Collected and curated by Keri Bowers
Our autistic experiences and perspectives offer important views on life and love. For me, I can say my work can show others the wealth of compassion autistics feel, despite the challenges we face.
Danny Kantero, poet
Positive, Peace – Through the Arts
With connectivity and love, this year’s 5th Annual Art and Poems for Peace Project is a well-timed initiative, giving rise to a time for us all to re-examination and re-imagine who we are and who we want to be in the coming year.
Sometimes this means taking on new, exciting, even frightening things that support us to be and become our best selves. For others, it means might mean letting go of things we knew and lost or expected for our lives. For the artists, poets, and other creatives in this Series, it means taking colorful actions towards Peace.
Start Wherever You Are At
Wherever you are at right here, right now, we invite you to be with the spirit of our contributing creatives in this Series for Peace. Join us in celebration of the written word, the magic of colorful art, and especially, the perspective of possibilities beyond our current cirumstances.
– Is it possible that a collective “we” might learn something of value during this exceptional time in our collective and individual evolutions?
– Is there an upside to this tipping point in history for humanity?
– Can we individually and collectively become more in tune with our heart’s purpose, and less engaged in our ego’s desires and behaviors?
Let us know what you think and why. Comment below in the comments section below, or write to us via our website www.the-art-of-autism.com.
A Mother’s Tree
I planted with love
In memory of one
The tears they flowed
A strong and tall tree.
Ding then ting
As I sit in reverie
Yet little peace
Do they bring
My child dreams
A cloud above
Forms a shape
Like my memories
And a child
My Wish for Peace and the work of others, lives into this uplifting project.
…And how wonderful that already the project is being so well received!
A powerful seed for sure!
My Wish for Peace
by Jill MacCormack
Where Life meets itself as a distant cousin whose face you recognize in someone dear
Whose voice stirs something old and deep and calls you back to what you were, still are
Come stand with me at your safe distance
Peace says and when you do Peace is nighttime staring at the dark and sweeping, cloudless, summer star- bright sky
With your small form standing barelegged on a red-clay road a cow pasture lined with Goldenrod and Queens Anne’s Lace behind you
Surrounding you the fragrance of a saltwater marsh tethers your senses to the here and now
All the while that erstwhile feeling you get as the trailing tail of a comet explodes your mind into blazing galaxies far beyond imaginings of long ago
These are the stirrings of Peace reminding you that eons mean nothing more than the everything of how we all exist somehow in this great moment of possibility
Poised like a dome shaped skyscape and your cousin’s face and a stranger’s soothing voice reminding you
We All Are One and Peace is also the Hallelujah of this all set to the hum of ten thousand Cricket’s cricketing and lapping waves
And everything feels right just for those moments
Even when you remember briefly the reasons it might not be perfect
After all Peace is bearing witness to these rememberings and still choosing a loving pathway forward
Peace is having trauma and still choosing compassion at your next chance Peace is the inward sweeping motion of the heart to welcome all that’s on the margins Come in, come in Peace says with kind and smiling eyes “There’s room for you here, the kettle is on, You’re safe.”
Let’s sit awhile dear friend
Peace is fruits and berries and winter squash and cabbage and corn and potatoes which have been harvested from fields and trees that were tended with care, shared freely
Peace is where the needs of the World are justly reconciled
Peace is those cold and hungry being fed and sheltered
Peace is tending to the sick and elderly with kindness
Peace is fence mending and bridge building and breaking down those walls that are meant to divide and conquer
Spirit Brick by red Earth brick
Peace is the place where loneliness finds a tender companion in joy
Peace is the space between the in breath and the out and the trust that allows that space to exist
Peace is making our little circles wider to accommodate more needs
Peace is watching concentric circles form after still waters are broken by a dropping stone, a diving duck, a jumping fish; feeling grateful for each one
Peace is the ripple and the dip between the waves and the calm before the storm when the storm is all of life
And in that storm Peace is you remembering to be quiet and just breathe
Peace is this ritual of quieting
Peace is the listening that happens when you quiet
Peace is the quiet and from that quiet Peace is the means we communicate desire for reform through reconciliation inclusion
And holding space Peace is an avenue through which all languages become known in the one language of the heart
Peace is the truth of bravery in the face of great difficulty
World Peace–my wish with every birthday candle I blew out on childhood birthday cakes
World Peace isn’t possible I was told by adults when I grew up and braved my heart to share my childlike wishes
It isn’t possible because the world exists thanks to the constant motions of flux they said
But to me Peace is bowing to those motions of flux in honouring sharing in their bounties
Allowing those natural harmonies to sing out beautifully in the natural world with far less interference
Peace is knowing the Air has the right to exist for its own existence
Respecting that Water has the right to be clean and life giving and respecting that Soil has the right to live and thrive without being damaged and depleted
And respecting that Peace knows this delicate natural harmony the living world depends upon for myriad existences has the right to exist of its own accord
And respecting that Peace is making heart space enough to heal a broken world beginning now Peace is a Monarch Butterfly’s wings
Fluttering on the breeze and a chrysalis on Milkweed
Peace is the whisk like call of the Nelson’s Sparrow in a saltwater marsh in evening time
Peace is a choice we can all make towards healing
Peace is saying yes to clean foods and no to chemicals and pesticides and quietly living your choices with a calm heart and mind
Peace means harming is not a pathway to more not individually nor globally
Peace understands enough Peace requires pauses
Peace demands action
There is so simulacrum for Peace Yet the beauty of true Peace shines like moonlight on the Water showing the way forward for us to respond In the darkness
Shining on apples
Shining on sweet hay
Shining on the leaves that turn colours in autumn Shining in the eyes of children who are allowed to be themselves
Shining on the tidal pools where all the minutiae of the mulitverse play out Birth, Living, Death, Rebirth
Peace is saying I am Willing
Willing to plant the Seed of Peace in my heart in the good faith that, if nurtured, one day will bloom and the whole world will make posies of it
I lay down myself to all this in its honour…
I hand you a Seed Wishing you Peace
Jill MacCormack, nature lover, writer and neurodiverse mother of three, is heart bound to her fair little isle in the sea, Prince Edward Island, Canada where she lives with her partner and children. Find more of her work here.
by Angelica Tao
I’m sure I can’t be the only one.
It’s just that everyone else like me is a stranger.
We’re like stars in a constellation.
So far apart but combining into one formation.
All alike in different ways.
Strangers like me.
To Mother’s and Father’s of Neurodiverse Children and Adults
We acknowledge you.
We see you.
We feel you as best our own experiences can relate.
by Anshuman Kar (Awesome Artist Ashu)
Excerpts from a Mother’s Heart
Bold, vibrant colours
Geometric patterns combined with texture
Thick brushes and paint complete the symphony of a world of visual connectedness
Space and form
Essentially define our Awesome Artist Ashu
I write on behalf of my son
Anshuman Kar (Awesome Artist Ashu) emerging
23 years young autistic person
Loving to live life as it comes
An outstanding spirit, challenges notwithstanding
A superhero inspiring his parents and everyone around him
Ardent lover of Coffee and cups
Awesome artwork is warm, vibrant, bright, radiant, heartfelt and soothing
To the eye and soul alike
Overcoming challenges on every level
Slowly and steadily gaining recognition
Emerging Outsider Artist
Prestigious exhibitions in India and Middle East
Under the belt
Sense of colours
Like communication has taken the form of Art
Periods of supported skill development
The artist chooses bright, vivid colours
Showcasing abstractions in art
His parents feel
Towards life as a whole…
Ashu updates snippets each day on Instagram: Awesome Artist Ashu
Sirens to Symphony
by Danny Whitty
Sounds of the oppressed
songs of hardship.
Wails of grieving
alarm sirens of injustice.
Searing through the
cacophony of life.
to be acted
Waiting for us
Change the chaotic
Danny Kentaro Whitty, full of vivid hopes and visions for a more just and peaceful world, is as he calls himself ~ a minimally- and unreliably-speaking autistic ~ shares these hopes and visions by letterboard.
Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For those we love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.
Albert Einstein; Letter to Liersi, his daughter
Aniruddha, from Mysore, India, is 24 years old and is supported for this, his second year of submissions to our Peace Project, by his mother, Hema ~ Hemamalini. We appreciate you, Hema!
Daniel Svboda, Friend of Imagiville,wants to remind everyone that it is always very Important to be Your Very Amazing and Very Awesome Self and That You NEVER have to be like anyone Else!
The Art of Autism honors the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Peace, celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International – or World Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political.
Header Image: Peace Fish by Wen of Zen, Honoring her father, WWII Veteran, Russell M. Powers, married 50 years to her mother.