I write poetry sometimes at one of my other blogs, Reminiscencings.
For my current reminisce project, I’m shedding the identities or masks I’ve accumulated over thirty years of pretending I’m a neurotypical (i.e., non-autistic) person; and the way I do this is by breaking apart words from Merriam-Webster—considering where I learned meanings, feelings, and ideas—then reassembling my discoveries in poetic form.
It all sounds like heavy stuff,—but not every poem is heavy; I get quite playful sometimes—and in fear I was going to alienate audiences, I segregated that poetry to Reminiscencings.
This is how all my blogs were born, actually. “I want to write this way, but I have nowhere to put it… I’ll need to make a new space for it to go.”
I Grew Up By the Sea
Today, I wanted to explore my love for water, which I hinted at during my exploration with aromatherapy, when I wrote about tub rituals with bath bombs. And one of the ways I’d like to explore water is through poetry. But it’s just one of seven lens I’ll be taking, so hopefully it meshes fine.
I am simply obsessed with water: the ocean; oceanography; mermen; Mermaid’s Scar and Mermaid’s Forest; seashells; pearls; snorkeling; sand; sand crabs; sea kelp; kelpies; water parks; Ecco the Dolphin; and Vashj’ir and Zangarmarsh in World of Warcraft, to name a few. Also, I went scuba diving once. I tried to become certified, and it didn’t pan out well in the last lesson. Now I’m not as interested in certification anymore.
For all this love I have for water, I also have a deep fear:
I’m terrified of drowning.
So I’ll be bouncing between these loves and hates for seven iterations. By the end, I hope to create a time capsule of my relationship with water, so I a) illustrate to you how autistic specialties are capable of splicing into many facets and forms, and b) leave an imprint of a story idea I have with water to play with later.
My most common recurring dream is drowning. As a child, when friends or family would grab my leg and yank me below, my whole body would set on fire, pumped with the adrenaline needed to escape. People would get a laugh, but my amygdala—different from most people, because of my undiagnosed autism—would flood my body with so much anxiety, their laughter warped into a funhouse. Then I would walk through funhouses, feel that anxiety burst from deep within, and hurry to get out. My most common recurring dream, therefore, is drowning.
Dialogue from Childhood
“I don’t remember where it came from.”
“I saw the wave come, and I wrapped around her—and I just kept telling myself, no matter what, don’t let go; don’t let go.”
“It cut me up. On my legs. On my arms. Right here and there.”
“I wasn’t going to let the ocean take her.”
“I think the ocean tried to take me.”
Research for Emergence No. 7
Kraken Mermaids vs. Steampunk Pirate Crew
Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.