We have cared for one of our grandson’s for 15 years. We finally thought things were looking up for him – BUT.  -today all that collapsed in a dreadful mess.  Funding that has helped him in the last 12 months to find his feet and begin to make a real life for himself has just been slashed!

Even money – totally inadequate as it was – that allowed us to get him to the bus has been discontinued.



Community Volunteer at TYGA FM w

Dusk, Black Hills, New Year’s Day 2017


Dusk, Black Hills, New Year's Day 2017

In my front room, eyrie, window to the world,
overlooking valley, field, and stretch to mountain,
where in is out, and out is in,
I sit, day-fogged, content, cocooned,
immersed in words, and worlds away.

late-twilight, day fading,
dusk plumed the unseen sky, the curtained fields, and home;
submerged by drifts of curling foam,
shadow-dimmed the smoke-grey hills;
fog-swirl, cloud-drift, and flow.

light shift;
subtle, barely noticed,
seeping silent through the edges
of awareness.
a flicker, ghost-like,
riffling air, vibrating with strange undertones of
haunting, eldritch melody, faint sung
pricking conscious thought.

my eyes glance up -
I am transfixed,
     drawn out, up into
cloud-fire; mist and tree and time and self are merged,
cloud-swallowed, all substance gone,

Imagine this;
an “other” world, unstable, shifting;
smoke-brown mutates to brick-red ochre,
crimson mists to rose, transforms to luminous red;
and dims to barest flushing pink;

endless synthesis and permutation,
a passion-play, ethereal, suffused
with shapeless, fluid form,
where time itself shape-shifts.

My mind, my body lifts, diffuses,
drifts free in glowing light, then, 
swirls with fog and cloud and mist,
folds tree and field in crimson, rose, and glowing red,
merges time with form,
   flowing,  seeping into
     sunset cloud.
No more a separate entity,I'm 
magicked into transient form,
colour and mist-merged.

Imagine this.
mist feather-formed flamingo wings,
mysterious, alien
fog, sensuous, sinuous in brolga dance;
the flare of pink flushed
cockatoo lifting 
  in flight,
  the flame of scarlet robin's breast;
heart-blood's crimson pulse;
 the softest touch of 
          roseate dawn:

all that ever was, will be,
aglow, and glowing;
passion, love, and gentle

Imagine this:
embraced in sunset cloud,
atom-merged in glowing, writhing fog
ebb and flow, 
       ebb and flow -

one long, long moment in one short life,
one frail instant
                   fading, fading ...

light change,
shape-shift; time slowed to this.

one moment,
   one instant
    one fixed 
      one boundless
    point in 

Copyright Jean Law – January – October 2017 

Hyperempathy, Autism and Creativity

Are there substantial links between hyperempathy – a condition of which I had not been aware of until recently – autism and creativity?  This is a question I want to address in some depth.  I have a personal interest in this issue because autism and related disorders affect so many of my own family.  Me included

It is nowadays well known that people diagnosed as being located on the Autism Spectrum vary in their personality types, their skills and interests, their aptitudes and behaviours in the same way that people who a ‘neurotypical’ do.  Or perhaps I should say this ought to be a well known fact. Sadly, there are far too many people who clump all autistic people into the same large unwieldy basket. It is an error that frustrates many of us who deal with the issues of abuse, bullying, disrespect and even contempt directed to themselves or members of their family on a daily basis.

Creativity and autism have been frequently recognised as being connected.  I want to take that one step forward, and look at how this relationship may/may not affect my own family. There has been a succession of women on my mother’s side who have been very creative, although not always successful.  There is also a long history of anxiety disorders, depression, feelings of personal and social inadequacy, clinical depression and alienation that shows up through 5 generations. This extends now to my granddaughters.

This pattern is not limited to the women in the family.  3 of my 6 grandsons have been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. Another has both verbal and physical dyspraxia. 4 of my grandsons – not all those diagnosed as having ASD but certainly including some – are extraordinarily bright. 5 have experienced serious bullying in the streets and in schools, both as children and as young men.  This includes occasional bullying conducted by staff in their schools/colleges. 1 of my 6 grandsons has attempted suicide, and very nearly succeeded.

Recently there has been an explosion of knowledge about the way autism expresses itself in females. For many years the seeming disparity in the ratio of males to females diagnosed as being on the spectrum meant that autism was seen as a ‘male’ disorder. This is no longer the case.

So you should be able to see why the issues I have set out below interest me so intensely. I am particularly focussed on the three articles I have linked to this post. The issues they raise tie in closely with the experience of my own family, and in future posts I will be examining them more closely.

Dana Fenton 06 /11/2014, Exploring Hyper Empathy Syndrome.  in  Emotional & Stress Management, Steady Health
Henry Markram,1 Tania Rinaldi,1 and Kamila Markram1,01/11/2007,   The Intense World Syndrome – an Alternative Hypothesis for Autism in Frontiers in Neuroscience
Sandra L. Brown M.A. 11/03/2012,  Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy in Psychology Today