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.
When sadness comes, welcome her as you would joy. She has a message too. Joy is simple to share; there’s something warm to hold onto.
But with sorrow, there’s an abyss that struggles to find the narrowest ledge. Grey drains to empty. The sands underneath shift with torrential rains. Midnight stays, and songs lay low with the bass of sorrow’s belly.
Sorrow is a warrior’s instrument reaching inside and using rib to strum heart. She is alone. Thoughts can drown there. Tiny opaque birds will peck at the remains of the shedding skin too small for what is to come.
In sorrow’s snare spiritual growth isn’t vertical; it wanders like plankton far out to sea – lost and speaks a language of eyes-closed-dreaming-wild. Its words burn defeat.
Sadness will engulf all successes and erase them to a dried shell abandoned on a beach. And there, the carcass waits for life to circle through.
Sorrow’s tears are the sea healing what feels insurmountable. The passage of time ends to let wind blow through the hollow holes of loneliness.
Only those who can recognize will hear the oboe’s lament. A bittersweet song of hope.
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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