By Carolyn Riker
Loneliness is so profoundly loud, I am left silent.
Sometimes, life gets oddly quiet and my thoughts dissipate into ether. I am left holding the empty hands of loneliness.
Loneliness is haunting.
It is an ache to find a home, but I am unsure of where or what it is. I don’t believe it is a place, but a quest for integration and a seeking of self solidness. It is an opening into a profound cavern of seeing between the bones of our grave. The soliloquy of my stories are pushing to the surface and are ready to be rebirthed. I am no longer able to swallow the pungent bitters of residual repudiation.
Instead I seek to honor my femininity, my softness and my power and strength. I lean heavily into introspection, intuition and trusting of myself before allowing the pillage of a common falsity and an escapism into a warped American Dream. I can no longer tolerate the lies, hatred, abuse and unjust decrees.
And here I am, in the loud silence of loneliness; it isn’t new but this current state is uncharted land.
It is frightening as it is clarifying. Avoidance of this space has lessened over the years, for in time, I will hear wisdom; it is a respectful slice of my humanness. I’m discovering the missing shards of mirrored reflections and recoding the shadows once written on my cave walls. I am in pursuit of the light and drawn to the shadows of souls.
These are the step stones of my fate and I will gently embrace my evolution. I am humbled by the storms and grateful to stretch in a patch of sun.
In my crumpled being, where the passage of time gets lost and meaningless banter tugs me to distractions, loneliness asks me to withdrawal. I walk side-by-side with my demons and angels—neither is better or worse. I see my ugliness; it’s not my external appearance, it’s the burnt holes of anguish and trauma carried in my heart.
These are the sections of a deeper healing that I can’t describe for words fall into an abyss and I can’t cling, I symbolically die.
With each shift of the weather, there’s comfort knowing there are seasons within and a will to find the keys of knowledge and understanding. With diligence it is okay to trust again—seeing love is real. Empathy is felt. Conflicts can be disarmed and learned from. Peace is necessary.
Loneliness is the shedding of a millennium and a relinquishing of dormant wells filled with self-hatred, abandonment, betrayal and lies.
I carry a plethora of grief from places I’m unaware of.
Loneliness allows me to sink beneath the edges of earth and to rise again rinsed of the scathing soul sucking past and the present. It’s an incubation of renewal even on the darkest days. I am gradually being released from the scaffolding of penetrating shame to unearth pearls from the sea and to be better equipped to witness the grievous tragic stories of others through the eyes of compassion and empathy.
Loneliness is a rare gift unfolding endlessly.
Every descent, there’s a rise.
she listens to the trees,
a sound of loneliness swells,
and wraps closer to a cup of tea
a breeze turns the leaves of her soul,
she drifts to the edges of a dream
voices fill a soulful song
every crescendo, there’s lull
and every descent, there’s a rise
a tea stained film spins with her ghosts
spirit sounds, of a wooden flute
dance above her grave
quietly released into the summer rain
the night listens and hears
she gathers the fallen tears
into the cup she embraces.
Editor: Dana Gornall