by Meryle

my heart is frozen, cold and alone 

my heart is racing, from turning to stone

my heart is melting, healing my bones, 

my heart is waiting, no reason to be shown

my heart is timid, from chasing life alone, 

my heart is weeping, at all the ways it has grown

my heart is patient, full of heaving and groans, 

my heart is ready, to bloom the love its never known

Neighbourhood Politics by Meryle

Sitting on the back steps, facing east at quarter to six in the morning, the mid summer sky is already bright before sunrise. In front of me the small, mansion parking lot, the back laneway and the morning sky framed by two 1970’s apartment buildings.  The huge trees from the neighbours' yards hanging over the parked cars in their rented parking spots.  Everyone can see you here, and you can see everyone.  Including the local animals

 

A white and ginger cat tiptoed in front of me between the wood and chain link fence and the first parked car.  It heard me, and suddenly shy, it shrunk away and ran back to the cover it came from.

A few moments later at the south end of the wood and chain link fence, I catch the cat stretching upwards from the ground-cover ferns, attempting to climb up the wood of the fence.  Again, seeing me seeing it, the cat slowly slunk down into the ferns and hid.

After a few minutes of observing the cat’s attempt to hide from me, I chirped and made a cat call.  A ginger ear poked out between two fern leaves.  I chirp and call again and the cat, came out of the bushes and enthusiastically trotted over and started rubbing itself against me and walking back and forth on the steps in front of me.  After petting and butt scratching the cat for at least 3 or 4 minutes, I observed that the cat kept nervously looking around, then marking the stairs as it's territory with face rubs.  Almost as if my presence made the cat feel safe to mark territory the would normally never dare mark.

“You are afraid of my neighbors' cat Loki, aren’t you?”  The cat kept walking back and forth and rubbing against my legs and hands.

 

After a few more minutes, a robin perched on a branch near us and started loudly chirping.  Like it was making a neighbourhood announcement.  Like it was this robin’s job to follow cats around and scream their location so other cat prey can stay safe.  

After 6am now, a squirrel joins with the robin from a tree on the other side of the parking lot.  Chittering and making noises I recognize as territorial declarations, I look and see the squirrel in the tree starting at me.  I regularly feed the black squirrels by leaving raw cashews and pieces of sweet barley cakes in the same spots around the mansion lot then watching them eat from inside/a distance.  These squirrels know I am the source of their treats.

Suddenly, with the robin and squirrel chirping and twittering and staring right at us, the cat goes into full affection/territorial display, walking up and down the steps, rubbing my back and neck, trying to drink from my mug, and then sitting stately at my feet while surveying all the trees. Am I the middle of an urban wildlife territory standoff?

Eventually, the squirrel left and silently came back with one of the other squirrels.  To watch.  To witness.

Perhaps they felt betrayed that the food leaver is ok with the cat who tries to catch them.  The robins usually don’t have a problem with me, will they now gossip and tell each other I’m a cat lover??  That I fraternize with a bird murderer? 

My coffee finished, I say goodbye and go back inside, leaving drama in the animal neighbourhood and sweet barley cake all over the lot.

8 specific people who, in the end, were the same bad medicine by Meryle

I had so much anger to give you.  For the hurt and the disrespect, the entitlement, and blind dismissal of who I am.  The using and disregarding of my inherent worth and needs so you could take from me to feed your narcissism’s insatiable shame ego.

 

But then I reached out my hands, 

and I touched the ground, 

and it all dissipated. 

 

And now I’m tired.

And I’m sad.

Sad for you.

Sad for all the hurt inside you.

The pain,

the abandonment

the disregard for your welfare,

or even the threatening of you life,

from everything that was supposed to love you and protect you as a child.

 

All that stuff that made you so awful inside

and I see that now,

that resplendently grotesque entity looming over you like a crown.

 

And can’t even be angry at your abuse anymore.

 

Just sad.  For you.

 

To be an angry itching ball of fire red embers burning in every pore all the time?

To hear your mind constantly scream “You are never good enough and you will never be safe”?

To know in your mind

“mommy and daddy don’t love you

and won’t ever be there for you, not really, 

not then, 

not when you needed it the most.

never”?

 

What a horror to live in that shell!

 

So why should I give you my anger?  Why should I correct your mind and show you why its you who is the wrong doer and not the hero?  What good would it do me, to reinforce your rage in you? What good would it me to remind you of your constant sense of worthless.  What good would it do you?  What good would it do anyone?

