Author: Isa Catto

Postcard from Colombia

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. ”

— Gustave Flaubert

I am currently in Colombia with my family cramming as much in as we possibly can between Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. Traveling tilts you off axis, which to my mind, is a very good thing. Our family becomes more intimate as we push into close quarters, and reliant on each other for company.

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The Mean

“Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.” -Maria Popova

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Arriving at My Own Door

I do regret the energy I spent trying to prove that I had something to offer. It made me vulnerable to sabotage – either through my own anxiety, or by crazymakers. I didn’t listen nearly enough to instinct…

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Poetry in Motion

The other day I explained to our son why I am such a poetry junkie. I told him a good poem could blanch a bit of darkness or make me feel more connected to this vast network of ours. And that a great line will cast something familiar into a different relief and make me look again. But, most of all, poetry gives me the next clue. “Like in a treasure hunt you mean,” he said. Exactly.

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#nofilter

#Nofilter is as pervasive a hash as any. It makes sense in these times of alternative facts, baffling headlines and gaslighting — we want truth back, whatever it may be, since we have to navigate a world of shape shifters like never before. But every artist knows that filters are automatic to any process or narrative, any picture and any composition that we float out there. “No filter” is a fabrication, to say the least.  Here’s a creative rummage post from the road….

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Conspicuous Consumption

This year I want to create more, and consume less. I am a somewhat reformed magpie in terms of material stuff, but I want to address other kinds of consumption — my constant nose diving into the national news for instance. It’s an addiction that is chomping into my creative life as I scramble to look at the news each morning.  My husband is a writer, and pulled me out of this self sabotage by sharing a snippet from a recent interview.

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Taking Up Residents

For several years my husband and I have hosted a writer’s residency from May to October/November for established writers on our property called Aspen Words Catch and Release…

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Artist Statement for the Art Base show

My sister Heather was, among many things, a disciplined thinker and a writer.  She was a poet, and a good one, which is no mean feat. Painters can take a few shortcuts every now and then and get away with it. Not so with poets– there is no smudging involved with a good poem. We…

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Abstract Notion, abstract nation

Our nation is, without question, an angry and divided one. This state of affairs scares me as mother, and as an American, but I am coping by thinking a great deal about rage –how to diffuse it in my own life, and in my broader community. But sometimes you stumble onto it like a landmine,…

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One Thousand

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”  Khaled Hosseini  I have broken through to the other side and have a thousand followers on Instagram.  It seems like a pyrrhic achievement. What’s the big deal? It’s not the affirmation that people might think I’m cool,…

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