Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: June 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

I’ve Got a Thinking Problem

Thinking again – ouch!

Now, I know that in spite of all the years I have studied, both at university and since then, I really don’t know all that much. I am living that old expression, “the more you learn, the less you know.” When someone tells me that I am wise, I worry even more for the human race. And then, I find myself checking in on contemporary happenings in the world, especially with our leaders. It isn’t bad enough that they seem to be hell bent on raping the planet and the countries, states and provinces, and the communities for which they are leaders – but their followers buy the snake oil they are selling and become their personal angry-bird mob chanting the mantras of privilege. No wonder I retreat into a quiet space and pretend that none of it exists.

In a way, that is the path to take. Think of it. If we all took a time out and went quiet, who would be chanting messages of hate and division. The naturist world has its own issues with “us versus them” with the “them” being other naturists. I have quite a following on Twitter and I follow many naturists in return. As a result, I get to hear the issues of control and judgement that appear in that community as well. Rather than focus on our own personal behaviours and often irrational beliefs, we take sledgehammers made of words to try and force others to fit into … and that is the problem. We don’t really know what these others should be doing and saying since we haven’t really figured it out. We just know that if we could get others to repeat our words, and champion them, then maybe, just maybe, we are on the right track. The majority must be right, right?

Still Not Summer, Yet

Time indoors where it’s warm

Now, it isn’t that I like to complain, but the solstice has passed and the weather is acting like it is April here on the Canadian prairies. This morning, it is just 11 Celsius and it is still necessary to wear socks outside with clogs/crocs/whatever. This is just disgraceful. I mean, summer is short enough as it is without loosing another week to an extended spring. The forecast tells me that it won’t reach 21 Celsius until July 1st. Two days ago, we had some hail mixed in a welcome rain – the hail wasn’t appreciated. Oh well, I guess that it is enough to be alive and able to practice some rigorous naturism like my friend Melvin in Montana.

As I mentioned in my last post, I travelled to my son’s home in the neighbouring province. He’s away from home, so it is my privilege to be here in his place to take my nine year-old grandson to the games of his baseball tournament. Since it won’t be hot, that will be a good thing for playing baseball. Now, to be honest, competitive team sports such as baseball, football, basketball, rugby, and hockey [to name just an obvious few] need to have the players dressed in uniforms. Yes, you can “play” these games for fun while nude, but when it comes to serious competition, uniforms are vital. The idea of uniforms is to both protect and separate the team from their opposition.

Think about that for a moment. How do you distinguish your teammates from the competition if all are naked? The uniform provides a sense of group identity. An example taken from my past life as a minor hockey and baseball coach. When the kids were just beginning, no uniforms were worn for hockey practices or shinny, no uniforms were worn for practices or scrub games of baseball. The focus was on developing physical skills. How does one distinguish one’s tribe from another?

Even in those nude societies that are holdovers from the past such as along the Amazon River, there is something that is used to differentiate one’s tribe from others. In modern society it is clothing. It is just human nature to need that differentiation. I seriously doubt that we would ever be able to do away with the general need for clothing outside of protection from the elements or for protection in the workplace.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Day

A darker kind of day

Yes, it sounds like the beginning of a suspense novel. However, it is simply a description of the current weather. We’ve been hoping for rain for quite some time. Finally, it has arrived. With it, there has been a surprising drop in temperature. Here it is mid-morning with the rain on hold after just more than an inch of rain in the past 24 hours, and it is only 10 Celsius. Naturally, I am spending the morning, for the most part, indoors at the computer.

Today’s post is meant to serve as presenting a normal picture of life. I am a naturist. At least, that is one descriptor of who I am. Yet, I am more than that. Rather than having my penchant for living as many hours of my life as possible while nude define me, I want to show how much the same I am with the general population of humanity. Now, I am a month shy of seventy years old. Something typical for people my age, is an interest in genealogy. I have had a DNA test done [actually two of them] with the purpose of helping me locate missing strands of the family history.

Other tasks on my agenda for today include going for mail – we don’t have door-to-door delivery – and packing my bag for another visit to my son’s home. This weekend is a baseball tournament weekend for my nine-year-old grandson. I’ll be watching all of his games and visiting at his home in the other hours. Of course, all of this will be done while clothed. Of course, in a perfect world, I would be able to do some or all of this while nude, weather permitting. I include weather permitting because I live in Canada. This is a northern hemisphere country where there is no guarantee of summer being longer than a weekend. Yes, I know, that is a poor excuse for humour.

