what my eyes are physically seeing. Such things can affect the mood of the whole day for me, as my super-awareness plays out entire dramas in conjunction with the dramas that my physical body is engaged in. I call it ‘super-awareness’, because when placed in the context of what is considered ‘normal’, such a description seems fitting.

I see, hear, smell, and sense things that no-one else does, and yet that I believe everyone could if they were open to it. I’m not an alien, or a different species of human being as some may like to profess, because it sounds cute and complimentary, but a way of really saying, “I can’t relate”. There is nothing strange about how I am, any more than there is anything strange about someone whose neural pathways are not all connected.

America CupTo me it is odd that you might not be able to see all the extra dimensions to the cup you are drinking from. I accept that through conventional thought, the cup is just a cup, an inanimate object that is what it appears to be, but that would be barely scratching the surface of its greater reality in my mind. My eyes see nuances in that cup that you might never experience. And as fascinating, or as crazy as that may sound, I cannot describe it to you accept in metaphor and allegory, at which point you lose focus and switch off, because you just can’t relate.

So why am I even talking about it, you might ask? Well, because this is my blog and I can, and because in some small way I hope that someone can indeed relate in whatever way possible. Not that I’m a charity case seeking donations, although that’s how I feel sometimes, but because without those connections I die a little bit more inside each time, to the point that I begin to believe that the world I happen to inhabit really sucks. No one appreciates how resilient I have to be because of my heightened sensitivity to stimuli. Nobody is there to pick me up when it all gets a little too overwhelming.

I often find myself smiling through gritted teeth, because sometimes, to reveal what I’m experiencing would be social suicide. How do I explain that I know the man sitting on the bench across from me is a criminal about to commit a crime, because of the cocktail of colours I see emanating from him, because I can see a darkness behind his eyes that I know no-one else can, but that is glaringly obvious to me? Then to watch the crime unfolding, and feeling helpless because who the hell would believe me without catching him in the act and endangering myself?

That stuff in particular, really, really sucks arse. Being right is not always a good thing, let me tell you.

I try to channel all of this super-awareness into more acceptable artistic mediums that others can indeed relate to, but as with all languages, much gets lost in translation when code-switching, so the art of me becomes obscured and altered. It becomes something else, and my melodious clouds still moving across the sky, just look like clouds in a photographic still. Their resonance is missed, and the artistic expression of the piece is a little less than it was intended to be. Often when I’m going through photographs, I get irritated that the software just cannot simulate accurately enough what I saw before me. The intensity of colour, and the sensations that went with it.

I often feel sorry for others who cannot see what I see, remembering that for me ‘seeing’ means something completely different from the ability to read data through physical eyes. I feel that they are missing out on wonderful things sometimes, unaware of the beauty and the art in the most mundane of things, and of the stories that these things can relate. To be able to pick up an object and listen to its history is truly inspiring. To be able to look at a morning sky and feel the emotions within it is sublime. To be able feel the song in the crowds of people that pass before you is exhilarating. Yet I can’t share that with anyone, because no-one understands, except for animals. They get it.

Gwynnie's lovely paws

Perhaps, not seeing what I see might be a blessing, in that I might feel a little less alone out here in the wilds of Maria-Ville. Also because not everything I see and experience is always so delightful. I cannot switch it off. I even find that I have to ridicule myself in order to sound a little less whiney and sad in my own head, and perhaps a little more acceptably normal. But seriously, you people have no idea.

Maybe I’ll go feral after all. Just let me out at the Potomac Falls, I like the energy there. Now that is a heck of a symphony! Damn shame you’ll never be able to hear it.

Final thoughts for the day – 8-9 October 2014: Dopamine Addicts

MeAs an artist the most significant thing someone could say to me is that I inspire them through my work, or the expression of my particular art. The thing with that kind of validation, is that it becomes addictive. With every new expression of your art you need new validation of your ability to inspire. Art only becomes art when exchanged and shared with others, as the definition of something as art can only come from comparison and trend established in agreement with others.

To ever consider myself a lonely artist is erroneous, because in calling myself an artist at all is an adherence to an already widely accepted notion of what art is supposed to be, and realising that this is essentially a social endeavour that requires participation of more  than just myself. If I the ‘artist’ do something just for me, then surely I am merely being myself as there is no art to be defined by comparison?

