Catherine Buercklin describes herself as “a silly person” and as someone who always encourages those around her, even called “the feelings fairy” Buercklin is constantly feeling the feels. With these feelings come the harsh reality: mental illness and not being okay.
Facing those issues is immensely important to her. She knows what it feels like to be consumed by the monster that is depression, but Buercklin was able to cultivate these feelings through writing. Through her writing, she found that she could express herself and make sense of the world around her.
“I started writing songs, about boys with cherry red lips,” Buercklin laughed, “but in high school, those songs turned into poetry and working on the yearbook.”
When times were tough Buercklin turned to words on pages, pen to paper to create a safe space for herself. She made sense of things through stanzas and paragraphs, finding inspiration through every day we’re faced with. Her path veered from writing and toward higher education.
“The place I was in was honestly soul-sucking and I just hated it, it made me feel far away from who I wanted to be and what I wanted to contribute to the world,” said Buercklin
After abandoning her beloved form of cathartic release for a decade, Buercklin found her way back to her first love.
“It was a coming home, finding my way back to what I loved doing,” said Buercklin.
Obtaining her master’s degree and working in higher education wasn’t the path for her and while she can say she’s happy she tried, she’s happier where she is now.
“I felt like myself again. I felt the wind in my hair when I started writing again and I feel like the writing comes more naturally like when I was younger,” said Buercklin.
Picture this: you’re washing dishes in a kitchen that you walk in and out of every day but this time you notice the light pouring through the window above the sink, you notice the tree in your backyard and the birds are flitting across from the fence to the branches. You’re content. You’re enjoying the scene playing out in front of you, and you’re understanding the connection you feel between those birds and yourself. It is something that stirs you. That feeling has feathers and maybe, just maybe, it’s hope.
Buercklin felt that hope stir, and she imagined what life was like when all things have feathers. Inspired by Emily Dickinson, Buercklin searches for the emotional connection that comes with writing.
“Her writing just spoke to my soul. I remember when I graduated high school and my senior quote was from Emily Dickinson. She was good at that self-reflection and that inner work, ” said Buercklin.
The blades of grass, leaves of a branch, and self-reflection inspired her to write her book: A [Social] Distance, Poetry & Prose in the Time of a Pandemic. Her poetry book was written about the tumulus times we faced as a society consumed by a pandemic. When even a touch of a hand was a death sentence.
It was through her poetry she found the words to make her way through the sickness encompassing the Earth. She looked to her tulip, magnolia, and dogwood trees for hope when all things seemed mute.
She found through her writing that freelancing and cultivating her life her way truly fulfilled her. When asked about her career and the way she finds peace within Buercklin offered this piece of advice:
“Just because it’s what everyone does, you don’t have to do it that way.”
Wrapping it up
Catherine Buercklin can be found sipping a latte at The Studio Downtown or in her backyard. You can find her work via her website and Instagram. If you would like to support her by purchasing her book you can buy it here.
Raven Nobles is the Assistant Art Walk Coordinator at The Studio Downtown. After transferring from Hendrix to the University of Central Arkansas, then a pandemic hitting, Raven has truly learned what it means to pivot and thrive in the midst of chaos. As a senior Public Relations student, her passion is cultivating lasting relationships through effective communication with those around her. In her free time, she enjoys running, writing, reading, and the more than occasional thrifting trip. – Raven is UCA chapter president of Public Relations Student Society of America – She is a member of BearsServe Leader at UCA – Connect with Raven on Instagram and LinkedIn providing public service through BearsServe Leaders and Public Relations Student Society of America.