Soft Skin

detail of ceramic sculpture


In my lifetime as a painter, sculptor and textile designer I learned how to trust what I call “the gathering time.”

For so many years I freaked out if I was not feeling the urge to create.

We creatives are often counseled to “JUST PAINT!” “WRITE EVERY DAY!!”

And I know this is probably such a great idea.

But I never did my life that way.

I gather. I muse. I watch. I listen. I touch. I converse with myself out loud

And when I find myself interesting enough…I act.

This leaves swaths of emptiness and I worry about that; I’m disappointing my readers..I am a dry desert bed and I FREAKIN’ HAVE NOTHING TO SAY!

One of the great take-aways of a non-out-in-the-world-work-life

Is keeping my skin soft.

By that I mean the antithesis of “TOUGHENING UP” or “ gotta get a thicker skin on ya.”

A soft skin allows me to be moved.

If I keep my skin porous I can feel life, myself, others and have a chance at responding authentically whatever that might be; pretty or ugly.

When I gather (if I’m not worrying about whether I’m performing well enough to be considered a valuable citizen of the world)

Something intriguing slips in and starts laying down bread crumbs for me to follow.

And I’ve got the time to do just that

So I follow those crumbs and eat some along the way and there comes a time when I’m full

And then I WRITE!

So won’t you forgive my dry spells?

Most times there is no need for worry.

I think this part of me is irritating and perhaps irresponsible.

I have the supreme luxury of responding to those bread crumbs when they appear and sometimes they just don’t

And we all go hungry.

Which might just be good for all of us.


5 Responses to “Soft Skin”

  1. SHARON ROSE on December 28th, 2015

    The way of the “gathering time” that you have taught me, is a brilliant gift. Thank you Cathy , I now honor and cherish this space and the full expression that follows when it is ready‚Ķ.Much Love to you dear friend , with
    gratitude that you are in my life . XOXOXOS

  2. Alexandra Eldridge on December 28th, 2015

    Yes, we forgive your dry spells and that gives me permission to appreciate mine. Always giving us your wisdom. Thank you, dear Cathy. xx

  3. Jenny on December 29th, 2015

    I like crumbs too, whether bread or songs or pieces of images or feelings turned around. I know what you mean about following and when you are full. Oh it’s watching for the unexpected tiny bit that is sometimes a loaf.

  4. Rita Kindl Myers on December 29th, 2015

    I can be patient and wait, for breadcrumbs turn into delicious cake.

  5. Jenny on December 30th, 2015

    PS after cappuccinos with Emma, we all knew you were in safe paws.

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