you & me

Sometimes We Have To Say Goodbye.

You asked me on a cloudy Tuesday what I saw and felt and wanted.

I remember slipping into a full daydream of hope and love and choices.

We hiked over mountains and I held stardust on my fingertips and stroked the deepest sea with my thoughts. Weather became a palette to dip my paintbrush of imagination and we wandered through endless meadows of wild and lush.

I danced unabashedly and sang from ancient Parisian rooftops.

I wasn’t fluent in proper. I didn’t care if my hair was up or down or in a tussled knot. I wore eclectic, and avoided precision, but could switch if necessary.


… you really cared who I was.

As I shared, I breathed salty beach air and became a rock, a tree and a leaf. The sea rushed through me. With a shiver, I flew with macaws and blinked through verdant landscape of abundant creativity.

With only a slight doubt, I laid my dreams open on a matelassé blanket and whispered,

I want to be loved and I’ll honor the return.

I wanted to hear your dreams and wishes and worries and fears. We could be holy and cross the darkest corners where we dared. We could find depth in the sacred of intimacy and the tremble of transparency’s tender tears.

I gave my shy being, in the quiet of believing it was safe and heard, until I opened my ears to see you were not listening.

I was never seen or heard.

It was such a shattering realization; violent to the extent that oxygen was removed from my lungs. However, I know now, we came together to learn what was and what wasn’t.

Relationships are such a bittersweet puzzle, and truth can be vividly revealing.

Yet in my fears and early learned ways, I wanted to compensate and fix it.

I tried to erase me with many panicked laughs, and tucked my world of worlds under hundreds of anxiously dug flowerbeds — one could not contain all of my hurt and wants and needs.

I used my tears to water the garden of Never and Always.

Feverishly, I pretended and distracted and tried to believe, this will be okay; to live a life without being me. I cast copious layers of shame and sadness, and diminished into a salty sea.

Foolishly, going against my instincts and yet protectively, it was an art of surviving. I believed it was my fate. I didn’t deserve to be loved.

I became quieter. I found despair next to worry, and darkness next to an army of criticizing query. Anguish, spent decades looking for a door to leave.

I dug more flowerbeds, read more books and completed another degree — all trying to find a key.

Moonlight was my best companion, as your snore and demands roared relentlessly. In those thunderous hours of my restlessness, I rendered a shocking awareness.

I was afraid of what I could be. I was afraid to be me because I had no idea who I was.

See, you became the catalyst and remembrance of all the times I wasn’t heard or seen or loved.

Our wounds can be tremendously ugly.

I wanted to believe we would always be together, until one day something vital fell from my heart. It was the first seed of self-love. Only then could I see the hope re-emerge.

The key was the shape of the sea and sky and a landscape of ecstasy — vast and imaginative and deeply moving. I could finally hear the words I held dearly. Each syllable escaped with a rush, and my heart blushed.

I wrote for days and into the nights, all supported by the warmth of a flashlight. I birthed more thoughts and my fingers cramped, but my wings once again brushed the clouds and skimmed a tequila blue midnight.

What I wanted was becoming clearer — the simple simplicity of respect from soul gifted to soul, and not a conquest to squelch my empowerment.

I longed for the comfort of not having to conform, the ability to breathe into my dreams and to be understood.

The hardest words sailed through my heart, and finally my lips, I have to leave.

I turned a golden knob of budding inner respect, and started to feel. The numbness of always being who I’m not became a door of release. I gathered what was left. The pieces I had buried under wild roses and tomato plants.

I scraped off the moss, and returned to the path of soul and what I truly believed.

I am the music heard between the edges of wind and sea. I will speak and follow my deepest felt justices. My heart is an activist for voices unheard and unseen. I walk with the hurt and see into the dark. I listen and feel the stories untold.

I am the dreams wrapped around my mug. I am the rise of moon and the drizzling ecstasy of sun. I believe that we are all one and we will always learn.

Ultimately, I am not wrong for being me.


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Carolyn Riker
Carolyn Riker, M.A., LMHC, is a counselor, teacher, writer and poet. She currently writes for several online journals such as Women’s Spiritual Poetry blog and formerly Elephant Journal. A collection of her work is on her blog, Magic of Stardust and Words. Her poetry and prose have been featured in three books. Between sips of coffee and navigating life via the stars and moon, Carolyn leads journal-writing workshops and has a private counseling practice. Additionally, she’s in the process of completing her first collection of poetry and prose, available in the fall of 2016. Followed with a bit of magic, there's a children’s book too.
Carolyn Riker
Carolyn Riker

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