Reimagining a World of PEACE

Art by Ansh Batra

The Art of Autism’s 6th Annual Poems and Art for Peace. Header art by Ansh Batra.

Peace Art by Anthony Simonelli

Compiled by The Art of Autism in collaboration with autistics, family, allies, and friends

The Art of Autism’s 2021 Peace Series is dedicated to Haiti and Afghanistan’s good peoples, and the countless more lives lost all over the world to coronavirus, gun violence, war and genocide. Now more than ever our world needs PEACE and HEALING.

Wherever we are on this planet – at this very time – so many of us are each experiencing pain, suffering and challenges seemingly beyond what we’ve experienced in our collective lifetimes.

For the better part of two years, our global consciousness which aspires for good has been deeply impacted by erratic polarized national and world affairs. As our earth burns and rumbles ferociously, waterways evaporate, and coronavirus ravages peoples of every nation, peace it seems, is elusive.

And so, this year, there is greater urgency to call for, and act for peace than in past times with our Annual Art of Autism’s Art and Poetry for Peace Project. With our imaginations, creativity, and mindful faith, we see a world where each individual seeks peace in daily life; where kindness re-emerges manifested in our actions, and that collectively we begin to nurture the earth, our resources, and humankind. We are imagining a world where we work together to build collective dreams; one where we nurture the needs of all children and respect the elderly as our treasures, and diversity is seen as the key to a fulfilling life.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The United Nation’s General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

For the sixth year, The Art of Autism nonprofit calls to action world peace throughout September with a series of art and poetry collected from autistics and allies around the world.

We encourage you to be mindful of your daily actions towards creating peace in your immediate lives, and with the people around you. When we act locally, the micro impacts the macro.

The Art of Autism sees a world where people matter more than power; voices of the masses are respected; Black Lives Matter; LGBTQ+ lives matter; diversity is revealed as love; hate is dimmed; and hope emerges as our collective thought.

We hope you enjoy, follow, and share this year’s Peace Series and that you are inspired by this light in your orb.

The individual and collective submissions in this year’s project takes on a new meaning, more urgency that we listen louder, and acknowledge those who reached for peace when peace matters most.

Art by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker
Art by Kimberly Gerry-Tucker

His Eyes

By Juliet Ellinger

His Eyes peer through foggy windows
But I wait patiently for the sun to begin its day
When he is ready, he will see keenly and wide-eyed
Opening the vision of all who hold his hand

His Eyes peer through foggy windows
And he reaches out for help
But I look at him with warm eyes and say-
“let me voice guide your way”

But his eyes see no fog
My eyes are the ones that are blurred
He shows me where light still flickers, though casted by shadows
Angles once hidden, now present themselves in a rainbow-prism splendor

His Eyes peer through foggy windows
His Eyes create light when darkness is all I see
His Eyes love all no matter one’s creed or color
His Eyes are my clarity

Art by Anthony Simonelli

Poem by Navneet Kulkarni

By Navneet Kulkarni

I build my career as an author
To serve people with spiritual Knowledge
Helping Orphanage kids with donations from my earnings
Youth Are The Pillar Of Countries
My story urges youth to come forward
Joining hands in these Good deeds.

Being special means not normal but very unique.
I think and feel things differently
It doesn’t mean I’m disabled
I’m a boy with different abilities
Through writing, I spread Awareness of Autism
My way of writing – visioning it is more like talking
Sharing thoughts and it’s very particular
What and how my mind processes

Sometimes you may need to think twice
To help them understand what I am telling
This is my way of framing sentences and expressions
I am a daydreamer
I talk with my mind
I am more insightful with my imagination
Animating things in my mind

Blending of my senses
I think and express my thoughts
Yes !! This is my way of seeing things.
Neurodivergent means different but not less
Being Different Is Not A Curse
Treating Different Is Curse
So I spread awareness about different abilities

Changing the world to spread inclusion of Neurodiversity.

Poem by Navneet Kulkarni

Phottography by Melody Rain
God’s Love Photograph by Melody Rain

I Left to Find Peace

By Carlie Adler

I’m tired of having to walk on eggshells around you.
I’m tired of being afraid to talk to you about life for fear that you’ll chastise me or point out all the reasons I’m wrong.
I’m tired of having you berate me in front of our toddler.
I’m tired of you saying sexist things in front of our toddler.
I’m tired of trying to shush you when you start talking about things that are not age appropriate in front of our toddler.
I’m tired of never knowing if you’ll fly into a rage at any moment.
I’m tired of worrying you’ll change your mind and buy a gun to “protect” the house yet have access to when you’re in a rage.
I’m tired of pretending you’re just sleepy when you pass out drunk late afternoon or early evening at least three nights a week.
I’m tired of having to pretend I agree you’re just tired when you pass out from alcohol so badly that our toddler wouldn’t be able to wake you in an emergency.
I’m tired of having to send you to bed like a child so that our toddler won’t witness your drunkenness.
I’m tired of having to make excuses for you to our toddler.
I’m tired of having to make excuses to not leave our toddler alone with you.
I’m tired of having to pretend to the world that I’m happily married.
I’m tired of trying to not respond to rather than argue in front of our toddler.
I’m tired of having you chastise me and complain when I try to improve my health by cooking from scratch or walking with our toddler after work because it impacts your imaginary timeline.
I’m tired of having to let your misconceived reality stand as fact to avoid arguing in front of our toddler.
I’m tired of having to manufacture excuses and pretend to have poor hygiene to avoid intimacy.
I’m tired of never knowing from minute to minute if I’ll encounter good you or bad you.
I’m tired of never knowing if upset will make you cry or rage.
I’m tired of having you accuse me of treating you poorly when I’ve gone out of my way to be good to you.
I’m tired of being sad that by now you don’t know core things about me, like that the reason this letter isn’t handwritten is that I probably have dysgraphia.
I’m tired of never knowing if the next words out of your mouth will be a complaint.
I’m tired of listening to the same complaints over and over and over again.
I’m tired of selfish beliefs that the world revolves around your feelings and everything you’ve been through.
I’m tired of the expectation after a decade that I must always mask my autism, speaking and behaving neurotypically.
I’m tired of never having my words or actions be trusted.
I’m tired of you insulting me and claiming I don’t get the joke because I’m autistic.
I’m tired of you asking why I didn’t go ice skating as a kid when I’ve told you countless times it’s a painful memory that the other kids never invited me.
I’m tired of the one and only lie I have had to tell for the last few years: having to say “I love you” daily just to keep you from pitching a fit and behaving like a petulant child for hours.
I’m terrified that our toddler will grow up thinking the way you treat me is normal and treat the women in his life that way.
I’m terrified that one day you won’t be able to control the rage and our toddler and I will become statistics.

In the chaos of single motherhood, I have finally found peace.

photo by Bowerbirds Art
Photo by Bowerbirds Arts

His Hands

By Anonymous

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
The apple of my eye
Becoming truth
In giving
Loving
Sharing instincts as a babe

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
Selflessly, ushering others to see
And yet, he himself sees not his own light
As he casts an unwitting glow upon children
When he too was merely a child

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
Tears, meltdowns, joy and harmony
Including fears that vibrated
Differences in all who came to see
What he gave by osmosis
When no one was watching

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
Old and new
Voices in a simple tunes, soft and hard
Singing “Hear me!”
“See me” in loud silence
And he did. He did this

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
From 4 to 26 participating in the odd, the unusual
An unreal series of events
That fastened him to his legacy, touching me, perhaps more than him
Humility formed him, his brother and autism
And my apple fell to the ground

Oh, what his hands can do -and have done
Touching people in moments with art
Touching people with possibilities
Touching people with his silent-loud voice
Touching humanity with his heart

Oh, what his hands can do – and have done
Growing up with diversity he could not truly understand
And he became the branches and roots
Anchored upon the earth
Sharing his truth
… Whatever his truth may be

Always delivered with love, in an uncertain world that begs him and all to be
The PEACE you want to see in the world

2021 “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”

The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace theme of the United Nations is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” We invite you to join efforts of the United Nations families as they (and we) focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world.

Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic and as we recover.

You can find ideas for action in peace and follow international peace initiatives by clicking these links:

United Nations International Day of Peace
National Today International Day of Peace

Follow the Art of Autism on social media and sign up for our newsletter to follow this series and the the many other projects we do throughout the year. See Art of Autism Poems and Art for Peace from prior years.

The Art of Autism on Facebook
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The Art of Autism on Instagram

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1 Comment

  • Dear AoA,

    Thank you so m much for this inspiring post.

    What I love about it is the work is so beautiful and heartfelt but it’s also REAL. Peace isn’t necessarily easy–we have to fight for it. But it’s worth it when we can catch a glimpse, and these artworks help!

    Thanks and love,
    Full Spectrum Mama

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