In calling myself an artist then, what I am saying is that I want to inspire you, and that I would like you to tell me that I inspire you with the possible added bonus that you might inspire me back. The simplest, most innate form of art I suppose is the smile. When you smile at someone, there is the expectation, the hope that they will reciprocate and smile back, thus giving you the validation of comradeship that you seek. Art in what ever form it takes, is another manifestation of the smile, even if for all intents and purposes it looks like a grimace. Any form of communication is a desire to interact and engage with others. It’s a two way street that should ideally benefit all parties involved.

As someone who identifies herself as an artist, I am acknowledging the clearly defined rules of being an artist, and to not be acknowledged as such is disappointing. Much like if I were to smile at you, but you didn’t smile back. I would assume that you didn’t like me, or at the very least that my art just did not inspire you. That in itself would make me question my own motives and perhaps drive me to improve or change my method of delivery, so that perhaps next time I would be more successful in making that all important connection.

Perhaps the key is in the timing, like a good joke who’s punchline is a killer, having maximum effect on an audience who has Smilealready bought into your act. The best smiles are the ones where you catch another off-guard, that spontaneous moment where you both connect if but for a split second, but that carry the greatest impacts and that can change the course of the day and beyond. That’s the kind of art I want to produce. If I make you smile, or make you connect with me in some way through my work, then I have succeeded, until the next fix that is. And if I can keep eliciting these kinds of responses, and possibly even make money from it, then I can consider myself a professional artist. But all it comes down to, really, is the ability to make others smile, or frown even. A response in fact is better than none. A positive one is always preferable, but even a negative one says something about my/your ability to impact the lives of others. I suppose it comes down to what we as people want personally. Who are we aiming to impress, who would we truly like to connect with, and more importantly why?

Understanding my motivation for being the artist that I believe myself to be is an intrinsic part of my art. For the most part, I enjoy all the forms of artistic expression that I engage with. First and foremost I get personal satisfaction from doing what I do. If I can then share it with others and elicit a similar response, then I’m happy. That is almost enough for me. If I could make a living from that, then that would add a new dimension to my experience as an artist, although the money will never be my prime motivation for being an artist and wanting to share my art. My prime motivation will always be wanting to make you smile, and thus validating that my smile was worth every muscle and ounce of dopamine too.

 

Egg

He’s smiling on the inside….

Nuffin but Muffins

Muffins and teaUnfortunately the first half of the muffin couldn’t make it to the photo shoot. It was otherwise indisposed and had to take a detour.

I decided to give my rambunctious neighbours the day off today and go out. I needed to run some errands, and as the sun was shining after yesterday’s deluge, I thought I might as well enjoy its warmth as the house is not so warm at the moment owing to a knackered boiler pump. I haven’t switched the boiler on at all since I moved in back in July, and according to the plumber, in a not so roundabout way, it’s my fault because the pump has been left idle for so long. I wasn’t especially impressed as you can imagine, as it’s not my place to ensure the maintenance of the boiler system here, I’m just a tenant. A tenant I might add who is paying through the bloody nose for this tiny doll’s house with no heating.

I’ve been oddly busy this morning. Since all three of my children are now in full-time school my previous daily busy-ness has subsided, also because I only see my  kids on alternate mornings, except for the weekends that they are with me. For the first time in many years, I have been able to enjoy a lie-in on my days off!

Wonders might never cease…

Unimpressed

“Really?”

My head is thankfully a little less fuzzy than it was yesterday, but the primary cause of the fuzziness has been a very stiff, painful neck that I’ve had for too long now. Part of my outing this morning consisted of dropping into the surgery around the corner to perhaps be enlightened as to the cause. I was prescribed something for acid-reflux. No points for ingenuity there doc! A process of elimination she told me. My neck is killing me, and my throat has been consistently sore for months now, with no change in symptoms. But because the NHS don’t want to invest in what could potentially be unnecessary investigations, they make you wait and go through the rigours, often until you are too damn ill to make the point that you knew something just wasn’t right in the first place.

There is no-one that understands my state of health better than me. Ok, you might say it’s not their fault, and lots of man-hours and pounds are wasted on those who take advantage of the system, but owing to the fact that I already have an arms-length’s worth health issues, you’d think they might sit up and take notice, and not just pass me off as another hypochondriac. The last time I was ignored, I almost paid the ultimate price. It is a process I tire of, and honestly it doesn’t bolster my faith in this country’s ability to care for its citizens. Sorry, I’m being a bit idealistic again aren’t I? It’s a nasty habit that only ever gets me into arguments sadly. I’ll put my mediocre-hat back on, and shut the hell up. There!

The sun has been replaced with ashen, thunderous clouds, waging war against the its radiant presence. The gods are angry and grumbling away, except they must have got distracted as holes are beginning to appear in their blanket-strategy, with warm golden light pouring back into the cul-de-sac, and through my bedroom window once again. Rain glistens jewel-like as it catches the sun’s defiance. Somewhere there will be a pot of gold appearing for the next idiot who chooses to go a’wandering off cliff faces.

I suppose what struck me today as I decanted my latest pills into my flower-shaped pill-box with the days of the week emboldened in black atop the little lids, was that it was a sign of my ageing, the fact that I, like my grandfather before me have all these different coloured medical candies that I have to take on a daily basis in order to assume a healthy composure. It’s a little depressing really. Maybe I’ll open up a sweet shop, although I’m sure there are already a few of those around these parts. Pedlar of narcotics and other rustic kitchen delights!

“Come over to Maria’s for tea, muffins, and drugs!”

Ooh look, rainbow…!

The Seeker

 

The Whistling Wind

9:16 am – Bedroom

As the wind blows outside it is passing through something, the eaves of the house possibly, producing a sound like that of a child’s whistle. Though it lacks conviction as if said whistle were being blown by a toddler with little awareness of the power of its own lungs. It isn’t quite windy enough for the rubbish bins to have been blown over outside as they sit patiently awaiting collection, and emptying by the refuse men. It’s Monday, Bin Day, and they have now arrived.

The neighbours to my right must think they are really cool because they are always playing hip-hop music loudly under my window as they prepare themselves for the day and whatever journey they are planning on undertaking. Going to work probably. Still, nice as it is that they are so musically jovial, I wish they would shut the fuck up. My head is full of cotton wool, and the pale light filtering through the gap in the curtains is just a little too bright still. The colour of the music blasting up from below is clashing with the colour scheme inside my head and outside my window. I wish they would hurry up and go away. Dark reds and verdant greens in broad strokes jumping up and down on the pale silvery-blue wash of the day’s canvas. Incisive black lines trying to define my head space, when all I want is the argent tranquility that is beckoning me to close my stinging eyes. Along with the whistling wind, this symphonic cocktail is like the dull thud of a wall pressed against my head at frequent intervals.

At least the neighbours to the left haven’t yet begun their murderous caterwauling as they attempt to extricate children from house, and plug them into the Happy-Wagon. All three youngsters are going to grow up to be nutters, just like their well-rounded psychopathic parents. No wonder people don’t seem to stay here very long. Just as well I don’t plan to either.

Of course, Number One Son has befriended the oldest of the three neighbour children to the left, thinking that he’d like to spend more time with this new cool friend of his. But then, Number One Son has a tendency to attract nut-jobs, as he did a couple of years ago when he introduced me to my most recent stalker. I found myself reminding Number One Son that sometimes his

Right kind of monkey, wrong Hopper.

definition of ‘friend’ is a misnomer, and that going on frequent past experience he needs to exercise a little more caution when flippantly awarding random strangers that accolade.

It’s raining now as if in answer to my woes. The dryness of the confines of my room reflect the dryness of my eyes and throat, though inside my head it’s raining too, a torrent of colourful musical paint Jackson Pollocking all over what was my nice blank mind.

“Turn the fucking music down you shiz-bags!”

Now, I like my abstract art, but not when it intrudes into my personal space like a deranged monkey on a bouncy-hopper.

Finally, more than an hour later, and the music has stopped. Peace reigns, or is that: rains, inside my head again. A train rattles past not 20 metres from the back of house, the sound of traffic passes wetly along the main coast road just beyond the row of houses to the left. The sound of water flushes through domestic pipes, and I can hear people jackknifing car doors in an attempt to evade the rain. Oh no…the neighbours to left have just surfaced, right on cue I suppose. Here we go again! Assume brace position…

 

 

 

 

*Images courtesy of the internet. Sources unknown.

Validation.