Naturally, I will also be keeping up on the news from my home country and around the world. Canadian news is getting more and more interesting since this is an election year. Later in the day, my hometown Canadian Football League team, the Ottawa RedBlacks will be playing my favourite western Canadian team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Beer will not be drunk during the game. Remember the weather situation? It is highly likely that red wine will be the beverage of choice. I also plan on surfing the Internet, watching a bit of Netflix, and working on my current novel-in-progress. All-in-all, it is a normal day, in a normal Canadian household.

Windy, Nude Meditation in the Garden

Windy ol’ weather

It was sunny this morning, very windy. In spite of the wind, I found a windbreak of sorts for my morning meditation. In addition to my usual photo, I decided to include a brief clip to show the wind and let you hear the birds who accompanied my meditation.

I want to approach it from a position of mindfulness, a mindfulness of the body. Chogyam Trungpa tells us that : “Mindfulness of body, the first foundation of mindfulness, is connected with the need for a sense of being, a sense of groundedness.” Maybe this is part of the reason I prefer to meditate outdoors, close to the ground. As I sit, with breezes, sunshine, shade, or even a light shower touching my body while I meditate, my mind registers the experience. Notice that I said my mind registers the experience? Of course my body also registers the experience. Yet it is through my mind that I become aware of what is happening to my body. My body is the middleman so-to-speak between the earth and my mind.

If we don’t have a mastery of our mind, then we have an uncertain and erratic relationship with our body. Trungpa goes on to state:

“But your sitting here at this point is not actually very much a matter of your body per se sitting on the ground; it is far more a matter of your psychosomatic body sitting on the ground … creating a world according to the body situation, but largely one of contact with it, That is the psychosomatic process.”

Chogyam Trungpa, The Heart of the Buddha, pp 24-25

It sort of sounds complicated to me, but if I simplify it, it comes down to awareness, a head thing, of my body in contact with the earth, the ground. I am not really my body. I am my mind, that thing that decodes the world. If my body lacks a few of the senses, I still exist. If I lose my limbs, I still exist. This essence of self is what Trungpa is talking about.

So, I simplify it. My body breathers. My mind attends to the breathing, focusing on the in breath then the out breath finding the empty space of nothing between that out breath and the next in breath. I still exist in the empty space. Curious.

Privacy Fences – Two Sides of the Story

Not so private at all

In the world of naturism, there is a lot of hiding from others. The average nudist or naturist club is surrounded by barriers which don’t allow passersby to see the naked people within. Often there is a locked gate with a code needed [or a key] which reinforces the secret of who is a nudist/naturist. The club I frequent is no different. Even within the club grounds, the secrecy is maintained. Often people only know each other by a first name with the rest of one’s identity left unspoken.

Personally, after writing my autobiography a number of years ago, the secret of my being a man who prefers/needs nudity was made public. In a small town of just over 500 people, dozens of copies of my book were purchased. Then, the Naked Poetry books made an appearance. If I thought that I could maintain the “secret,” I soon learned otherwise. Now again, I live in a small rural community on the Canadian prairies. Most houses don’t bother with fences between neighbours, and if there is a fence, it is often a frost-wire fence because of little kids or pets. I have a fence along the back edge of my yard. Trucks drive down the back lane, neighbours walk down the lane.

We have discussed building a privacy fence so that others won’t be offended as they walk past when they see me writing on the deck or meditating. The problem, is that is a bit late since many have already seen me in my natural state though no one talks about it. A privacy fence at this point would be like locking the barn door after the horses have escaped. It would also convey a message that nudity needs to be hidden and is shameful. I’m not going to go there.

However, my situation isn’t a normal one. Many found out through my books, before I risked being nude in my own yard [read book three to see how this evolved]. For most people, privacy fences are vital, not for “shame” reasons, but for “security” reasons. When your neighbours are strangers, then the risk is too great. The task then becomes one of somehow communicating with all one’s neighbours about one being a nudist/naturist and why that is the case. Even then, the need for a high privacy fence remains as one can’t control the non-neighbour traffic that passes by one’s yard.

