Seeing with the Skin

2010 During Monsoon


I got home from shopping in the city last night about midnight. After the dog walk; I wanted to inspect what changes that evening’s violent rain storm had given us. I left my clothes inside of the house.

I enjoy the looking for evidence of how much rain we had, like tiny streams where water had flowed, standing water, or measuring how much ponding occurs in particular areas (natural rain gages). I discover washed away tracks now turned virgin terrain, as if no one had stepped foot there before.

I looked up at the exceptionally clear sky, rinsed of dust and polluting particles. There, thousands of stars peaked out between the clouds that were subtly lit by the light from the city of Tucson. The clouds hardly moved as they sat seemingly comfortably.

I listened to the crunch of the sands beneath my feet, then a quail shuffled in the bushes.

The air felt so much more humid than what had been the norm these past few months and seemed more stagnant this evening. It was thicker and clinging to me more like a friendly blanket on my naked skin.

As I rounded the big mesquite tree “island of life” that my driveway bends around, the air was cooler. A few paces more and it warmed again. I back-tracked and experienced the cool again and stood there a moment or two. It felt refreshing.

I moved just enough to map where the transition was and explore just how abrupt that was. Was it like two sacks or balloons one cool and one warm next to each other. Was it like stepping into a pool of cool water on a warm day with a definite line of transition, or a slower transition, a kind of grey zone? I couldn’t find myself in a situation where one side of my body was warmed and one cooled, so I suspect there was a foot or two of grey. Maybe, I disturbed it, like breaking a bubble.

This air wasn’t moving much like a current. I looked up at the rock ridge and terrain for evidence of the stream that this cool may have traveled down. Cool air is heavier and flows in and above the grooves, but there was none.

I walked toward the mesquite island. The branches create a haven for other life, both plant and animal. A huge bush, it’s like a mother spreading her arms to protect. This has the effect of a cooler place. I’ve felt this when the breeze blows through these life islands and cool air rushes out like an evaporative cooler. This cool spot wasn’t attached to the island.

It dawned on me that this bubble of cool may have been caused by my going down the driveway slowly in my car, creating turbulence and separating it in the otherwise calm thick air. In my mind’s eye, I can imagine this huge bubble wobbling like jello as it bounces over the front of my car like some sort of invisible roadside casualty and sinking back to earth encased with the warm air. Could it be?

Wow, there’s a whole new world to explore by simply seeing with my skin. I’ve decided to make a frequent practice of walking naked through this spot in the evenings as temporary conditions change and vary.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Post navigation

2 thoughts on “Seeing with the Skin

  1. MartinM

    Living in the modern world, we have become largely disconnected from much of our senses with an over-reliance on sight and hearing. When we put on clothes and shoes, we largely disconnect ourselves from the world of touch, of physically feeling our surroundings and our brains don’t develop the wiring to interpret the subtle signals from our skin. We are just hot or cold, or can feel when someone grabs us. But the tens of thousands of pressure and temperature sensors in our skin can surely interpret the world around us as well as eyes or ears, every breeze, every shift in temperature of air or ground, if we take off the blinkers and feel.

    Always a pleasure to read your blog.


  2. Pingback: Nudie News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: