Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: July 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

What the Hell Was I Thinking?

Backyard swimming pool

It’s the noon hour and the boys are taking a rest before I take them to the swimming pool and recreation complex here in North Dakota. It’s only been a day and I am already tired. Of course, most of that is due to being in the car for twelve hours yesterday just to get here. It’s road construction and reconstruction season. With a bit of time to spare before we head out the door, I’m taking advantage of this free time to add to my “presence” here on my blog site. This is something that I am coming to see as important in a number of ways. If nothing, this time is private me time when my life gets filled to overflowing.

One of the things I realised thanks to some of my readers, is that my absence gets noticed. This place has become a shared space, not just my space. As I write and attempt to be transparent, others read and reflect on their own experiences and beliefs – you can find a lot of this in the comments to various posts. What I didn’t expect that others who don’t leave comments, talk with me via Twitter or other social media. One young naturist exclaimed that she was surprised to be getting to know me both inside and outside. The images are often the least important aspect as others get to see me as a human and not just as some disembodied talking head, or as just another older man sharing naked photos of himself.

Another thing about being here, is the sense of history about “self” that becomes established. This isn’t a diary. A diary is a private affair. Any blog site is crafted and curated. There is always the untold story that is held back. Sometimes it is censored and sometimes it is exhibitionist.

When I look back I often ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking about?” But more often than not, I wonder about so much left unsaid. Like any history book, I go back and go over the archives tossing the trivial, those posts which at the time gave my readers a better sense of me in the moment. Yet, in terms of the “present and future” a number of these posts simply become words in the way of the story of self unfolding as a naturist. So, I cull these posts, an act that acknowledges the reader’s needs for something worthwhile to read.

A Few Words From My Garden

Roses in the garden

Tomorrow another road trip begins. I will be travelling to pick up grandson #6 and returning to my house. Then on Tuesday, we make the drive to grandsons #3, #4, and #5’s home. We stay there for a few days before heading out all together for a few days of camping. That will be followed by a return to my home, and then taking grandson #6 back home. I will stay at his home for two nights before heading to Edmonton for a series of three book-signing events. Back to his home and another book-signing event. A few days rest at his home is then followed by four days of book signing in Calgary. Then and only then, do I get to go home. I already know that I will be exhausted in the process.

I am an introvert and being too much with others, even family, leaves me drained. Being with grandchildren leaves me worn out as they are all about doing and doing and doing. I don’t anticipate any nude time while with the grandchildren, and not very much time while in Calgary or Edmonton. At least I will have about three weeks of home time before we head out for a six-week tour of north-western Europe. I can’t imagine that I will find many opportunities to make a significant presence here. However, that said, I won’t be abandoning the blog site.

I am writing these words while on my back deck looking out at the garden which has been trimmed in anticipation of a lack of attention while we are in the USA. Since my wife will be home while I am in Edmonton and Calgary, at least the garden will get some care. We do the best we can to be present in each other’s life and in the lives of our children and their families. In the end, that is the best we can do.

Welcome to the Seventies as a Naturist Septuagenarian

Seventieth circle around the sun

It’s hot outside, finally. And sunny. And, I am now 70 years old. What can I tell you about this old man on this side of the keyboard? Well, it’s both complex and quite simple. I have a man’s body that is aging. There isn’t the same vigour as when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s. But at the same time, I can walk 15 to 20 miles [20 to 30 km] on any given day without collapsing of a heart attack. I used to run these distances, but not anymore.

My relationships with others is always evolving as far as I can see. As I age, so does my good wife, a ballet of sorts where we constantly find ourselves inventing new moves on the dance floor of our life together so that we continue to appear to those who watch us dance through our life, that we are beautiful dancers, skilled dancers who fit so well to the onlookers. Literally, we do dance very well together and are always complimented on that fact. Yet, behind the scenes, like in every relationship, there are a lot of stumbles and frustrations. It doesn’t seem to be getting easier as we get older, to maintain the coordinated dance moves.

My passions keep shifting as I age. I have become more quiet, though I have never been one to speak out easily – my introversion doesn’t seem to change with the decades of life. Since I can remember, I have been fascinated with images, writing, music and psychology/philosophy. Nothing has changed, yet the shifting between one and the other as the new primary focus makes it appear as though change is happening.

I have finally reached that stage in life where I can honestly say that I don’t worry what others thing, I have published books with images that expose so much of who I am, books that expose my worldview, and I have shared these with family and friends. Some acknowledge with appreciation, some respond with silence as though the books don’t exist. Yet, they know the truth. I am a Liberal in political persuasion, I am an author and poet, I am a grandfather and father who places family first, I am a naturist-Jungian-Buddhist smorgasbord, and I am a honest and gentle man.

A New Laptop and the Same Naturist

On the road to get my laptop

Yes, the new laptop has arrived. One of the things that I had to come to grips with as I shift from old to new is the loss of programs that are no longer supported by Microsoft and Windows. I immediately noticed this when it came to dealing with photos. Now I have to find a simple and basic photo editor to download. I don’t like GIMP. Perhaps I’ll just re-buy Photoshop Elements for more detailed editing and Photoshop Express for basic use. I am open to listening to any of your suggestions.

