Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: January 2017

Aching To Be Authentic

Lukas

I have an online friend whom I met at one of the on-line, naturist social sites called The Nook. Lukas has consented to the use of his images on this blog site, trusting that the content honours both him and the world of naturism.

Lukas is a man a lot like myself. For the most part, a home naturist. But when the time and circumstances permit, there are sorties out to enjoy the larger world as naturists, times when it is not a threat to our personal safety. It’s easier for him than it is for me because he lives in mainland Europe.

Winter windbreak

It is sad when you think about it. Here is a man, a good man who wants little in life other than personal freedom, freedom that doesn’t take anything from others. Yet, others would unhesitatingly, rush to take away the simple freedom to be authentically “self.”

What does it cost others when someone such as Lukas or myself, choose not to wear clothing in our own homes, or on our own property? It doesn’t cost anything. What would it matter if either of us should choose to walk down a woodland trail, across a meadow far from any town or village while clothing free? It wouldn’t cost anything.

On a beach somewhere in Crete

There are no real threats to others as we lead or ordinary lives without wearing clothing simply because someone might be “offended.” Of course, one is offended, not really by others, but by the fuzzy beliefs that are held. One chooses what is offensive, and often based on the fears and worries of those who came before us. We cite religious reasons which quickly disappear when the foundations of those religions and their holy texts are examined. One cites psychological trauma. Of course, that trauma is not levied by the person who is seen naked, but by the culture who inculcates the notion that one “ought” to be traumatised when seeing nudity.

Yes, in our modern world there are issues with nudity. However, the issues are not based on rational, psychological, or spiritual foundations. The sight of a naked human in real-life proximity does not result in a threat to be sexually assaulted or raped. Yet we want to criminalise those who aren’t shamed by their own bodies. Somehow, as a society, it is much better to be traumatised by bare skin, to be ashamed of the body we are born with, of not meeting up with the media created notion of what a human body, suitably clothed in designer outfits, should look like. No one questions the absurdity of being held hostage by industry that needs us to be clothed in order to reap profits. Somehow we are being convinced that our bodies are unacceptable. And as a result, we become depressed, angry, sad, and even fearful of a world that really doesn’t like people.

Environmental Fundamentalist Activism

Melvin working a hide

I spent my first years as an adult beginning a career by working in Canada’s north country. By north, I mean about 16 miles from the North West Territories on the northern shore of Lake Athabasca. While there, in a community of First Nations people who engaged in fishing, trapping, and hunting as a way of life, making a living that allowed children to be fed, homes to be built, and access to education [that was my role], I learned more than I taught.

I had been an environmentalist who cut his teeth on Ducks Unlimited, the Sierra Dunes Society, Ralph Nader, and Rachel Carson to name just a few. I had published editorials in small town newspapers as an environmental activist. I had this monolithic idea of environmental paradise. I was young and stoked with zeal. My first teaching job showed me the other side of the equation in an environment in which the “enemy” seemed to be more in touch with nature than any of those who wrote and gathered for protests to protect the environment.

Since those early years, the fur trade has all but disappeared, and with it the economic livelihood of First Nations peoples in the north. I saw this first hand when I returned to be a principal and director of education near the same place I had begun my career in the far north. Other than mining employment which required people to take scheduled charter flights to remote mines, there was no employment. Now, I am starting to hear that these mining jobs, and oil sands jobs are threatened. If environmental activists have their way, the only route to economic salvation for First Nations would be to abandon their homes and communities to gather in the cities. But of course, they want to stay at home and the white society would much prefer that they stay in the remote north as well.

What have we accomplished? Not nearly as much good as we had thought. The cost in human terms has been horrendous if you are aboriginal in Canada’s north, or on marginal land in oil producing country. We have worsened the lives of First Nations peoples and we don’t want to pay the costs of fixing what “we” have broken.

Melvin, my American friend who earns part of his living in retirement through the curing and tanning of hides for leather, is keeping alive some of the “old west” with his endeavours. It is sad to think that this skill is not practised very much anymore. Even this is under attack by the “vegan” movement who want us to have nothing to do with anything that is associated with wildlife – no leather, no wool, no down feathers – it boggles my mind to think of the rabbit hole our modern society has fallen into.

Beach Life

In our usual sunbathing location

Sunshine and warmer temperatures have returned after a few days of wind, cloud and scattered rain showers. There is still wind to put up with, however that isn’t enough to make plans to follow our usual walk routine. We had coffee on the patio and decided to head out for an early beach walk before the weather turned cloudy and/or rainy as forecast. We got to stop at the clothing-optional beach for a quick au naturel swim for me on our way back.

Lunch is over and the weather has stayed pleasant. It is time to head back to the beach for sunbathing time. I was at the beach next to Desires by 2 pm and my wife arrived at 3 pm. I got a good amount of sun then we both went in swimming, her topless and me full nude.  It was time to head back to the casa. Our neighbours from two doors down had arrived yesterday evening and tonight we are supposed to go out for supper with them.

Resisting Laziness

Beach exercise

Each morning I begin with a few exercises while still in bed, stretching exercises to help loosen up leg muscles for the most part. Then, I do a few floor exercises for more stretching and hopefully, abdominal tightening such as this pose taken when morning meditation was done. If I am determined enough, I should be in better shape from a visual as well as physical point of view. I don’t want to give in to age as I have too many plans for long-distance walking and for countries yet to visit. This photo was taken two days ago when I took advantage of being next to the clothing-optional beach.

My wife is just as vested in taking care of her body, though I wonder how her leg and foot will cope with the European Peace Walk in May and June. Until then, it is a determined workout that strengthens body and mind. It’s a very cloudy morning giving everything a sense of greyness that might mean rain and a delayed beach walk, if there is indeed a beach walk in the forecast for today. As I write this morning, I have to be extra careful in being invisible while naked as it is the maid’s day at Casa Sorpresas.

A Rationale For Selfies

Emma

Emma was kind enough to send me a “selfie” she took in the not-too-distant past. Like many naturists or nudists, she takes selfies to record her life unclothed. I am no different. I also record my life sans vêtements. So what is it that has us turn to the mirror to take these selfies, or to use the delayed timer with a phone or tablet propped up to get an image? Is it simply just a record of “self” that fringes on narcissism? Or, is it curiosity? Or, in my case, is it a deliberate attempt to peer at myself in hopes of discovering something more about who I am? For most of us taking these nude images, I imagine that it is a mixture of curiosity and deliberate study.

We discover more about who we are through examination of the images we see of ourselves through the eyes of others. There is so much about ourselves that is unknown to ourselves. We often fool ourselves thinking we know and we are in control of who we are. But lurking beneath the skin and the ego, is a shadowy self, a stranger that confuses us. We know that the shadow side exists as we hear from others about ourselves, aspects of ourselves to which we are blind. Psychology tells us that what bothers us most about others is more about the shadows within us that are reflected in others, like a selfie in the mirror. Knowing this, it should be easy to simply say, “Okay, enough is enough with these damned photos!” But, that’s easier said than acted upon. These naked images of ourselves are proofs that we aren’t locked in the prisons of personae that we live in the outer world. As time goes by, we record the changes and use them to reassure ourselves that we are on the right path to self-awareness, self-discovery. Okay, so maybe this is all so much psycho-babble and there is no legitimate reason for so many of us to take and store these images in our archives, sharing them with others we learn to trust, who have learned to trust us. But, I doubt it. This is real, this is deep, and it is a rich source of nourishment for the naked soul.

%d bloggers like this: