ode to oceans (poem)

how beautiful the surface of the monsterful majesty
capable of ravage destruction
capable of travesty
capable of tremendous construction
capable of amnesty

how terrible the storm when the winds whip rapidly
push and shove fericiously
pull and heave aggressively
attacks from all sides and surrounded
completely unbalanced and completely ungrounded

how completely the tides alter
from overtaking to embracing
from an angry tyrant to a caring father
the ocean captures what it doesn’t want gone
and gently nudges what doesn’t belong

how lovingly it cares for the life that it holds
manifesting beauty in colors so bold
in gorgeous guises of coral reef molds
and the darkest cavities with magnificent gravity
lay uncertainty in infinite sublimity

how beautiful the reality of this monsterful majesty
even when the storm whips rapidly
after the tides move speedliy
especially sea life and its regality
how beautiful the ocean is, in it’s glorious totality

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the gliding queen’s harvest (poem)

 

I can feel my reserves depleting
I’m pleading for relief
I can sense my heart, fast beating
I’m pleading for a break

staying afloat the only way I know how
reigning the horses and milking the cows
spitting it out and working my mind
take a breath, child, then back to the grind

and even though I’m near the end,
torn-up hearts are hard to mend
there’s no debating, only waiting
my soul knows whats right to do
I know I want to be with you

but I need relief
and I need a break
I can’t work on at this god awful pace
staying afloat the only way I know how
channeling my flow into right here, right now

and even though I’m almost done
I shouldn’t be around anyone
closing up cycles and mumbling alone
people are confused by the sound of my tone

I’m wrapped around a whirlwind of feeling
when I know my heart should really be healing
staying afloat, but get us on top
kill the weeds and harvest the crops

focus on the here and now
staying afloat the only way I know how
bound by pain, it’s hard to fly
but we can rip past these fuckin ties
maybe before I couldn’t have done it
but in this process I’ve all but become it

staying afloat the only way I know how
reigning the horses and milking the cows
spitting it out and working my mind
take a breath, child, then back to the grind
let go of us, pain, so we can fly.

 

Arianne Around the Internet

Paid Posts:

Arthritis Blog (MD Express Urgent Care)

Dear Neurotypicals: This is How You Communicate With Someone Who Has Autism (Healthline)

Dear TV: Please Don’t Take a Cookie-Cutter Approach to Autism (Healthline)

Guest Posts:

10 Quotes That Will Change Your Life (The Escape from Ordinary)

Receiving an Autism Diagnosis in Adulthood (Uninspired)

Syndications:

http://www.healthline.com/health/autism/autism-contemplated-suicide

https://themighty.com/2017/07/autism-and-the-importance-of-social-skills/

https://themighty.com/2017/09/autism-and-the-hispanic-community-3/

https://researchautism.org/examining-why-autism-is-under-diagnosed-in-the-hispanic-community/

https://themighty.com/2017/09/tips-for-hiring-an-employee-with-autism/

https://researchautism.org/how-to-hire-someone-with-autism/

Presentations:

 

I also have several projects currently pending, and will post as they are published.

 

An Autistic Reflection of Societal Views of Mental Health

I haven’t written in a while. I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately, but they’re so disorganized that it’s been difficult for me to express myself in a coherent fashion. I’ll try, bear with me.

There is a lot of stigma in today’s society about the need to take medication for a mental health issue. As someone who needs to take medication for a mental health issue, this is troubling. Our opinions on this have to change. However, we can’t be tolerant if we don’t know the hows, so allow me to rant from the front lines:

One of the side effects of my medication is that I get surges in the back my neck that makes my head shake. It’s a little embarrassing, because it draws attention to me, and I don’t really like it being pointed out. I don’t like any of my tics or uncontrollable things I do to be pointed out or faced* at. Why do people continue to make assumptions of me, instead of asking me polite questions about what they’re curious about?

Medication is a catch-22. If you don’t take it, you run the risk of acting out, being inappropriate, hurting someone, hurting yourself, etc., and if you do take it, the side effects are a whole other monster to psychologically wrap your head around. You could have physical side effects that effect body processes (like eating too much or too little, which in itself can psychologically imbalance your mental homeostasis, infections, increased risks for diabetes, etc.), or effect your mental well-being (like suicidal thoughts you don’t normally have, paranoia, confusion, etc.). Maybe you take medication for focus (like I do) that causes you to be even more socially awkward and aggressive, so you have to take something to counteract that (like I do).

But not everyone thinks about that stuff when they’re forming opinions about things they don’t know about. How can they? They don’t know about it. Those types of people can only form an opinion on something with what they know. If they know a lot, their opinion is more valued than the one of someone who doesn’t know as much.

I like that idea. That society determines the weight of what you say based on what you know and can do. I’ve always respected that. Maybe there are individuals who don’t do that, but the collective consciousness usually does and is on the right track.

I find the knowledge and feeling sharing tendency we all have to be fascinating. Fascinating things in and of itself is part of why humans yearn, and that thirst for knowledge can only be quenched when we encounter fascinating things, because then we experience awe.

And awe is such an interesting feeling. It’s not something that goes away, but rather gets more involved the more that you immerse yourself in the feeling. Where I think the idea starts to go off the rails is when people become obsessed with the object that’s making them feel the awe, instead of turning inward. I have found that a healthy relationship with oneself is the only way to appreciate that which makes you feel awe. It’s so much easier on the mind and body when the awe is not an object though, but rather another person or an idea.

Not everybody takes medication to contain their crazy. Sometimes people take it to channel their awesome. Sometimes people take it to harness their internal whirlwinds. Sometimes people take it to spread out their meticulousness. It’s very awe-inspiring how people try to conform themselves into fitting into a society that by definition both tells them that there’s something wrong with them while also trying to celebrate their individuality. It’s almost like there are different classes and types of people all trying to fit into a box that not really anyone fits into anymore.

Our society needs to mature a little. Maturity reflects itself in internal peace and the spread of wisdom. There’s nothing wrong with medication, just the attitude towards it. There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s everyone else. We’re all special inside as individuals, and we’re all beautiful. Maybe it’s time we throw out the box.

*faced means making faces at me. I don’t always know what faces mean so I find myself getting mad a lot at that misunderstanding. Or not, because in my experience a great deal of the faces aren’t nice.


Click here to read more about my views of humanity.

Click here to read more about insurance companies and how healthcare really works in America.

thoughts about bathes

I was thinking about showers and bathes the other day and I remembered something. I remembered one of the first times I tried to take a bath on my own.

I don’t remember the reason I took it was, but I remember I wasn’t supposed to. I was still at an age to be supervised. We were living in Abilene, so 1996-1997 I would guess.

I wanted to be independent, I suppose. I had already learned from mom that shampoo goes first, from another bath I wasn’t supposed to start that my mom finished, so I grabbed the the quart-sized black Tresemme shampoo bottle. I remember looking around the bathroom, part of it was a habit from when my mom washed my hair, but this time it leaned a little more toward not wanting to be caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to.

My mom would flip the bottle upside down and dollop the soap on my head, so I proceeded to mechanically raise the bottle upside-down over my head as well, in the hopes of replicating the size amount, and squeezed.

I knew instantly I squeezed too hard. The feeling on my head was way more than she used, and I realized I hadn’t accounted for how hard she squeezed the bottle because I wasn’t the one squeezing the bottle.

I furiously attempted to delicately gather the thick, grey onto my hands in a feeble attempt to put the excess back in the bottle. I tried to put it back through the flip-hole in the top, but it didn’t work. I sat there for a moment looking around with slimy, partially shampoo’ed hair and a handful of expensive shampoo, wondering what to do.

I’m a firm believer of “You got yourself into this mess, you get yourself out.” I don’t ever practice this with other people, I always provide my assistance, but when it comes to myself I don’t like to ask for help. I hate being rejected, so much of the time I don’t bother putting myself out there. And when I do, there is never an expectation that I will be reciprocated. Also, if I expect the reaction to be negative, sometimes I won’t even bother.

