street art love


By Carolyn Riker

Love is hard to describe.

On this Valentine’s Day, like so many others, you will most likely find me wrapped around words, immersed in music and daydreaming.

I don’t actually fancy, Valentine’s Day because it puts love in a box next to waxy chocolates and artificial hot-pink sweeteners. It dehumanizes an emotion with a flurry of marketing ploys.

Valentine’s Day is a setup, for some, to feel terribly ashamed or to experience a temporary superficial joy.

How is it possible to find love with the purchase of forced cold red roses, tied with a blushing limp satin ribbon?

As I walk through the stores leading up to the 14th, I hear the flowers say, “Please leave us in the Garden of Eden on the way to Avalon as our hearts recuperate from this arduous love journey.”

What is love?

Does love provoke a feeling or is the feeling provoked when there is love?

What is that overwhelming feeling and does it necessarily need to feel overwhelming? Minus the physiological aspects, I will venture down another path where I have extracted from my 50 years, plus a few single digits, some tidbits of awareness:

Contrary to many, I didn’t purposefully involve myself with the wrong significant others, nor will I intentionally repeat my mistakes; I did exactly what I thought was right.

Love is illusive, expansive and a phantom especially when we can’t see self-worth and self-love as part of the equation.

Daresay, I married a part of me which I was trying to avoid? Yes and no and all the variations on a theme of I-don’t-really-know-the-right-answer.

I can point blame at myself or those involved; but I won’t.

What I do know—love is hardly one-sided.

I’m not easy to live with and that threatens the hell out of most, including myself. I need freedom to creatively wander, safety to express, structure without walls, more solitude and silence than most can understand or bear.

I love to travel. I dream in multiple languages and cultures fascinate me. I embrace life with such fervor, I can often burn myself out when I’m not careful.

Love is a mixture of surrendering, opening, soaring, folding inwards and being our authentic self. Is has a blend of nature and nurture. For in nature I have seen and felt an incredible awareness of unconditional love.

My connection with nature has been with me for as long as I can recall. It is my steadiness in the perils of furious and swirling storms.

With the nurturing (or not so) people part, it is a mixture of star cells and endless pages of history. Some of the exchanges aren’t so kind and others (thankfully) are freeform, caring and giving.

We will encounter them all.

But to be loved, in love, to feel love; the degrees are infinite! It’s the epicenter of a nebulous.

Love is created in chaos and in peace. It will outshine a war. Love will blanket those in need. It is the crème de la crème found after centuries of aching through the sludge at the bottom of a lake.

Love is hard to describe.

Yet, love isn’t suffocating. It is strength, trust, respecting both entities as a whole and as an individual. In this unique space, there’s an ebb and flow which inspires even more love because we are love.


All that is love is not always spoken,
It is felt by the trees, sea, wind and earth.

Love is a tempest and when broken,
the shattered discourse will quiver a rebirth. 

Heartache will ignite a mystical mend,
from the darkest scripts, folded, shattered and torn. 

We grasp at the depths of our spirit and bend,
rising stronger and clearer, no longer forlorn. 

Letting go of the illusions, we embrace a galaxy,
a nebulous of intense creative love. 

Seeing our existence as stardust, isn’t a fallacy,
to be loved, to feel love is infinite as a rising dove.

This poem has also been shared on Women’s Spiritual Poetry Blog.



Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall


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