What is your situation? What, if anything, have you done to communicate with neighbours so that they are less likely to file a report should you be seen while nude in your own yard?

Nude Psychology and Personality

In INFP

I have been thinking for a while about where this blog site is going to go next. Several years ago, I gave a presentation in Mexico about Typology as explained by Carl Gustav Jung in his book, Psychological Types, volume 6 of a 20 volume series containing most of the writings of Jung. It is from this book, for the most part, that I will look at personality and the penchant by some for being nude. For those who are interested, an online site that will allow you to find your “base” personality type can be found here.

There are 16 types according the the popular Meyers-Briggs test. However, according to Jung, there are fewer types. He begins with stating that humanity is divided into those who are extraverted [his spelling], and those who are introverted. He then posited that these two groups contain a number of different sub types: thinking and feeling in the “rational” category, and sensing and intuition in the irrational sub types. He doesn’t include “Judgement” or “Perception” as qualifiers as are found in the Meyers-Briggs test. However, for the sake of keeping it simple, I will use these last two determinants. Just for your information, I have tested as INFP for several decades, and have taught typology in psychology classes, as well as being a student of Jungian psychology for more than thirty years.

Now, to begin with introversion and extraversion. It is important to note that no one is 100% introverted or extraverted. However, when there is no tension of any kind, we find ourselves in a resting state of either introversion or extraversion. I think you can relate to the idea that in spite of being an introvert, one can relate to others: family, colleagues, friends, and function in a manner that is rational. The opposite is true, an extrovert can find themselves alone and function. That is the tension demonstrated above.

We stretch ourselves with engagement with life. Yet, when the tension disappears, we return to our “natural” state. Introverts need to retreat in order to recharge their batteries, extroverts need to engage with others in order to recharge their batteries. Neither state is a statement about worth as a person, just a way of understanding self and other.

Now as far as nudity is concerned, I am more like Mr. Stephen Gough, the Naked Rambler, in that I enjoy most of my nude moments while alone. I have friends in the naturist community who are all about social nudity. I take part in social nudity from time to time, but it is tiring when it becomes too much, forcing me to retreat to my camping trailer, or return home.

Now, before I get too carried away, I will send this out to you and invite you to tell me about your introversion or extraversion and your test type if you should so choose to disclose it.

Nudity and Balance of the Psyche

As usual, the weather is warmish, 22 Celsius as I write this on the back deck. It is a pleasant temperature, especially with no wind to make if feel colder. The morning began with sunshine and 12 degrees, enough to have me meditate nude in my favourite space in the back yard. Now, the sunshine is intermittent due to mostly cloudy skies. Rain would be welcome as everything is becoming stressed from a lack of rain. For Friday and Saturday, the weatherman is predicting a 50% chance of some rain and mostly cloudy skies.

Yesterday, I went for a walk in the countryside for just over 5 km, leaving while it was sunny. just before the turn around point, I felt a few sprinkles and turned around to head back. A kilometre further into the walk, the sprinkles turned into rain mixed with tiny bits of hail. By the time I made it back into town, everything was done. The streets were wet, but not enough for puddles. Hopefully tomorrow and Saturday end up with significant amounts of rainfall.

Just in case you were wondering, today’s post isn’t about weather. Rather it is about balance. In psychological terms, it makes me think of what happens when we are too much in ego [think sunshine], or when we are too much in our inner worlds [think overcast and rain]. Looking at it in a different manner, say that of naturism, the same thing comes to mind. Living outside of the textile world, whether it is in naturist social settings or nude at home alone, one loses balance. It isn’t the fact of being nude that is at issue, but the fact of being in relative isolation. By contrast, as a naturist, being denied time for being nude because of being consistently overwhelmed by a textile world, creates a significant level of inner dissonance. We need balance.

Balance is something that is a constantly shifting state. I am finding that when at home, I need more time nude than I do when I am visiting family. I would have thought that the lack of nudity while visiting would leave me frustrated, but such is not the case. Perhaps it is simply that my psyche has more influence than my ego which would have me see myself as a victim because of a lack of nudity. Somehow, I am learning to listen to unspoken voices within. When the sense of needing more nudity for “balance” registers, I find ways to honour that “feeling,” even if it is a stolen moment.