I knew that calling for help was going to get me in trouble because I wasn’t supposed to be doing that anyway, I was going to either finish this and be clean and my mom will be happy she didn’t have to bathe me, or I was going to get caught and still be dirty and my mom will be mad I did something that she said not to.

I don’t remember if I was caught on this bathe, but I know I was caught on other bathes. I think I may have been this age when I started bathing alone.

thoughts on that Supergirl show

***VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

NOTE FROM AUTHOR: POST CONTAINS MAD SPOILERS FROM THAT SUPERGIRL SHOW

IT’S ON NETFLIX IF YOU WANT TO WATCH IT AND DON’T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS.

 

I really like it. I like how it tries to show you that believing in people is the best course of action. Over the course of a few episodes there’s a domino effect perception change from those closest to Supergirl outward, resulting in a quick but beautifully smooth positive character development. Oh, and a villain who’s basically Lex Luthor with hair.

I don’t dig that it uses Superman to make itself credible (although the fierce opposition of Supergirl’s that she’s not Superman is nothing less than ironic, don’t you think? Plus it works). For the first couple of episodes there’s a lot of referring to Superman as ‘he’,’he’ did this and ‘he’ did that (probably to remind people that this show was connected to Superman), and I was starting to get annoyed. Then, Calista Flockhart did a stunning soliloquy about how women have to work twice as hard for almost the same as men, and how you can’t get ‘work mad’ (brilliant) so you need to find an outlet (also brilliant). She faltered a bit at the end when she started talking about how amazing she was (her character flaw is pride, that’s the most interesting one).

I love Calista Flockhart in this role. She’s a force, and one wonders if her character is even human until she shows her sensitive, motherly side. Her introverted kid speaks her character’s wisdom in the only episode he’s in, and it almost instantly gives you a new view of her character. Then when her older son comes in? Whoa… (although Kara mos def crossed the line by mailing her own letter to Calista Flockhart’s older son)

I very much enjoy watching characters struggle only to come out on top. Everybody loves an underdog, right? I love the toughness necessary to coach an underdog. Tough love is underappreciated in the moment. Especially when it’s rightfully deserved. Who else but someone we love would tell us things that are meant to make us stronger? Even if it picks at a tender spot. Like her sister when she was kicking her ass in the Kryptonite boxing arena.

01/07/17: I stopped watching this show at the same time I took a writing break because I associated the show with writing. I’ll go back to it eventually.

Autism Through My Eyes

I’m at the point right now where I know who I am in this world. It took me a long time to get to this point. I used to hate talking to people, socializing, small talk, the works. I hated the show, I hated getting ready for the show, and I wanted everyone to just leave me alone. I relished being alone. I didn’t have to work hard at pretending to understand others or socializing, because I understood myself.  I’ve always had survival techniques, coping mechanisms and the like, but it wasn’t until I understood the basic structure of the feelings of a normal person that I able to see the associations in the correct order, and truly understand what it means to be human.

I am autistic. My mind works in associations that I call “boxes”. They are located in a place I call “the void”. The void just the blankness of my mind’s eye, it’s black and there is nothing, unless I’m thinking. Depending on what I’m thinking about, certain things happen in there. If I’m thinking about my feelings, there are color-placement associations. When I’m angry, my chest is red. When I’m sad, my arm are blue, and happiness is yellow in my tummy. If I’m recalling information, this happens in the form of images. I can pull up multiple images and videos at once in my mind, but I have difficulties communicating the relevance of all of those things quickly. If I’m not “on”, my responses get mixed up and I’ll get distracted by prefacing a semi-relevant story/article/video/scene, or the sentence I come up with is the point of all three of these at once but it doesn’t make sense unless you know all three of the things I’m talking about (here’s looking at you, babe). By the time I get to the grit of it I’ve already forgotten the point. Because of this I tend to remain kind of quiet.

