In the shifting waters of my sensitivity, images move. The waters shimmer. They transmute what's put into them. There is light and dark, softness and harshness. There is the beauty of things coming to light, their shapes highlighted, glowing. There is the drowning sadness, as I join with everything around me.
There are exquisite things and horrific things.
In the midst of them, I am alive. I am all that shifts, and also something beyond. And I have spent a life-time looking for that thread that binds these two parts of me.
In the beginning, when things were hard, I bent and the bending was my strength. I felt my weakness then, and that experiencing made me strong.
I was vulnerable, and yet the vastness of my feelings protected me. They kept me flowing, taking the shape of whatever I came upon.
I moved under rocks, risked falling over cliffs.
And then, there came the time when I had made my way down the mountain. It was a time for rest, a chance to look back. The movement had left me breathless, and I didn't want to move any more.
A dream came calling then, a yearning from deep inside. It traced images of my longing, and I gazed at them, transfixed.
I didn't notice the things collecting inside me. Sticks and stones and bits of things. Things that I had carried across the mountains. My waters grew heavy, full of sludge.
I don't know how long it took for help to come. It seemed like a very long time. But arrive it did, at last. This was the time when the river was dredged. All the fallen debris was picked up, and space was cleared.
Now, sometimes, my waters are dappled with many-colored things. I see they reflect back all they are passing through.
Sometimes, there are imperfect specks that still make a larger pattern. Sometimes, I catch a glimmer of a rainbow fish inside and get excited.
And sometimes, a great emptiness overtakes me. Things don't feel real.
Are they dissolving? Or am I?
Am I passing into nothingness? Or is this the process of becoming something new?
The hope I have is in finding that connection again, dreaming my way to the deeper dream of that place where I come from -- a cool, moist place from where I started, where I was connected to the deep marrow of all things.
There was a large tree there, somewhere nearby. And in its presence, I could be who I am. Soft and open. Alive and trusting. Strong because I could open up.
It seems imperative that I find this tree again. With it, I can touch the pulse, the magic, the connectedness. Without it, I hobble, gasping, my waters running low.
With it, I am whole and complete, my disjointed pieces joined together.
This is the picture that feels close to what the world might look like when I find my tree.
Ritu Kaushal is a writer, classical dancer, and emerging photographer. She is also a free spirit, a gypsy, and a lover of music. She writes about sensitivity and the gifts and challenges of living as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in her blog at www.walkingthroughtransitions.com.
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