What does balance look life, feel like for you?

In Between Moments of Sunshine

The clouds are thick today. My wife and I managed to go out for a 3 km walk this morning. For the rest of the morning, I continued working on my trip planning for the autumn. So far, Saint Malo (3 nights), Caen (3 nights), Bayeux, D-Day beaches, Rouen (4 nights), Le Havre and Honfleur, and Dieppe have been planned in relative detail. I am now working on the three-day stay in Amiens. Next will be a two-night stay in Lille, our last stop in France on the first third of the six-week journey. All the accommodations for the six weeks have been booked, so the basics of the trip are in place, including times and trains to reach our various ports of call.

I will be returning to my current “works in progress” later this afternoon, as to spend too much time on the minutiae of trip planning gets to be too much for extended periods of time. I do want to get some sunshine time as well, whenever it comes out during the afternoon.

The sun just came out, so I’ll sign off for now. A la prochaine, mes amis.

Too Many Thoughts – Monkey Mind

Sitting around, waiting

This sitting around too much following surgery is frustrating. The first dressing has been replaced leaving only a small dressing over the belly-button. The stitches come out on Thursday. All indications are that all is progressing very well. I am eating right, avoiding lifting, and doing all the right things to help with the 4 to 6 weeks of recovery. Yet, that isn’t enough for me.

My thoughts are jumping all over the place, rarely landing on one thought long enough for some reflection. I am continuing my meditation practice, getting outside to meditate while nude, in a corner of the yard where the morning sunshine collects. It was calming and I didn’t mind the 10 degree Celsius temperature in the least. Unlike yesterday, the wind has stopped howling and is now just a gentle breeze. I will likely go for a naturist hike at some point today. Until then, I will try and regain enough focus to do some more work on my assorted writing projects.

Talking about writing, with my mood I am wondering if I am a good writer and author. Yes, I sell books at book-signing events, but that could be more about being a better salesman than an author. I don’t sell many eBooks, which might be a better indicator of my writing. It’s not that I am a terrible writer, at least in my opinion, but am I writing books that are worth the time and money being spent by others who read books? Naturally, I can’t honestly answer my own questions as I don’t have any objective distance from my works. My books don’t get many reviews, so that becomes less useful in determining the quality of my work.

Now, my mood isn’t something to worry about as I will continue to write, actually I must continue to write according to that inner voice. What is does signify is there is a need to get honest evaluations of my work from others who have objective distance – family, friends and neighbours can’t give me that objective distance. Should I take my work to the professional route of traditional publishing in order to get realistic evaluations of my books? There is a voice within that wants to be ego-gratified with being published by a major [or even minor] publishing house. Only then could I qualify for all sorts of literary prizes. However, does my ego need this? I don’t need the money, so why would I go this route and delay the publication of future books.

As you can see, my mind is giving me “static.” I have written three books of poetry and three novels with the naturist community in mind, yet it is the textile community who buy my books [with a few exceptions]. The naturist community would read my books if they were free … maybe. I somehow get the feeling that many readers in the naturist community who are voracious readers of books, somehow feel that “naturist” books are not real literature so not worth spending money to purchase. Too many questions, too many ifs. It’s time to go and have a coffee outside in the sunshine.

An Update Post Surgery

Well, I survived the surgery and am beginning to heal. It was my first surgery dealing with an umbilical hernia. This was the cause of my belly button changing from an “innie” to an “outie.” Now, I can look forward to four to six weeks of limited activity, but not limiting my walking. Today, I went out for a three kilometre walk around the town without any extra pain. And yes, there is some pain.

At least, this gives me some extra time to spend on projects at my desk within my home office. I am making myself keep busy with planning the daily plans for the European trip this September and October. I plan out what to see on which day, including the use of Google Maps to illustrate. As well, I am spending a bit more time on my writing, though it is definitely in second place.

Still, I do take a few minutes here and there, when the sun comes out [it is cloudy, cool, and very windy] to catch a few rays. I still have the dressings in place and now use a support wrap to help keep things in place. The stitches are to come out next Thursday, something I am looking forward to having happen. With that said, it is time to go back to planning the trip.

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