a proper cup of tea

neurodiversity and a tendency to incohesive rambling!

The cosmos exhales, causing the earth to circle the sun, the galaxies to turn, and the seasons to change. The universe is unfolding as it does, not necessarily as it should or shouldn’t.

“We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea”  Pema Chodrun

Back to school:

Before my daughter got her certificate in Special Ed, she worked as a school crossing guard. She was out there like a postman, in rain, hail and sleet.  Every day was an adventure no matter the weather. She was always patient, even with those annoying kids who didn’t  follow direction.  Not only that, she was my own navigator when we traveled (I like to get lost).  She kept me on time and made sure I looked both ways when crossing the road.  My daughter now works for the school board and cares for those school children who run (in all directions) instead of walk and are considered to have behavioural problems or special needs.

Recently, I found myself withdrawing again. Instruments of wind and percussion have replaced the harp and fiddle of summer. It’s a drumming rain inside my head.  I find the early part of this transition to Autumn difficult.  I  feel sad. There is even a label for that as days grow shorter and darker- S.A.D.(Seasonal Affect Disorder) Oh no, not that now!!

letting go of the sun

A symphony or a cacophony?:

I don’t like labels but I suppose they are necessary in the contexts of mental health. For people who suffer from conditions like ADHD ( Attention Deficit, Hyper Activity Disorder) it’s hard to untangle the overload of sound and fury that often bombard them.  ADHD is life long. It can sometimes be misdiagnosed as it shares a few similar aspects with BPAD-Bipolar Affect Disorder. In fact there is a significant percentage of people who are suffering with both conditions.  When I was growing up, parents were blamed for their impulsive, out of control, depressed or disruptive children but now with psychiatric labeling many of these behaviours are now recognized as actual neurological anomalies.

Disorder: disarray, derangement 

Again, I don’t like labels. Recently, I learned a new word: “neurodiversity!”  There is a movement in psychiatry that says  “neurodiversity”  is something that may have occurred in our evolution, “not as an error but as a result in variations of the human genome”. We should celebrate these differences and not look at them negatively or as “disorders.”  For example, one of the genes associated with ADHD has been identified and is called the “novelty seeking” gene. Many of these traits can be advantageous and innovative. That is not to say that there is no downside or suffering involved.  People with ADHD have trouble concentrating. Other times they can be hyper-focused. Racing, disorganized thoughts can cause panic, frustration and confusion.

Moodiness and depression are nothing new in my own family.  Our house could be very unpredictable. At school I had trouble processing social situations. I was often in trouble for not doing things “the right way,” though I was never loud or disrespectful. I began to withdraw at an early age. I developed fears.  As a Catholic, I wondered if I was somehow lacking in grace.

mindfulness – the sky isn’t falling Henny Penny!

I still find it extremely difficult to complete projects in a timely fashion. The enthusiasm and inspiration which explodes in the beginning dissipates into procrastination and depression. The other day I found an unfinished project I had started 2 years ago. Time out!

Stop, and listen to the weather both outside and within. Embrace it all.

The children under my daughter’s care are thriving. She accepts them for who they are and brings out the best in them.  She creates a curriculum to suit their needs. She celebrates their uniqueness. She listens.

so let me try to tie up this ramble:

confusion is the mother of wisdom

Yes, there is sun and rain, calm and storm, there is sadness, there is loss.  There is motion and a constant rearrangement of our consciousness. Like the laughing children swirling like autumn leaves on their way to school, the universe  shimmers and unfolds, while the crossing guard tells us to pause and listen to the vastness.  There is no right or wrong way to make a proper cup of tea.

” Shine!  looking for the golden light – Marina and the Diamonds

Who has seen the wind!?

75 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    Most of my friends are neurologically unique. I am too, but have not been diagnosed. Friends have told me I have symptoms.
    I haven’t been getting emails of your new posts even though I follow. I will have to check manually now and then. I don’t want to miss them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes many of us are a bit out of the “normal” range ( whatever that is) Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hmmm Dont’ worry about missing stuff – I do too here. I don’t post as often as I used to do.

      Like

  2. krcc says:

    Quite an artistic gallery you have here. Interesting in many ways.

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  3. Each image has me coming back to delve deeper into your work.

