A circuit of sniffs doesn’t refer to a virus exactly, though indirectly it does in the way that currently everything does. As I look forward to my most pared back Christmas ever under Covid-19, I wonder why I feel such a sense of joy.
So I write with a renewed sense of my identity as an autistic person who doesn’t want to spend her life passing, which is a bitter sweet moment. There’s a real rub to it, which is that ‘feeling more autistic’ is often a result of being more disabled. But until more progress is made in the wider world, anything else is a mirage.
I’m interested in viewing the global impact of ND challenge across a lifetime as potentially being an inherent and ongoing trauma, requiring specialised safeguarding, support and recovery. It could be especially useful to consider the concept of global impact in the present circumstances.
Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Mind your tweets!
I’m not suggesting Twitter use is deadly, though my relationship with the platform has begun to feel like it could be terminal. Lately I log on and wonder what’s happened to us all?
Invisible disability is difficult to broker. Allies who get this are worth their weight in gold. I want to thank Arts Council England, Disability Arts Online, and DASH for getting me to the point of an Access to Work application. Due to my disabilities I couldn’t have accessed this alone. It takes a lot for me to own that my need is real. If granted, Access to Work could revolutionise my practice. Our sector needs to understand the myriad ways in which this is not a level playing field.
I hope that in understanding myself, and in sharing this brief account, I can help other autistics, family and friends. Reaching a resolution of feelings really helps. Giving your autistic loved one guilt-free time and permission to decompress is the best thing you can do.
I know a a lot about posthumous collaboration. As an artist I work in multiple forms to respond to my father’s life story and his plays. I’ve even written a play about a playwright with my father’s name, and adopted his voice to narrate my take on his story. In many ways I view Richard Butchins’ 213 Things About Me as a kindred project. At an artist’s talk last year, I was caught by surprise when asked what my father would think about my work. This question has stayed with me and makes me wonder what the real Rose would make of these podcasts. It takes a profound level of trust in a relationship for work quite so intimate. The first episode of the series is called, You What?
Writing under lockdown can feel like trying to thread a broken needle. Adjusting to Covid-19 is a full-time job. This week’s been especially tough. A nation red raw with grief confronted by a government intent on rubbing salt into the collective wound. Somehow, I’ve taken to making proboscises (the nose of a mammal, usually long and mobile) out of cardboard tubes. It looks simple (and it is certainly makeshift) but it’s complex conceptually – I promise.
It has taken a disaster to teach me how to wear a beret like my grandfather. It sits on top of my shaven head and feels suddenly right, after 4 years of thinking it was too small. A child’s beret! I thought. That was before we crossed a red line and I shaved my head too close, all on the same day.
NB. I’ve chosen to republish this blog post. I can no longer distract from this pandemic by thinking about access issues, but nonetheless the moment it captures is important. I hope we can all learn the lessons COVID-19 brings.