by: Colleen Perry; images by: Phillip Person
“… admit me I am we…foundational streets only one way clearly reminiscent reach glowing flashes misty structure wrench push pull no audio in line whimsical when compared with stares from all eyes
Failure grief tragedy familiar themes what comes before history history history… admit me I am we”
His eyes are clear blue and young. He is brave. He tells his story without flinching from his truth. A constant expression, on canvas in strokes that are fluid—accented with erratic punches of movement. His poetry flows, smooth and irregular. Art and poetry, each reflecting the essence of the artist.
His name is Ryan Starkey and he is an artist. His work does not fit a mold, but it deserves to be taken seriously, as does the artist himself. He paints to feel. He paints as an “outlet to the world that I don’t really, that I rarely, get access to.”
Ryan Starkey has issues. As you sit and talk with him, they may not be immediately obvious. However, in a short time, you will notice the erratic muscle movements. He is accustomed to the sideward glances, as well as the more than obvious stares. For Ryan, these are normal occurrences. He is different.
Ryan Starkey is challenged with a kinetic disorder, one that has no diagnosis. A disease that has no name. A disease that is obvious to those who see him. One that has led him to a unique path as an artist, poet, musician, and philosopher.
He explains, “We all fight with life and the problems it brings. Some of us have private struggles, others have outward struggles. My struggles have taught me that it is important to put yourself in another person’s position. To ask yourself what they may be going through.”
When he writes, “admit me,” it is a plea for others to actually see him, not as an object for questioning glances, stares, and pity, but as an individual. An individual who is much like you, or me, or anyone. His disease is an outward manifestation of the struggles he faces on a moment-to-moment basis. Your struggles, on the other hand, or mine, may be quite private. Maybe we can hide them behind a smile. Maybe they aren’t apparent until we allow others into our private worlds.
Ryan Starkey is We. We all struggle. We want to be seen for who we are, and not a stereotyped misperception. We want to be accepted, as we are, without judgement. We all want to be loved.
He is WE because, despite his physical limitations, he yearns to make a difference in this world. And he does make that difference. We feel him in the self-expression painted on every canvas. We see his struggles in the words of his poetry. And those words touch our hearts with a reminder that we, too, do not go unscathed through this life.
Ryan Starkey makes a difference because of the way he lives his life. His life is a testament that no matter what our struggles, outward or inward, we are not alone. We are a part of each other. We feel moments of joy, moments of disconnect, moments of pain. Ryan Starkey says so eloquently what we, each one of us, has felt, “Admit me. I am we.”
… admit me I am we…Divulge everything as the knife leaves.. it burns it stings
Smoldering out self-doubt crossed so many bridges but mine left enshroud
it’s still a long haul step through default cliffs of fear equals belligerent theft austere
See this person not the machine No distance in between I feel I think I bleed Hello introductory… admit me I am we”