Intercultural Responsiveness
A Blog By Tom Altepeter


SkinMy skin is the color of normal. Perfectly ignored, and beautifully acknowledged, it murmurs in hushed tones. Subtle enough to blend in, yet powerful enough to command attention, it falls like ticker tape. Standing alone without effort, it’s my blessing in a world that requires permission. I love my skin.

My skin is thick. Consuming like fire, it swallows beasts as they attempt to penetrate with ferocity. Ignorant and false assumptions are lobbed toward the shield it provides, and they fall, whimpering off in frustration and agony. A guard, ever watching and never yielding, it keeps the bad out by sparing no expense. I need my skin.

My skin is my camouflage. Like field dressing, it covers my wounds taken in battle, soaking up the blood attempting to ooze out. With the skill of a mask, it allows me to transition from place to place, situation to situation, moment to moment, without revealing my true identity. And it hides me, and smothers me, and snuffs me out like a candle flame grasping for oxygen. I despise my skin.

I want to be known and understood without it costing me a thing, and yet, I’m willing to give up everything to be known and understood.

One Response to “Skin”

  • Kathy Mayer says:

    Wow. What a piece of writing. Something to ponder. So glad you shared it.

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