 

 

You’re a shadow ball of dark prickly energy constantly swirling around your own self destruction, drinking down the vortex, only making it worse and making yourself sicker and sicker in emotional  and physical debt.

 

So what worth would it be to give you more anger and worthlessness to carry?

Your burden of your own mind is too much for anyone.

You don’t need scolding

You need love and unloading.

And I can’t do that for you.

I will not go through that for you.

Not anymore.

Not ever again.

I don’t need that load.

Not ever.

 

So instead, 

I wish you my love,

from a far, FAR away land.

The Great Equalizer by Meryle

what if we are the storm?

what if Kali's wrath is good?

what if now is wrong and destruction's current currency is right?

 

redirect that current. redirect the narrative. redirecting the current narrative

 

the leaders and creatures will not conglom their egos for resolutions. they will not lift their shields of hubris to nobly take the mantle of protectors of ALL.

 

they will not die for us

but they will die for themselves

 

who destroys the destructors?

who erases through wiped slates?

don’t press the reset

set free the repressed

the news arched and smartly dressed

the wolf mouth bride

who swallows your flesh

digests your nonsense

giving birth to our word refreshed.

 

and the storm is awesome. 

because

I am the storm

 

- Meryle

Autism Journal #1 by Meryle

Last week was the Eurovision 2017 song contest, and admittedly it was the first time I had ever watched the whole contest and not just clips of ridiculousness.  I was raised in a very artistic household, but my parents' art tastes tended to be on the intellectual and avant-garde side of the creative spectrum, and as such, the grandiose ridiculosity of Eurovision was not on our radar at all.  But it sure is on my radar NOW after what I saw last week.

I was invited to a viewing party in my friends basement and it was attended by burlesque producers, drug free anime ravers, and most of the members of a Jewish Accapella choir that performs Jewish-themed parody versions of popular songs (yes they are very popular at the local bat/bah-mitzvahs, how did you know?!).  I got there a half an hour late, just in time to see Italy perform (Francessco Gabbani a.k.a. my love, my soulmate, no big deal) and immediately I fell into my oblivious shit-talking and sassy questions/commentary that had everyone laughing and the host hugging me saying “aah!  I’m so glad you are here I knew I needed you for this”

Watching Eurovision was a wild time and super fun! I have so many thoughts on the Contest itself and all the hilarious anecdotes from the party that I could write about, but this story isn’t about those things.

 It is about Portugal winning, and autism.

Salvador Sobral won Eurovision with his sister Luisa’s song Amare Pelos Dios, but hours before that happened, as I sat in that basement waiting for his performance to start, my friend turned to me and said, "there is rumour he’s on the spectrum.”

 

There are two things in this world that will make me throw my fists up in the air and yell “MY PEOPLE”:

1) When welsh people do very welsh things,

and

2) ESPECIALLY when autistic people are exceptional in public.  

 

I don’t know if he or his family know what high-functioning autism is, let alone if they know he has it.  They have been very private and secretive about his heart condition (denying reports about it for awhile) so they may know he is (probably) Aspergers, or they may not know.

But watching him during the performance and the things I have seen of him since, he absolutely comes off as very much 'my people'.

Watching his performance the physical signs were obvious to me. The awkward movments of his hands during his performances were the first signs.  Alone, hand gestures like that can seem like nothing but an akward affectation.  But that was not the only sign he showed.  The non-reactional "*shrug* hey of we won!” attitude to winning suggested the delayed emotional processing we can experience, but once he got to the acceptance speech, I was sure he was on the spectrum.

 

“we live in a world of disposable music; fast food music without any content.  I think this could be a victory for music with people who make music that actually means something.  Music is not fireworks; music is feeling.  So let's try to change that and bring music back”

 

Wow.  He said that after winning the biggest, flashiest, pop song contest in the world.  And watching his face and the heartfelt way he gave the speech (in English, not his first language of Portuguese) I could tell, he had NO IDEA how rude his speech was to all the other contestants.  “Wow that’s some shade.” said the party host, “That’s some autism, that’s what that is!” I responded.  "I bet has no clue why what he said was rude”

As an autistic person, i know the subtle things we do that are different from what neurotypicals do, and neurotypicals tend to see these things as being willfully rude or eccentric without understanding that what they are actually witnessing is autism.  A person who doesn’t know autism may attempt to argue with me that those behaviours could be indicative of anything, or that I am not able to “guess" a diagnosis.  But the thing is, I am able.  I live autism, I know autism. Because I am so acutely aware of how NOT like everyone else I am, anything I see that acts like me stands out like a spotlight in the dark.

Salvador’s post-win performance proved his autism to me without a doubt.  He invited his sister Luisa to sing the song with him.  He sang the first bit, and when he passed the mic off to Luisa the audience exploded at how deep and beautiful her voice was.  And behind her Salvador started happy-flapping, clapping and jumping up and down with excitement.  Nobody flails like an autistic person, and Salvador is clearly autistic.  

And let me be clear: his abilities are stunning.

Since the show (aside from my constantly listening to and swooning over Gabbani’s Occidentali's Karma) I have seen a lot more physical proof that Salvador is on the spectrum.  The most obvious one I found was a picture of him on stage holding the award, confetti flying all around him, just staring into the distance with a Mlem sticking out of his mouth.  To paraphrase the Foxworth joke structure: If you’re staring into the void with your tongue sticking partway out your mouth, you just might just be autistic.

Autism is a spectrum, but our society only really talks about the extreme autistic who suffer from co-morbid diseases and disabilities that make their condition extremely visible and hard to manage.  This is not the most common form of an autistic person.  There are many more Autistic people who look and act like Salvador, Dan Harmon, Daryl Hanna or David Byrne, and a lot of times regular people don’t realize this because autism isn’t want they think it is.  And I think its time for us to change that.

The Reflection Burns by Meryle

Are you awake yet? I’m not, but the dreams have reached a fever pitch, and I can tell the break is coming soon.  It's the stage of lucid dreaming where you know you can’t control what's happening anymore, but you can control where you fly and how soon you open your eyes to the waking reality around us.

I’m tired.  Are you tired?  We all are.  It’s a challenge losing, it's a challenge having our worldview shaken up, it's a challenge to have everything you believe in about the world rattled around and re-configured.  The minute you believe you know the truth of how the world works, the rules change and the world asks you to come with it.  But you’re faced to the facade of the world you THINK you live in, and that leaves you with your back to the conscious world that is asking you to grow and change with it.  And if you leave your face to the facade for too long, your expectations will get out of line with conscious change, and the world will whip your back for attention, hitting you over and over, until you turn and face it/

If you don’t change are you nature or manufactured machine? Because if we don’t embrace the change, this stagnation leads to emotional and physical rust.

Healing cats. by Meryle

When I was 10 My Chiropractor/Naturopath had a cat problem.  She had her practice in the top floor apartment suite in a house in fancy-pants Yorkville.  The living room was the front office, and the bedrooms and small dining room were the practice areas.  It was a calm space with lots of soft sound, light, and calm energy.  In the summertime, they left the screen door to the back balcony/fire escape open.  And that summer for a whole week, one Cat refused to leave the appointment rooms.  Her or her husband (with whom she shared a practice) would bring a patient into a room and the Cat would be sleeping on the practice table.  They would chase the Cat out, but the next day the Cat would find a way back in, and they would find the Cat again on one of the tables.  This happened every day for a week.  Once she realized that the Cat wasn’t going to leave, it occurred to her that maybe, the Cat was coming to her office because it wanted an appointment.  So the next time she found the Cat lying on the table, she gave it a session.  She gave it a rub down, then gave it adjustments, and a reiki energy treatment.  The Cat didn’t act up or retaliate, it just let her do her work.  When she was done, the Cat got up, shook itself off, stretched and hopped off the table.  It left the office and she never saw it again.

 

So healers, thinking of this story I ask you, what is the thing in your life that won’t go away?  Is it something annoying and inconvenient? Are you trying to chase it away or are you healing it?  Because perhaps that person or thing that has been drawn into your life isn’t leaving yet because you still have your work to do.  If you want to get rid of your problems, love and heal them, and they will walk out the door on their own.

Pillows of Snow by Meryle

"There is a holy white light to a sunshine winter day.
Everything sounds soft and the light shines brighter, there are crystals in the street.

The black lace of naked tree fracture dark veins across the sky like the stems of your own lungs.

And then you breath in ice knives and you are awake, and present, aware of every sliver of the shiver of every cell in your body, they all say:
"oh yes this is cold, like the last time I forgot, what a shock."

Is it bad to feel cold when the sun has a halo of white gold and mounds of fluffy white diamonds reflect the sky?
The feelings lose meaning when - reflective and gleaming - the light shimmering beauty infects the eyes."

- Meryle