    Like

  4. An art teacher once told me I had ‘trouble finishing my projects’ and needed to work on that. Many years later I am now preparing for my second art show and can see what she meant – finishing is a huge amount of work, and sometimes it would have helped if I had thought about the finished product at the beginning! On the other hand, it might not have become a finished product, so that would have been a total waste of time.

    Lately I am revisiting a bunch of old sketches from a trip to the Parksville area in ’94 – and it is so much fun to see how I might be able to finally paint these subjects now that I have more experience in painting.

    Sometimes creativity is like that, and I heard somewhere that the most creative people are bipolar, and channel that mixed blessing of energy into their work. You are one of the most creative people I know so certainly embrace it, and yourself.

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  5. Hi, Cybele, hope you are enjoying your tea. You’ve helped me understand my son much better with this post. I’m really thankful for all the teachers he had in school who, like your daughter have training and compassion for “neuro diversity” (what a great term! Love and hugs from Egypt! Xoxo ❤

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    1. hope all is well Kathleen, thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t much like labels either dear Cybele… And those students sound so lucky having your daughter’s help. Love your images my friend

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  7. It is wonderful that your daughter can teach her students individually, working with their different learning styles and personalities. I hate labels. They are everywhere! People are unique and some more than others! Embrace!
    As for changing seasons I had a desire to go for a very long walk today with the dogs. I loved looking at the hedgerows, juice berries and nuts. The fields have been ploughed. The cycle of life goes on. I saw red admiral butterflies. Nature is beautiful and healing my friend. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sherry Felix says:

    Neurodiversity – I like that. Without differences in temperament there would be no art. The sensitive ones like you and I make art. I wondered why I was feeling blue lately. You put words to it.

    Like

  9. Hi Cybele, just to let you know that I can´t subscribe to your blog nor give it a like, not sure what is wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. must be a glitch cuz you’ve been here before I think!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sure have. Seems like a glitch.

        Like

  10. Tina Schell says:

    So well said. Yes our differences are often our strengths as well, and certainly contribute to our uniqueness. One of the reasons we moved south is my annual winter SAD. It is definitely a real thing and the southern sun for me is an amazing gift. Good for your daughter—we need more like her

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh would that I could move south!! Such lovely scenes you present on your blog!

      Like

      1. Tina Schell says:

        Thanks very much-we do have some beautiful landscapes here

        Like

  11. smilecalm says:

    many of us feeling it
    in these days of sadness!
    may our intention to be well
    and happy blossom for ourselves
    and those near & dear.
    wonderful to have a daughter
    who can help others cross safely 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. many thanks dear smilecalm!

      Like

  12. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Cybele, you’re so right that neurodiversity should be celebrated rather than just seen as a problem. Your daughter sounds like she’s a great navigator through life! I hope that your own sadness dissipates as you grow into the change of season, but I do love the way you describe the change ‘Instruments of wind and percussion have replaced the harp and fiddle of summer.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh I will enjoy the autumn walks here for sure! (when it’s not raining too hard lol) Thanks for popping over Andrea with your ray of light!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I have so many thoughts and feelings right now after reading this post, Hannah. But, first, let me say how wonderful and special your daughter is. And I feel it does take a special kind of person to be able to work with children we might term “challenged.” Recently (perhaps due to old age creeping in) I have been feeling resentment for the years of public education I received from so-called excellent schools. I think back as to how I began as an excited and creative child. By the time I graduated, I seemed to have lost all creativity and excitement due to having to “conform” to their norm. I resent it. I have spent the rest of my life trying to regain some of that youthful fascination. But they did a bang-up job on me. Sorry. Not sure why I’ve “squeaked up” about this here. Perhaps you struck a chord. I was going to delete it but I’m too tired! HA! I will leave it and apologize now and say I must be experiencing some stress and that is my excuse! Your photos are magnificent as always. And I feel better already! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. totally understandable Linda- School paralyzed me ( Catholic and private) until a nun named Sister Beverly taught English. She was so open minded- discussed Buddhism with us and “the night of the senses and the night of the soul” concept. She was wonderful and exceptional. A bright light in the darkness ( for me) of the school system. By the way, I did really well when I took correspondence courses. I was someone who didn’t thrive in social classroom situations. For me enthusiasm ebbs and flows but hopefully I never lose the sense of wonder. I don’t think you have either. Thank you for sharing that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Hannah! Hugs! ❤

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  14. Hi Cybele. Its Saturday morning in NZ.Tonight my Sunday post will go up under the title of Spring Cheer. I hope you like it, and it’ll link to this post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. glauco ulcigrai says:

    Compliments to your daughter for her dedication and compliments to you for having instilled in her the most precious gift.
    My daughter too works “with children who ran in all directions”. I’m very proud of her.
    Hugs, Glauco

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ahh, we have something in common!! We must have done something right! thanks so much for your visit Glauco!!

