A Canadian Naturist

Normalising Naturism

Another Sunday Morning of Nude Musing

I woke up to dark skies again this morning, after a night of dream-filled sleep. The dreams were quickly forgotten once I had left our bed to check out the weather from the front patio. Since all the draperies were still closed on the other two residences in our small compound, I was in no rush to retreat to my quiet corner which is less visible to all concerned parties. This is part of the reason why I love early mornings no matter where I find myself. For a while, I own the space and I am free to be my authentic, nude self.

Now, it is 7:30 am and the sky has lightened with a few scattered bits of blue sky peeking through the clouds. I am still nude on the patio though discretely, partly shielded by a lawn chair and a hammock for passersby. Anyone who would think to look would know that I am nude, an implied nudity as there is no way to see genitals while I am typing on my keyboard. The plan is to go for a beach walk later in the afternoon. Until then, I will likely continue to do some editing of a book that I intend on re-releasing in the relative near future.

“What does life ask of us, and how are we to answer that summons? Does life matter in the end, and if so, how, and in what fashion? … these questions … many of us have forgotten them in the steady drumbeat and reiterative abuses of daily life. But our choices reflect our values and our putative answers to these questions, whether we are conscious of them or not.” James Hollis, Hauntings, 2013.

That’s the problem with having the world to myself, I begin to think rather than simply bask in the moment without a thought or care to disturb me. I know I am not alone in this. I would venture to say that most people who make it into the second half of life find themselves asking so many unanswerable questions. The questions are real and there are answers. However, those answers are typically hidden from our consciousness. And perhaps, that is a good thing. It likely is more comfortable and socially safer to keep those answers buried deep within a tomb.

We don’t like to complicate our lives, willingly. We want to be like others so as to avoid discovering that regardless of all the people with whom we surround ourselves, we are essentially alone. No government, no agency, no family member, no church, no one is responsible for us in the end. Regardless of our illogical wishes, we will die.  Perhaps, we need to rethink and revalue our lives. That begins with daring to discover who we are as individuals, unearth the hidden aspects of ourselves, strip ourselves of the protective camouflage behind which we have hidden. We must risk being vulnerable.

Perhaps, this is what is behind so many people coming to embrace naturism and nudism, taking the risk of being vulnerable. With social naturism and nudism, the risk is minimised. There is perceived safety in numbers. However, there we again find ourselves living the values and choices framed by a group and not by one’s individual psyche. We are left haunted by those choices and values we have refused to recognise about ourselves.

Enough Sunday musing for now. Until the next time.

It’s Complicated When Nude Images Are Posted

Friday morning before a beach walk

It has been a few days since my last post. With a bit cooler temperatures and a later low-tide, I find myself with a bit of unstructured time for writing another blog post. As usual, I include a “safe” photo showing a snapshot of life for me in Olon, Ecuador. This is how I live, mostly clothing free. Consider it to be “normal.”

Since I don’t have my photos “let it all hang out,” does that make me any less of a naturist? Does my habit of cropping the photos I post here, offend those who see themselves as “true nudists” or “true naturists”? Of course, I know the answer to my own questions. Yes, there are those who consider themselves to be the arbiters of “pure” nudism/naturism, who are offended. In my opinion, they are fundamentalists who are all about controlling others.

Now, in the world of Jungian psychology, this need to control others has its roots in their conscious inability to recognise their own shadow and thus control it. The problems one sees in others, and this includes me, are really about one’s inner self being denied.

Coming out of the surf 

I want my blog site to be “friendly.” If one is to help gradually shift the general perception of naturism, the most likely approach to succeed would be to be obviously nude without triggering the fear of nudity in others. These others become more likely to take the time to read a blog post and hear what is being said. An image that is too challenging means that the words don’t get read and an opportunity for having naturists viewed as normal humans is lost.

When these self-proclaimed guardians of nudist/naturist purity protest, are the saying they need to see the genitals? Why? Now, I’m not averse to having others see my genitals. After all, I do go to naturist campgrounds and gatherings on private acreages.  However, I am averse to comments focusing on my genitals. It is creepy. It leaves me feeling like the commentators, always by males for some strange reason, have some sort of ulterior motive for the photos. I do know that photos of older men are “lifted” to be used on “daddy” sites for the gay community. I don’t have any problem with the gay community gathering photos for various purposes. I do have a problem of them being gathered without permission.

It isn’t about gay or straight, it is a problem of why does someone want my photo, or your photo? Why do others demand that the genitals are showing? And often, why do these connoisseurs of nude photos make uninvited sexual comments? Why is the assumption always that if a nude photo is present, it was posted with a sexual intent?

The last photo presented here today was taken by my wife. There is nothing sexual about the image. Nudity is obvious, but it sure doesn’t lend itself to someone getting sexually aroused. Yet, because there is no cropping, no one would question that the subject in the photo isn’t a nudist or naturist. Both images presented are the same person, the same naturist/nudist. Yet, the messages received are different leading to different ideas about the subject of the images.

It’s complicated.

 

Beach Time – Just Another Day in Olon

Sand and surf

It was another sunny morning and early afternoon in Olon, Ecuador. Just before noon, I decided to head out with the sole intention of getting some sunshine. I had several hours to myself and I intended on getting the most out of them as possible while the sky was blue.

Sunbathing

I walked about a kilometre down the beach to reach the location where I had previously been able to sunbathe when the tide was out. Since the beach was basically empty, I took advantage to get a photo with myself at the edge of the water before setting up my beach sheet at the edge of the grass.  This was what I had come for, pure bliss in the sunshine. I had managed to lay still for a short while before wondering about the abandoned casa which lay just about forty metres from my location, off the beach and behind a broken fence.

Exploring

So, I went exploring. I didn’t have to worry about being seen as the property was abandoned. So, I risked exploring au naturel. It was a short adventure as there was little about the place that was remarkable.

Doorway without a door

The only thing that was notable was that I was able to stay nude the whole time, from beach to the casa, wandering around the casa, and returning to my sheet and continuing to sunbathe.

About an hour later, after having had motorcycles, bicycles, beach walkers, and even one half ton truck pass by while I lay on the beach sheet, I was cooked and needing a swim. This location is where I typically stop with my wife for some swimming rather than wait until we get to the main beach in front of the town. As almost always, I swim nude in the sea. Well, swim might be a misnomer as the surf is too strong for swimming. Rather, we play in the surf which revels in knocking us about while the currents alternately shove us towards the shore or drag us out to be battered by another incoming, powerful wave. This is prime surfing territory.

Back home, photos downloaded from my phone, shower taken, and a late lunch eaten, it is time for me to return to editing.

Naturists Living Someone Else’s Life and Values

It’s Sunday and quiet time at the casa.

The sky is mostly blue with scattered clouds creating pleasing tableaux. We began the morning with coffee on the beach which is less than a 100 metres from our apartment, rather than on our patio. Of course, that meant I needed to wear shorts. Even though it was early, the beach was already busy. One red car had backed up to the edge of the beach to provide a fully amplified system for beach goers pleasure whether they want it or not. So, with coffee done, we left the beach. Sundays are the busiest on the beach, especially during the “summer holidays.” We are in South America where the seasons are reversed.

Back at the apartment, it is quiet, the way I like it. Because of the crowds,  there is no morning or afternoon beach walk in our plans. That time, will be reserved for me to work on some of the editing work waiting patiently for my attention. Before I begin, I decided to take a bit of time to connect here, with you.

“Sometimes, to our dismay, we find that we have been living someone else’s life, that their values have and are directing our choices. While this life we are leading never quite feels right, it seems to be the only alternative.” James Hollis, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Introduction.

James Hollis is a Jungian psychoanalyst, not a naturist or nudist as far as I know. What he is talking about here, however, is vital for everyone including naturists and nudists. Because nudity is generally unacceptable by the majority of humans for a host of reasons, naturists such as myself, find themselves living our lives according to the choices made by the overwhelming majority. We circumscribe our lives to fit in and avoid conflict or worse. Again, I am talking here about most of those who see themselves as naturists and/or nudists. There are a few who would reject this citing their own “completely free” lives as examples.

Though many would see my life as blessed with time for being nude, I don’t have almost any nudity in my life as soon as there are others in the picture. Going for groceries, to the restaurant, going for a beach walk, visiting other snowbirds [northerners fleeing the snow and cold of the Northern hemisphere], or simply going out for a stroll to sight see – all require that I wear some clothing. During these times, the values and choices of others trump my values and choices. Since I have no desire to test the legal system, either at home or abroad, I capitulate.

However, when I have the opportunity, typically at home or in a naturist venue such as a naturist campground which is my home club, I get to live the values and choices that best fit who I understand as belonging to me. Yet, even then, I know that this isn’t fully the truth. As long as there is another person in the equation, each of us “adjusts” to some degree to facilitate some sort of relationship, friendship or otherwise. If we don’t, it is likely that we are so egotistically wrapped up in ourselves that we barely acknowledge others nor see that we need others other than as a sycophant audience.

My wife is supportive of my predisposition to being nude. Yet, at times enough is enough and she asks for me to adjust somewhat to match with her values and choices. Relationships are a continually fluctuating ground of values and choices. Why? Because each person in any relationships, whether as friend, foe, mate, or family relation, is constantly changing. What worked last week or last year, and sometimes even yesterday, doesn’t work today. And if it still works, there is no guarantee that it will work tomorrow or further into the future.

Of course, to best navigate all of this, it is imperative that we get to know as much about ourselves as possible. What are our triggers? What are our fears? What gives us joy? What leaves us indifferent? Learn as many of the answers as possible, and continue to ask them over time will see the “self” emerge stronger and more resilient. And that “self” that emerges like a phoenix out of the flames and ashes, does affect change in others whether we wish that to happen or not.

What values and choices do you compromise in order to live within the values and choices of the broader human society?

Sultry Saturday in Olon

Hot and humid Saturday in Olon.

It is 33 Celsius in the shade this afternoon in Olon. We went for our usual beach walk, this time walking 9 kilometres. As always, we walk barefoot on the sand. There was barely a faint breeze and it was hot in the full sunshine. Still, the alternative would be to be in Canada shoveling snow or going for a walk while wearing several layers of clothing. There is no way I’m going to complain. It was our choice to walk for an hour on either side of twelve noon.

With the first draft of the short story completed, I am returning to some other editing work for the present. I need to put a bit of space between myself and the short story so that I can have fresh eyes for it. That should keep me out of mischief for a few hours.

With the extra heat, we are lazy and have decided to go out for our evening meal rather than cook at home. Fish with mushroom sauce is on the menu in this fishing village, thick fillets of Dorado. I am sure that some cerveza will find its way to our table as well. Life is tough in the tropics on a Sultry Saturday.

 

The World of Night, Shadows, and Dreams of Nudity

Night on the beach

I used my cell phone to take a night photo without a flash last night. I was surprised to find that I was even able to get an image. Naturally, this image has been edited to allow it to be viewed here on the blog site. It was black outside with just a bit of moonlight present. Without it, I doubt that there would have been an image.

By the cliffs at the end of the beach

A second image had a bit of extra light from a light on top of the cliff that served as a street light. The light was very faint, but it did allow me to capture an image of my night walk along the beach. The beach walk covers a total return distance of  just over two miles, about 3.5 kilometres. I had no hesitation in walking all of this nude.

Seeing these images emerge from the cell phone, once I was able to edit them for visibility, made me think of the shadow. Like so many, my dreams often have a dark aspect, almost as if I am lost in a strange universe. My dreams have often had me nude in these landscapes in the past. These dreamscapes are part of the hero’s journey. Think of Ulysses and his Odyssey – storms, sirens, shipwrecks, monsters, and the eventual return home as a changed man. That journey through the swamplands of the soul, or the dark night of the soul, is about bringing the unconscious within oneself, into consciousness. Some of the stuff of self is good, and much of it is not so good.

So why make this all conscious? Well, to leave it in the unknown inner dark spaces, often invites these shadows to appear uninvited into our lives. And when they put in an appearance, we don’t recognise that they come from within us. We project, unconsciously of course, these dark contents onto others. An example here. We have all heard of a person who is almost a crusader against something that is socially not acceptable – a minister who rails against child pornography or child abuse. Yet, often these same individuals have a secret life that does exactly what they are fighting against.

Another example that is likely more personal for the average person is found in ordinary daily life. One does something or says something that others see and hear, yet when confronted with that fact, one vehemently denies what everyone else knows as objective truth. The truth is, that protest is valid for the ego has no knowledge of saying or doing, that person’s shadow is responsible, the shadow that is denied and projected onto others.

In the world of dreams, the truth is often exposed. The more one resists, the more the images appear and the more amplified they become. Resisting nudity in one’s waking, conscious life often has the dream images flood the dreamer with images of nudity, of naked vulnerability.

Of course, this is just my take on the world of dreams which today’s photos have brought to my attention. Take it or leave it. If you have any responses – pro or con – don’t hesitate to speak out in the comments.