I’m back to not really knowing where I should be posting certain types of article. I established one of my blogs ‘Maria to the Core’, precisely for the purpose of having a platform of expression upon which I could be the unadulterated me. However, back then I had a much bigger following on my blogs, particularly this one, and it just didn’t seem appropriate to be posting such deeply felt opinions here.
Things have changed significantly since, and I no longer have the following that I used to on my writing blogs, including this one. This is mostly because for much of this past year I have been absent from blogging, being caught up in the throes of life. Being that my life very rarely appears to be straightforward it has been a roller coaster of a year, with it’s wonderful highs, and very definite lows.

One thing I know for certain, is that when I sit to write I need absolute peace and silence often, or at least be plugged into wordless music that helps me focus and match my writing mood. Right now though, I am distracted by my children, who are just being children not so quietly entertaining themselves. They are good at that. To me though, that is like a red rag to a bull when I’m trying to focus on any task, particularly something as cerebral as writing. In fact, lots of noise around me bothers me deeply, and has often been the trigger for stress and panic attacks. For years I wondered why I was like this, but owing to the consistency of my behaviour, I knew that it had to be some kind of neurological bent of mine. Having been diagnosed with a raft of genetic conditions in the past ten years in particular, it was no real surprise to me that many of my behavioural habits were a product of the way I was built and wired. However, none of the diagnoses really came close to explaining my particular set of behavioural symptoms, until I met my husband who told me from the outset that he had Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADHD. The more he explained it to me, the more I began to recognise similarities with my own reactions. Then, I decided to take an online test for ADHD, and low and behold I qualified with a resounding set of full marks pretty much. Severe ADHD was the potential diagnosis. It was enough for me to begin to be more aware of my behavioural quirks, many of which are classic ADHD traits. It amused me greatly that I had found a pre-prescribed set of traits that seemed to match mine almost to a tee, me being the unconventional sort and all! Maybe not so much after all.

Awareness of my behaviour within that context doesn’t lessen the knee-jerk reactions I have to a number of things, but it makes it easier to understand what is happening, and therefore begin to rationalise it in a way that I can explain to myself and others. In reality, like all of my conditions, it sucks. It does have its advantages in that once I get my teeth into something, very little can stop me from achieving my goal, in that way it can have positive benefits. But it does mean that I get very impatient, and that impatience will often lead to stress that my heart and overall health can now ill afford to contend with.
The thing with ADHD is that consists of compulsive behaviours that can at times feel uncontrollable and overwhelming. Understanding now that what is happening is predominantly a neurological twitch is a big step, and even though I still find myself having to experience such episodes with the acceptance that I have to ride them out, more frequently than I care to, I know however, that they will pass. That is the important bit. Thankfully the notion that things eventually pass and change is something that has become ingrained in me from a much earlier time in my life. It’s a useful thing to be able to cling to when all else seems to have turned to shite.

I frequently feel down because of all the behavioural/neurological triggers I have, it can be a bit of a minefield sometimes particularly if physically I’m not up to par, which is much of the time in fact. Despite all of this though, I have always maintained that I am an optimist, always able to find a solution, or at least try to find one. I am generous and kind-hearted and will always be the first to offer my support if someone needs it. It’s a strange dichotomy really, to be faced with such disparate attitudes within the scope of my own private experience. It almost feels like a form of schizophrenia, even though I’m just too rational and too self-aware for that to be the case. I can be highly impulsive, yet be prone to procrastination, often simultaneously.

I have spent much of my life already trying to get to grips with who I am and the way in which my mind and body works. I’ve barely scratched the surface of it, yet I feel I know a substantial amount already, enough to have made quite definitive changes to myself and the way my life unfolds. Is it really enough though? Not really, nowhere near as yet. When I can reach a point where I have eliminated all of my triggers,then I will feel like I have succeeded at dealing with them.Then I might feel vindicated with all the knowledge I believe I have. Only then will I feel that it served a positive purpose.
Until then however, I shall keep writing and talking about it, loosening the valve and relieving the pressure a little as and when I need to. It isn’t even a process of reaching a goal or particular conclusion, but rather decluttering to reveal the sense of calm that I apparently always have at my core, but that often becomes so obscured that I temporarily forget that it was ever there. As my inner Seth often reminds me, I create my own reality and I am always at its centre. However, forgetting seems to be part and parcel of the human experience according to those of non-corporeal status, further validating the good stuff when you do finally make sense of it all, fleeting as those moments have been for me personally, though frequent enough throughout my life to validate them.