Please let me explain to you, how my life is filtered through a sieve and how quiet times are essential. I wear sleeves that hypnotize creativities heartbeats. Silence gives me the pause to assimilate multitudes: spiritually, supernaturally and what feels real.
Such is why when a hummingbird flies, courageously close, I can hear the wings sing a lullaby and my tears speak for us both. When I watch a film and lean in it is as if I’m them and they are about to confide the love they lost most. I will cry.
How the thickets aren’t only branches but arms that paint the skies and how clouds are sea worthy when the ocean is too far, but dreams take me there to follow the tide’s stars.
Unfairness is a violent riptide and social justice steps into me. I will invariably side with the minority and hand them the speaker, and hold the mic and shake with, rather than against. I believe, I believe, I believe in the heavens of diversity. This is my democracy.
I realize now it may seem unusual that I can hear an eye roll and buckle under a backhanded comment – it punches my soul. Posturing and sharp criticizing can crush my skull. I can feel when tired is bored and when tired needs rest. I understand when laughter covers a myriad of unrest. I can see eyes that blink an S-O-S and how flattering doesn’t impress.
I don’t need to justify who I am when I cradle a sparrow who thought the window was air. How I offer a band aide to a child whose cut they can only see but they need to share. I’m fascinated as bubbles grow and how they know to be the circle they are meant to be.
I walk close to words because they support me as much as sunlight blinds me to squint. I become the prisms inside of prisms; infinity lives in both. I often weep as I write because this is the essence of my hopes; to write from the rivers that sustain me in this convoluted, tepidly, brilliantly, fiercely, passionately, terrifyingly encapsulating quest of living – these are all the sides me that I’m aware of the most.
Like you and me, we are different and that’s more than okay but please don’t condemn me for my sensitivities. I feel angels as much as demons. Spirits bend with the influx of Nature and are often close. I will lock the doors to my heart when I feel abuse.
It baffles me too, when I can taste the color of a sunset and swim sea’s ancient grey blues; it captivates me too. Just like music or a whale’s song or empathy’s reach inside deeper hues. Nothing bothers me more than superficial. Fake tastes bitter. Love without trust is the rattling bones of fear. However, love with respect is a rose.
Sensitivity doesn’t always follow a timeline. I know what shame is. It was when you didn’t see me, when I needed you the most. Coffee shops ground me. Traveling unhinges me when time zones leave me in several places simultaneously; all I need is a little time inside small spaces to bring me back to harmony. Chastising only confuses and harms me. I symbolically bleed emotional oceans and land can be sand, trees, or a steady hug to behold.
You’ll see me frequently daydream; this isn’t idle or indulgent or unnecessary. Shallow talking abandons the intelligent fragrance of existing. Often while I’m driving, the lines become the staff of a musical, the cars are notes, trucks the bass and a siren is a cymbal that punctures me back to this space. Earth is difficult.
I noticed nearly everything from conception to birth and my daily ‘deaths’ of solitude become the gingered cookies letting me find the breath to float. I’m profoundly touched by the simplest gestures of kindness – this brings me to the center of my real.
One last paradox: I can be extroverted, but my natural tendency is an introverted pillow piled high with deep and thoughtful processing. I am highly sensitive. It is my everything.
If I say to you, “how wrong you are in everything you do” sadly you’ll start to believe it. If in turn, I repeat with sincerity you are creative, intelligent, beautiful, kind, diverse and real – my hope is you’ll start to believe it. And with this fuel of self-acceptance you’ll translate the former assaults into gardens of seeing other’s who need to hear,
“You are creative, intelligent, beautiful, kind, diverse and real.”
My hope grows fuller for this to be repeated as vast as the sun and moon stretches over this very earth until we all believe it.
Much love & respect,
I spoke to Tired this morning and she answered in the same language as when air feels heavy right before a deep slow rain. We spent some time there talking about what is this Tired? And she replied, “It is more than being sleep deprived. It is more than a nap will fix. It is the lack of deeper connections. It’s where the soul weeps. Tired is tired of the clichéd. The glossing over, the petty advice, the assumptions and intellectualizing. Tired is tired of the repetitive worldly abuses. Tired is a cross-funnel of empathy overload. Tired is sadness at the heavy demands.
She continued, “I don’t have the ‘right’ words for this moment but let me sing to you.” And so, she did. It was a love song for hearts to mend when ready, pain to be seen, unfairness to be heard, strife to be witnessed, the poor to be fed, history to teach, agedness respected, differences acknowledged, hate crimes ended. Her song is still going with my heart pressed against her hand.
Carolyn Riker | Artist: Max Gasparini
This is what I know…
Stay near to the twitch and tremors of nature’s voice as trees speak through the footpads of earth’s song. Stay close to the ancient ways of solitude. No one can take that from you. Trust your heart for she knows the path. Protect yourself from those who steal your kindness. Keep your inner circle small and safe. Let go of those who violate. Notice how the wind answers the leaves and watch how the parched land drinks her rain so freely. Find sustenance in spirit’s flexibility. Keep open and listen and pause deeply into the reservoir of your fullest passions.
‘Art’ yourself. ‘Write’ yourself. ‘Speak’ yourself.
Become the dreams of your call. Feel into the medicine of your struggles: the anxiety of a thousand wild horses, a century of depression’s sinkholes of silence. Follow your addictions to where they may lead and ask what is lonely, bored, hungry, tired? What are these signals trying to feed? Above all, lovingly support the processes of your innermost needs and take heed to where they lead you and soar.
Carolyn Riker | Artist: Elicia Edijanto
Creativity is almost always shifting, turning, and exposing new insights. Creativity is like a valve in that it needs to be full-on, shutdown or somewhere in the humming zone where our feet can hear our heart’s passions. Where we can go with the seriousness of difficulties perpetuating our world as well as skip with the buoyancy of let’s say a butterfly, bird and/or a buzzing bee.
The closest I’ve ever got to explaining creativity is the sensation of being awake and yet constantly dreaming. There’s an inexplicable amount of energy that joins us on the daily; it’s like wind currents or a river or some extraordinary flow that pulls, tugs, dips, soars, flattens, expands, claps, exalts, dies, cries, explains, shifts – minute to minute.
As of late I’ve grown extra sensitive and contemplative so, I’ve needed to slip off a bit more than usual to explore my inner heart-listen. I believe we need to support ourselves in the study of our soul’s truest nature. These qualities are complimentary to Nature’s nature. We have seasons, storms, the sun rises and sets. We also have symbolic phases of our moon-speak as she gathers her strength coupled by the companionship of the cosmos. This is vast. AND to think we are all a part of this immense orchestra – it is truly mind-blowing. That’s it. That’s what I needed & wanted to share with you this morning because this community is a beautiful part of my dream.
Much love, Carolyn
Carolyn Riker | Artist: Amanda Cass
Carolyn Riker is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) who provides counseling and coaching services. She is an author of two poetry books: This is Love and Blue Clouds. You can also follow her writing on Medium.
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