Skip to main content


As a child, I was afraid I'd break my right arm and wouldn't be able to write.

At the age of seven, I started practicing with my left. My fear has been revisited. For the last two weeks, my right shoulder and neck have been locked into a fiery grip. The pain radiates down my arm and into my fingertips. My arm aches like a branding iron into my heart. It speaks volumes of unwritten words and conveys a serendipitous explosion of prose.

I find I’m holding myself carefully together like a piece of fine hand-blown glass. There’s a blockage in my shoulder and arm. I asked and it spoke to me. 

What are you trying to say?
Listen to your heart it beats to a different drum.
The old messages are worn out and the new ones fill you with trepidation.
Scared, huh? It’s okay.
Keep blazing through the crap that holds onto you like a trap.

I’m at a pivotal point in my life and walking a new, challenging direction. It’s a path riddled with obstructions and yet I know it will ultimately lead to freedom.

Right now, it feels dark and lonely and often it’s hard to believe–it’ll be okay. To navigate this personal eclipse, some spaces need to be dark and lonely to traverse into a deeper understanding of myself.

I don’t see as clearly as I would like to, probably because it would be too overwhelming. I currently feel like a caricature being drawn by some warped cosmic joke.

My carburetor is being unplugged from a build-up of ageless gunk. The air flow is barely there but a new filter is growing. Eventually my pistons will fire in a proper sequence as my ribs expand and I breathe into the spaces of darkness. The blind spots will diminish too and my vision will clear. I will hug the road in an effortless plight to assimilate this new me. It will take time though, because I didn’t plunge into this abyss overnight.

I’m learning to lean on my inner wisdom where intuition is readily available. I rely more on trusting myself and less of what others think or do. It is time to find my own stability, and to rely less on the instability of others.

This challenges my old innate desire to camouflage. I prefer to hide in the shadows, afraid I’ll see a glimpse of me. I have married various shades of the sun to paint a picture of what I think others want to see.

The chameleons I had as a child are being set free in the chartreuse blades of grass. They mirror the stained glass windows of my mind. The ground shakes in waves as I surf this galactic energetic pulse of new personal growth.

In the poem The Guest House by Rumi, I find reassurance in this absurd, cacophony proposition called life. It is from such eloquent written sources of inspiration, I write the following words:

Shades of Camouflage 

I will nurture this body and what it offers me. It is a vessel where my soul resides. This body will die and my soul will survive.

This pilgrimage is dark and deep as it is pure and light. In the pit of my core, I acknowledge the salt being poured on my open heart.

It’s an outrage and a balance.

I will listen to the silence and rage, dance with the shame and let it all visit.
I will learn to entertain the pain and the joy; the harsh and rude awakenings.

This is humbling.

All is gone and yet so much remains.

Tumultuous tears are shed as illusions dissipate.

My walls collapse as I’m ready to see.

Shattered dreams of what should and shouldn’t be.

My furniture has been an illusion.

I’m ridding me of me.

My heart is expansive and the strings of the universe tether me to invisible wings.

I will stand firm through the upheaval and learn to be.

It is here, I meet with the ugly shadow sides.

I bow down in a crumpled pile of wet tissues, because I acknowledge this is love and not revenge. It’s sacred and genuine, multidimensional, and compassionate.

How could it be anything but?

I surrender and open to this tender, exposed space.

In the shadows, light shines through me.

I am grateful for the burning death of illusions.

It liberates the hidden me.

Carolyn Riker is a mom, teacher, gardener.  She enjoys quiet time with nature, books and music.  Carolyn continually loves learning about yoga, meditation, Auryveda and Vedic astrology. She has recently begun publishing articles with Elephant Journal. Click here to sample her piece called “Let Your Heart Be Your Guide”. You may get in touch with Carolyn at

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. Thanks for pointing me to this Carolyn...nice connection...

    1. thanks for taking the time to read it...pleasure getting to know you too!!!! love your post and the pic that came along with.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…