Love and Respect and Accepting Differences

Early morning

I love being up early. The world almost belongs to me. I have more freedom for nudity as very few walk passed our patio. Those few are focused on their own journey, either to the beach which lays five houses down the road, or to the village heading in the opposite direction.  Then, with the coffee finally ready, my wife joins me on the patio. Social media still hasn’t intruded into our lives. As we drink the coffee, we talk. The topics are not as important as the fact that we actually listen to each other.  We both see and understand this as being in the moment fully present. I am nude the whole time while she wears a sundress, both accepting the other unconditionally.

Sunbathing at the edge of the beach

Coffee done, it is time for a small breakfast before headingout to walk the beach in the morning sunshine. I wear my tan through swimming briefs while she wears her two piece tah through swimsuit.  Today, it’s an 8km walk. And, as usual, I stop to sunbathe while she continues to walk.  Again, it is about respect and supporting the needs of the other, while also honouringone’s own needs. There are no demands for the other to change.

Now, we are back at our Ecuadorian home and it will soon be lunchtime. We are in our hammocks, me nude are her not. Who could ask for more in a relationship? Love and respect.

A Little Hilly Hike in Ecuador

The morning started like most mornings, with coffee.

It was overcast this morning, and a bit cooler than normal, if you can call 25 Celsius with humidity, cool. Since it didn’t look like sun would be a factor in our day, we decided to go for a hike in the hills rather than go for a beach walk. The fact that the tide would be high also factored into our decision.

The first big hill, an ascent of 200 metres with a steep grade.

The first one and a half kilometres was a pleasant walk, first through the fishing village, then through some rough agricultural land, along a dirt road. Then, we arrived at the base of a small mountain, at least that is what it looked like from the road. Walking up was a workout for hips, knees, and balance as it was quite steep. The dry conditions had made the path crumbly and our feet were working hard to prevent us from slipping back down the hill. Needless to say, there were a couple of rests needed along the route to the top. It was a small victory to reach the top and get a few photos. I also didn’t waste any time removing my shirt. The shorts stayed on as I wasn’t alone.

From the top, we went to a viewpoint which allowed us to see the eleven kilometre long beach in its entirety. We even could see where we are staying, at least the roofing tiles of the casa. With breath recovered and heart rate reduced, we began a short 50 metre descent followed by another 20 metre ascent. Then, it began to be interesting.

Just how steep does it need to be before one decides enough is enough?

The undulation continued until we arrived at the beginning of a descent that had us think twice. We should have thought three times. The descent was very, very tentative with both of us taking baby steps, and keeping eyes glued to the ground. The fine, pulverised dirt found us constantly slipping. We knew it was likely going to be a nightmare going back up on our return journey that was to take the same route back to the village and our apartment.

As you can see in this photo, the ascent that was to follow was beyond ridiculous. I couldn’t imagine tackling the uphill climb, and even worse, the danger of the return down that track. Remember, we are both in our seventies and have no interest is falling and breaking any bones, especially in a country far from home. At that point, sanity returned and we decided to inch our way back up the hill, rather than take on the challenge of the final uphill we had thought would be our midpoint of our hike.

Going back up the hill was every bit as difficult as I could imagine. There is no doubt we needed crampons. The ground was not as stable as needed for safety. Yet, slowly, sometimes almost parallel to the ground, we made it up the hill. The rest of the return journey was a breeze [not really] in comparison with the first ascent to begin our return. Now, back at the apartment, we both agree that it was a morning well spent … and as a result, we were spent as well.

Would the track make for a good naturist hike? Possibly. Parts of the trail are quite visible from the highway, however there are stretches where I am certain one could safely hike nude. One caveat, the trail is used at times for ATV excursions.

Murders At Sunny Green Acres Naturist Campgrounds

Out of the hammock

Well, all good things have to come to an end. At some point, I just had to get out of the hammock and get on with life. By life, I mean beach walking, writing, editing, and some socialising on-line and off-line.

As far as my writing is concerned, I am now at 2,500 words and there is still no indication as to who is responsible for two deaths in the naturist campgrounds, or why they were murdered. Since I only have 2,500 words left, I need to find out the answers to these questions, I have my work cut out for me. I’m not used to writing short stories, preferring to use the complicated and intricate laying down of plot, motives, psychological profiles of characters, and so on. Likely, I will go way over the 5,000 words and find myself doing a lot of pruning of the first draft. The muse has returned from a brief day off.

Naked In a Hammock with the Muse on Vacation

A swaying hammock

That’s it for today. In place of a blog post with some meat on its bones, I declared a siesta in its place.

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