There’s a beauty of being quiet though. A magic, if you will, to listening to the world around you. The people around you. Everyone has such an amazing story to tell. Can you tell yet where this is going? I love to listen.

In my youth, my parents made sure to instill on me that it was very important to listen. “Have initiative,” my dad used to say. I asked what that meant, expecting an answer that I was used to from mom (which was “go look it up, the dictionary is in the hall”), but he clarified, “It means that when you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t wait to be asked.” I remember thinking about this for a moment. I remember thinking that that was very efficient, but not knowing how one would be able to tell if something needs to be done if they can’t see it. I didn’t ask though, my dad always seemed to know what needed to be done next, with no seemingly rhyme or reason. Still, the concept stuck with me. I figured that one day I would understand. I stayed quiet, and listened.

I had a certain trust in my parents for good advice. I remember even further back, randomly asking my mom if other adults made fun of her for something kids were teasing me for, and she said no, they didn’t. I connected this “Social Rules” question to the box of “The Things They Say in Movies”, and paired it with the phrase, “kids are cruel.” I remember understanding then that the rules of children were not the rules of man, but not knowing how one would be able to tell when the rules of children applied and when the rules of man applied. I didn’t ask though, sometimes my mom would be too tired or too busy being amazing and raising four kids to talk with me about things sometimes. Still, the concept stuck with me. I chalked it up to, “One day I’ll figure it out.” I stayed quiet, and listened.

It seems that as I age, I can recall the most important advice I’ve ever received in the most important possible times. I feel the best way to describe it would be like if you were on fire and you remembered to stop, drop and roll. Where would I be if I hadn’t listened? In the movies, any character that leaves home, always eventually returns home, because they don’t understand that they themselves are home.

And yet, how many times have I understood someone was sad, knew that it was my turn to cheer them up, but I didn’t know how?  I feel the guilt of knowing that I have to say something, but… how can I say something if I don’t understand how that person feels the way they do or what the other person’s actions mean? How can I have initiative if I’m stunted on how to help? What am I supposed to do?

When I try to get into the mind of someone other than myself (“If you want to catch a Jew, you have to think like a Jew,” Hans Landa Inglorious Bastards), I can only do so if I have an emotional investment in this person. This is because all my associations are boxed up, and I have a separate yellow colored timeline in my head, and I have to know each interaction’s date and relativity to the calendar so that I can see what happened that caused this specific person to harbor ill-will towards me. I can then work out the misunderstanding between us and we can move on as people. However, if I don’t know the person, I don’t have any information to make these types of associations, and it leaves large communication gaps. Certain things are always off limits of course, but what about when the person I don’t know just senses I’m someone to trust? I just stayed quiet, and listened.

Becoming emotionally invested in a person is a long and rigorous process for me. Once I’ve determined that the person is a nice person, I have to piss them off real good one time to determine what they look like when  they’re angry, how they act with me, are they still respectful, did it change our friendship, etc. Only after I know that they are safe to be myself around can I actually trust their advice. Their advice however, directly translates to the role assigned by that person. I become Joshua in those moments, I can hear his voice come out through mine. I become my mother, her voice and sharp tongue either becoming my own or staying alive in me. In emotionally investing myself in a person, I allow them to impress upon me something they know, they are, or what they’ve done. I allow them to encompass me when I need them the most.

I used to believe that the sighs my grandma did in the car were on purpose because she wanted me to talk to her. If that was the case, why didn’t she just say anything? She’s the one who wants to talk…etc. Did you know that sighs like that are automatic? It’s to keep your body from suffocating out of frustration. I used to live my life in the hopes that everyone would eventually figure out to leave me alone.  This never happened, because that’s not how life is. And ultimately, it wasn’t what I wanted.

As humans, we crave interaction and approval of our tribes and families. I learned that it was about enjoying the time with others and resting in my off time, not painfully coutning the minutes before it was socially acceptable to go to the bathroom (for the third time this evening), and counting the hours until it was time to go.I learned the positive side, the love side, the side I was always afraid of, yet relied so heavily on. Why did I take such an adversarial position… with regards to talking to my grandma?

I need social breaks and communication breaks a lot. There’s a lot going on in a conversation. I can see all of the different movements in the face and body, and all of the incoming visual stimuli sometimes gets confused with the incoming auditory stimuli and my responses get mixed up. I can accidentally respond to the person’s feelings instead of what they actually said. Sometimes this works in my favor and we become closer. Some people challenge that they aren’t so easy to read. I can also accidentally respond to a completely wrong idea based off an incorrect processing of what the person is trying to say (for example, if the certain parts come in my head backwards then I might think you’re against something when you’re actually the opposite). I wish that talking wasn’t so hard for me. Perhaps the adversarial position was one of exhaustion, impatience, lack of self-control. As I age, I find that I can control myself more, and that has made me so much happier in my life.

I don’t want to have social anxiety, but I do. It comes with always being misunderstood and wishing I could explain. I cope by telling myself I’m a queen, and royalty doesn’t pay the game of feelings. That it’s always best to be diplomatic. It also helped to, you know, learn to explain (ha).

One never knows what’s going on with another person. It’s important to listen to others. If someone is trying to impart their wisdom on you, it shouldn’t be looked at as being imposing. Some people just want to help, just want to offer you something. They don’t want their interaction with you to be for nothing.

They want your approval of them. We all want approval from each other. Everyone appreciates acknowledgement. The box of everything I know about humanity in the void is a large one. I don’t always have access to it, so conversations in real-time puzzle me. In regards to myself as a human though, in order to prevent most confusions, I make sure that I live my life as nice as I can be, as generous as I can reasonably be, and with as much love as possible in my heart.

To be human is to love, and love is pain, and to love anyone is to know that you will be hurt by them sometimes. Life is about forgiveness and truly allowing yourself to live in the happy moments, because eventually you will hurt, and those memories of yourself being happy is what you will cling to when you are in pain. The stronger your arms are, the harder you can cling, and the easier the pain will pass. Remember to be strong and you will never have to worry about the pain carrying you away.

 


 

Click here or here for more personal thoughts.

thoughts on the clarinet

I went to a music store rummage sale today. It was interesting, they had different boxes set up with reeds, ligatures, mouthpieces, cleaning rags, etc. stapled up nice and pretty with bar-code stickers at decently cheap prices.

As I dug through, looking for a deal, I pondered about how much I enjoy playing my clarinet, but thinking about musically expanding by learning other instruments. After all, this is a rummage sale, and I have a few instruments. Then I thought that maybe instead of finagling with another instrument,  I should just expand on clarinet.

I love producing work. Any kind of work. Just something to feel accomplished. Call it pride, hubris, whatever. I don’t like to brag about it. I just love the acts involved with making something.

I thought about the musical flow I have when I’m telling a song-story. I know what notes sound good together, certain trills and music phrases that sound good, and when I tell my stories I stay in the right key, but I’m not the greatest at applying music theory, so none of those stories has ever made it to paper. I know the technical how, but I think I’m lazy, and I lack the drive to do write it all down.

I didn’t buy anything extra, but I’m starting to think about spitting out sheet music. I’ve been feeling very self-expressive lately, and I got a new laptop, so anytime I feel like writing I just do. That’s been great. I’m sure writing music is the same once you get a feel for the language. I’d like to practice though. I remember I’ve given it a couple shots before in the past and written out on paper a bit from the Harry Potter theme song and stuff like that, but I want to do something real.

If I don’t get too distracted, I’ll give it a shot soon.

Added thought 12/01/16: Joshua mentioned that I should change the picture to a clarinet. It didn’t occur to me to do so because I like space, but I keep thinking about it and it makes sense. I just can’t bring myself to do it though. If I change the picture I’ll feel like I’m selling out, because I visually like all the letters like that with the astronaut. So I’m going to keep it. A clarinet makes sense with the post, but an astronaut looks better.

 


Click here for more on my problem with being distracted, or click here for more personal thoughts.