      Like

  16. Amy says:

    If we stop labeling people, the world would be a better place. We do need more people like your daughter in the special education field and willing to help. Hope you’ll do well. Take care of yourself 💗💓

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many thanks Amy!! I do understand that perhaps labels help psychologists and doctors’ treat people that may need extra help but I do prefer Neurodiversity.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Adrian Lewis says:

    I feel the weight upon you, Cybele. I can only say that I’m sure that we are all different, each an individual, and that, as you say, there is no right or wrong way. A 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, I now think that as well! Thanks so much. Of course with age should come better understanding of our selves lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. PNCO says:

    Wonderful musings Cybele!

    Part of the problem with all these labels is that they create a certain expectation that people will behave in a certain manner (or not behave for that matter ;)). But we’re all unique.
    I like the word (neuro)diversity. Not in a sense that everything should be all inclusive, but more in recognizing we’re all unique beings in a world of interconnectedness. As you mention the seasons, summer is connected to autumn, autumn to winter and so on.

    If we can use these changes as a means for preparing for continuous change in our lives and in our selves, it becomes more easy to breathe amidst the ever changing scala of emotions inside of us. Recognition of this is so important. And it feels like both you and your daughter know this from deep within. It doesn’t make things easier, but it does create a new perspective.

    Thank you for this insightful post 🙂 Makes me muse too as you can see 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad it touched you Pieter! Thanks so much for an insightful musing!!

      Like

  19. Peter Nena says:

    “novelty seeking” gene?? That doesn’t even sound real.
    I hate labels as much as you do. The first time I came across the term ‘ADHD’, I wondered fleetingly why the behaviours described under it are considered symptoms of disorder. How many people grow up without any of those symptoms? I have noticed that once a problem, even a minor problem, is identified and labelled, it gets too big, or made to appear so, as several people work to make a living off it. If anything, the real sick people in this world, the real psychopaths, and more terrifying psychopaths, are ruling the world. Who is treating them? And how come they weren’t treated as children?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Nena says:

      I borrowed a copy of a book titled ‘Abnormal Psychology’ back in 2008. I went through it over the holiday and at the end of it I felt that the whole world is abnormal. It seemed that every imaginable human behaviour is described there as an abnormal behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peter Nena says:

        Especially under the topic of ‘Dissociative Identity Disorders.’ Everybody is found there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. exactly Peter!! What is “normal!?” however, if nothing else labels might give us a desire to know more about psychology and how the brain responds! Thank you dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. that’s a very good point Peter!! Another question is how much is nurture and not nature. Nevertheless the depression side of these “labels” is very real and can hold a lot of people back. Some are much more prone to their brain chemicals running amok. As for the psychopaths of the world – the difference is that they think they are ok!! ha!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. paula graham says:

    Wonderful, sensitively explaining what many would call disorder and so good to hear that order can come from all this. Marvellous creations, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much Paula- I hesitated about posting this one!

      Like

  21. solaner says:

    Despite others, I like the picture you‘re using for describing summer and fall very much. Great idea to transfer a fact to a feeling and pack it into a kind of music. Reminds me putting the 4 seasons cd in the player again.
    Currently much is already changing, but November is the dark month here. So, we have a bit of late-late summer left to enjoy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you Solaner for that reminder. I put in a fireplace for those dark months. Though it’s been raining here the leaves are turning colour and walks are in order!! I’m glad you liked the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. disperser says:

    It is sometimes difficult embracing change . . . even more so, I suppose, if one dreads the very thought of it before it happens.

    I know how lucky I am to see almost everything as an adventure or, at worse, a challenge to be met and wish I could gift the ability to others, some close in my life. As it is, I can only help them get through it.

