What If We Strip Away the Artifice & See Each Other As We Are. ~ Vicki Rivard

Via Vicki Rivard
on Oct 15, 2013
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Viscera by Jody Pham
Viscera by Jody Pham


What if I don’t want to talk about the weather?

What if, instead, I want to talk about the doubts that tiptoe their way up your spine, lodge between your vertebrae and soften your backbone? What if I want to ask about what keeps you up at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep and about the recurring loop-dream you’ve been having and what you think it means? What if I want to know about the pink scar on your chin and where it comes from and why you try to hide it with your scarf?

What if I don’t care about what’s on TV or the Breaking Bad finale?

What if, instead, I care about the secret song that lives in your lungs that nobody hears but you? What if I ask you to breathe it to me and I promise to listen and I really do? What if I’m curious about the last time you lost, the last time you grieved and is there anything in this world you would die for? What if I’m interested in your proudest moment, your most haunting regret, the face you thought you’d remember but that now you forget?

What if I don’t want to sit in a noisy pub and guzzle beer until the night becomes a blurry haze?

What if, instead, I want to sit with you in a park, in the dark, swallowing mouthfuls of moon and sharing memories of our mothers? What if I want to take your hand in mine and touch the bones that live there, the knobby joints, the rough patches, the creases at the wrist? What if I want to run my fingers up and down your arm, tracing the route of your veins, revering the blood flow that keeps you alive? What if—for a whole minute, a whole hour—I want to look into your eyes without flinching, to tour the truest part of you, that place that cannot die?

What if I want to break open your sternum and glimpse inside your tattered heart and tell you it may be tattered, but it is your loveliest organ and there is a blood-red garden growing there?

What if I don’t want to chat on Facebook and skim through your photographic highlight-reel?

What if, instead, I want to see your broken parts and blemishes? What if I want to strip away the layers and stand with you, skin and souls laid bare, bony bits protruding, ugly spots exposed? What if I want to place my head on your belly and listen to your liver communing with your spleen and feel the gurgle of your gut and the inklings of your instinct? What if I want to ask you the question that scares you the most and swear I won’t run away when I hear your honest answer? What if I don’t run away?

What if I’m choking on the artifice of it all and feeling like we’re missing out because we’re scratching the surface with the questions underneath the questions, but the veneer is thick and we have barely made a mark? What if we’re all here, on this perfect planet, at this time, together, because we are treasures for each other to discover and rediscover, but what if we’re too distracted by our Twitter feeds to notice?

What if I don’t give a damn about where you studied or what your job is or how much money you make?

What if, instead, I give a damn about the first time you found love and the way your cells shifted to make room for that new feeling that was more force than feeling? What if I give a damn about the tattoo on your thigh and why you have it and when you got it and did it hurt and do you love it? What if I give a damn about what turns you on, what turns you off, how you like to be touched and how you pray? What if I give a damn about the things that amaze you, that fill you up, that move you to tears, that move you to move, that make you wonder, that make you glow and go slow and look up and see the stars and feel the stars inside you?

What if I give a damn about you, remarkable, fragile, dangerous you?

But what if I don’t want to talk about the weather? What then?

Think we could be friends?

“Lie beside me and let the seeing be healing. No need to hide. No need for either darkness or light. Let me see you as you are.”

~ Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies.


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Assistant Ed: Miciah Bennett/ Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Vicki Rivard

Vicki Rivard is a soul on a journey (sometimes she writes about it on her blog).  Meditation keeps her strong. Love keeps her open. Chinese medicine is her craft. Her heart is in the ocean. Those interested in helping her save the whales, dolphins, and porpoises of this world should visit Swim Wild Canada on Facebook. 


37 Responses to “What If We Strip Away the Artifice & See Each Other As We Are. ~ Vicki Rivard”

  1. scoochdaily says:


    This made me think and wonder and change perspective. It made me stop and remember to go deeper. Be different. Shift focus. Something that I have been longing for most recently. Thank you and well done!

    Licia Morelli

  2. legalchic7 says:

    I second the above comment (by Licia) – I effing LOVE this. LOVE. Thank you.

  3. Alicia says:

    Thank you for this beautiful piece Vicky. It's a good reminder that we need to be more honest with each other and with our selves. This was real, raw, and honest. We need more people in the world like you 🙂

  4. Renee says:

    This is beautiful, and it also created such a mournful sorrow within me. Because it speaks to the yearnings of my soul and yet the answer I have received again and again is the same: "you're really intense" and "you ask too many questions" so then I become quiet again, wondering about yet never knowing those stories.

  5. tish says:

    awsome vicki. great job, well written!