    Perhaps this can help . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Emilio-yes adventures!! I love them myself though I do have trouble with the darker season- and I’m one of those oddballs who prays for snow to turn the world into enchantment. I love that video and have added it to my faves. Thank you and for your very amusing and unique look at life!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I dislike labels too but you are certainly artistic and sensitive – and so your photoedits and writing have that dreamy touch – the unfinished projects become like new finds for a fresh face. How nice to feel that pride in your daughter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to see you Laura! I’ve been a bit sporadic. and what a wonderful way to look at an old project! Thank you for your wonderful positivity!

      Like

  24. Sue says:

    Thoughtful post, Hannah, and as ever I love your images! Well done your daughter for the work she does with those kids. Neurodiversity makes humankind what it is. I think we are all on the OCD spectrum…some barely at all, and others where it is very evident. Your comment about completing projects Jin a timely fashion struck a chord with me…now I’m retired, I fin.d it less easy to do!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So glad you liked my musings Sue! I wondered whether I should post that one! Yes we all have quirks and idiosyncrasies. As I get older too I try not to take on too much pressure. My daughter has a few children with autism spectrum as well and one very charming little boy with a developmental disability who adores her. She does so well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Your daughter sounds marvellous! And I know what you mean about not taking on too much pressure…. Self- preservation is needed as we get older, I think

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Suzanne says:

    It would be good to reach that point of equilibrium where the art of tea making is perfected. I find my abilities to make a good cuppa fluctuate wildly. My morning one is usually ok but it tends to be a downhill run from there. Some days it’s easier to settle for coffee and then later, glasses of water.
    Your images are wonderful and your writing will strike a chord with many. Autumn is a strange time. Please don’t withdraw too far in – we miss you when you don’t blog – Keep writing, keep making images.
    Personally autumn leads me to Basho and writing haiku. I found this writing in a journal recently – I’ve never blogged it but it might mean something to you.
    “Attuned to nature’s rhythms, the subtle shift and changes and the sound of frogs leaping to ponds Basho wandered through the years.
    Now as my life reaches its autumn I turn to his poems. I pick up my pen

    Writing haiku
    with autumn blowing in
    – a crow cawing.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am just very sporadic these days but thank you so much for sharing and for that beautiful poem and that reference to Basho. I will be over to visit soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Suzanne says:

        Thanks for reading my comment. I was in a strange mood yesterday – hope I didn’t intrude on your need to withdraw too much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. not at all- you inspire me!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Suzanne says:

        Oh thanks! You have no idea how much that means to me today.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Your imagery speaks to me so deeply. The word “poignant” comes to mind. I NEVER use that word. I had to go and check what it means. “evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret”. Hmm. Your pictures don’t make me feel sad at all but when I look at one I feel like the universe is frozen, waiting with bated breath. Waiting to see what will happen next. Its really remarkable! And they always look very rich regardless of whether there’s colour in the image or not. I’m fascinated! I commiserate about the autumn thing, shame you can’t visit down here – in the southern hemisphere!

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    1. I would love to visit the southern hemisphere!! Thank you so much for your wonderful, poetic and generous comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From the heart, thank YOU Cybele!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Maverick ~ says:

    Nicely explained.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Renee Espriu says:

    Your post speaks to many people…me, among them. I have been OCD and ADHD all my life. I have a mind that will not settle down and if I am not worried about the order of things, I am frustrated at my inability to focus in order to get things done. I have to pre-think everything I do so that I will have it in my head and then determine myself to do it. I have unfinished projects in my life and that affects both my art and writing. It once took me too many years to count to finish a cross stitch for my mother. I did give it to her and she had it for awhile before she passed on but it is things like that, that make it difficult. Not complaining, mind you, but just wish it had been different than it is. Genetics may be the absolute beginning of ‘the mother of invention’…as they say. We all do the best we can and yes, I long to have the sun back. I was born and raised in CA and here in Washington State it seems we have too many cloud ridden days and if it is not raining it will be. But the Fall leaves are beautiful and I do enjoy seen the colors. You are a very gifted and talented person. I enjoy your site immensely. Be well.

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    1. I am so glad it spoke to you Renee!! Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Anita says:

    You must be proud of your daughter! Hope transitions (seasonal or otherwise) are kind to all of us, and we enjoy the cups of tea we make. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed Anita!! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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