  6. Tracie says:

    Gorgeous. Yes. Simply gorgeous.

  7. Charlie says:

    Beautiful sentiments. Loving questions from a beautiful heart, mind and soul. It is obvious. Peace.

  8. edith says:

    I don't even know how to talk about the weather. I often feel like I have nothing to offer because I'm too intense for most people. Definitely think we could be friends! Thank you!

  9. Jody Pham says:

    This was refreshingly beautiful, Vicki. I'm honored to share my artwork with such a luminary writer! <3

  10. Roberta says:

    Amazing use of language to cut to the heart of the matter in a trice. The author has the soul of a lover and the words of a prophet of truth. I could definitely talk about anything but the weather.

  11. jaylansalman88 says:

    Vicki, you touched my heart.
    Thank you so much. Someday I will read this to the person I love when I find that person. I saw your soul through your writing and it touched my soul. Hope we meet someday.

  12. Denise says:


  13. Vicki says:

    Hi Licia,
    Thanks for reading! I’m happy the piece resonated with you. I hope you follow your longing and find those deep places that fill and fuel you. I wish you the best.

  14. Vicki says:

    Awesome. Effing awesome. (Thanks for reading!)

  15. Vicki says:

    I think I know you… 😉
    Thanks for reading and, more importantly, thanks for being a friend who's not afraid of real, raw, and honest.
    You're a gem.

  16. Vicki says:

    Hi Tish,
    Thanks for reading!

  17. Vicki says:

    Oh Jody.
    It is *I* who is honoured to share my words with such a luminary artist. The coming together of two women, two art forms…magic. Thanks, again, for the "blood-red garden growing there." I hope we collaborate again someday.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Vicki, Thank you!!!
    I Loved this! I feel like it was me saying what I feel sometimes, or at least trying to "distract" those around me who are drowned not precisely on the sea, but unable to look in the eye for more than 4 simple seconds.
    Simple & Deep!

  19. Vicki says:

    Hi Renee,
    Thanks for reading and, especially, for sharing your thoughts. I have found that some of the truest stories surface when there is silence and space (so being quiet is OK). Hugs.

  20. Vicki says:

    Hi Tracie,
    Thanks for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  21. Vicki says:

    Hi Charlie,
    What a beautiful thing to say. Thank you.

  22. Vicki says:

    Hi Edith,
    Thanks for reading! It is always so great to connect (even if it is online) with like-minded/like-hearted souls.
    I wish you well but, more than that, I wish you real. Hugs.

  23. Vicki says:

    Oh Jody.
    It is *I* who is honoured to share my words with such a luminary artist. Two women, two art forms…magic! Thanks for the "blood-red garden growing there." I hope we collaborate again someday. Your talent is astounding.

  24. Vicki says:

    Dear Roberta,
    I do believe this is the loveliest thing anyone has ever said about me and/or my writing. You have made my heart sing! Thank you, thank you.

  25. Vicki says:

    Oh, the power of words! Mine touched your soul and yours, here, now, have touched mine. Thank you.
    (We will certainly meet someday, if we are meant to. Life's like that…)

  26. Vicki says:

    Thank you, Denise. 🙂

  27. Vicki says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Thanks for reading! The eyes are the windows to the soul…why do we avoid them so?

  28. Jody Pham says:

    Me, too! In fact, your words are inspiring me to work on a special piece just as soon as I can find the time. I'll be sure to show you what I come up with. 🙂

  29. Amy says:

    I tried to like this, i really did. But it so reminds me of Hannibal Lector asking Clarice to tell him about the day her lamb was killed. Is it really giving a damn when so much of the litany here is "i want, i want, i want," despite the claims at the end? With those who have become my truest friends, i have waited until they revealed what they wanted to reveal, asking no questions, making no demands.

  30. Lili says:

    Vicki~ This article is absolutely beautiful. You so creatively and passionately crafted a poem to depict how I feel towards a lover, family, friend, & humanity! Thank you for such a gift! Lili

  31. Ana Lucía says:

    I've always felt this way! thank you, it made me feel less of an outcast.

  32. @natehermes says:

    wow. wonderfully written. thank you.

  33. Vicki says:

    Hi Amy,
    You can't win 'em all!
    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  34. Vicki says:

    You are most welcome, Lili.
    Thank YOU so much for these kind words.

  35. Vicki says:

    If all of us outcasts united, we wouldn't really be outcasts anymore, now would we?
    Hugs to you, Ana.

  36. Vicki says:

    Thank you, Nate.

  37. Karen W says:

    Hi Vicki,
    This is the most beautiful thing I've ever read, and it's a true reflection of your beauty. I always knew you were special, but your words confirm this in every way!