I have set Microsoft Office to the side in favour of using Libre Office which has the save as Word documents, or PDF documents. I like the feel and like the price even better. No more annual fee to Microsoft … at least that is my hope. Now, I also have to find video editing and a decent audio editing software as I want to add audio books versions of my books to the sales platform. It’s going to be a process, perhaps a long one to get what I want and need on the new laptop.

Obviously, I am glad that I am not being held hostage by the older laptop which had slowed to a snail’s pace. The ease with which the new laptop is reacting at fast speeds is impressive. The only thing is, the owner of the laptop is not quite as fast as the computer. Like the now banished laptop, I am old and much slower, even the thinking process is slower. I need to sit still for longer periods of time for ideas to come forward. And, as in the past, this older version of me needs to be nude, preferably outdoors such as this photo taken this morning as the first of the sun’s rays touched my garden.

Fear and Depression and Naturism

Feeling the blues

Wow! What a title for this blog post. It is enough to have people quickly pass on reading it just because of the title. But let’s face it – depression is getting more and more common in our present situation. I could likely write a book about the political situations in the world where polarisation is getting to be the norm. The anger that is spewing out from all sides of whatever political conflict that you can think of [and even within the confines of one side] is scary at best. Reason has no voice. One is either a comrade or an enemy. Lines are being drawn in the sand, and those lines are morphing into positions that have little to do with the reality of the local situation. And all sides are continually adding to the list of grievances for which they feel offended and insulted. Standing at the sidelines, one wonders how it can ever be possible to reconcile the polar opposites at war with each other.

So, where does naturism fit into this? Well, I’ve been wondering about that myself. Are we as naturists only the targets caught in the middle, helpless victims? Or, in our own way, are we also finding ourselves at war with our own polar opposites? This is a very difficult topic. My best guess is that we are simply outsiders, outliers if you will. Naturally, I am talking about naturism, not naturists when I make that statement. In real world terms, naturists are a mixed bag of individuals who have lives outside of naturism. They are conservatives, liberals, Christians, agnostics, atheists, asexual, sexual – as humans outside of being naturists, we belong to one group or another. In Canada we are adamantly Liberals, Conservatives, Green Peacers, for or against oil and pipelines, racists or those who espouse inclusiveness, or Socialists [NDP]. As such we are caught in the divisive and destructive dialogues as much as the textile world.

Naturism is becoming part of the battleground as vested interests try to remove rights for naturists – social media and regular media highlight the anger of many who take more than umbrage that we would dare go swimming with our children while nude. And within the nude community we have similar polarisation when it comes to sexuality – the enemy within.

We need to go within and nourish ourselves as individuals. We need to slip out of the public eye and take the target off our backs. We need to build community with each other, a community that is tolerant of differences. Trying to control others to conform to our way of thinking is to engage in the divisive warfare. And to be honest, that begins at home. Does it matter that we are different if we share the value of clothing free life? Can we not grasp that point of similarity and learn to be tolerant to each other? Engage in dialogue that builds connection rather than foster divisiveness.

Writing Naked on National Nude Day

Writing nude

I got a message, or rather I should say, a Tweet, from Matthew McDermott that was also directed to other Naturist Fiction writers. He talks about doing some naked writing for National Nude Day, as well as offering a hope that a number of us other naturist fiction writers are able to do the same. Naturally, I always write while naked, so this is something that I can do in support of his hope that I and other naturist authors do the same.

With that thought in mind, I decided to write a short, very short story about a National Nude Day activity. The story is about a real life experience, free-hiking on the Canadian prairies. So far, the story is at 700 words and will likely expand to about 1500 words before it is finished. I will decide later if I will publish the story here, or submit it to Going Natural, the FCN naturist magazine. I have had a number of articles published in Going Natural over the past year. It helps to have a friend – we’ve met in real life – who is the editor of the magazine.

I guess that I could add this blog post to the list of naked writing being done today. With that, it’s time for me to do a bit more free-hiking, call it research for the story.

An Unplanned Post

Morning before another adventure

It was an early morning, as usual. For a rare change, it was 15 C, rather than the usual 10 C which made morning coffee outdoors very pleasant indeed. It didn’t take me long to take my seat in the sunshine for meditation. However, before doing so, my good wife had me covered in mosquito repellent, the oil product that I mentioned in a previous post. The time flew by with speed and it was time for breakfast and a second cup of coffee before we packed up for a drive to walk the hills of Sask Landing Provincial Park.

The sun continued to pour down on our small part of the world as we finally set out on our hike after parking the car at the end of a gravel road which stood only metres from the eastern boundary of the Park. As usual when hiking with my wife, I wore the obligatory pair of shorts. After all, we were in a provincial park on a summer weekend. Though we were at the furthest edge of the park, we weren’t alone, that is until we headed up into the hills. We followed the faintest of an animal trail to reach the top of the first set of hills, a climb of 130 metres. We then followed the hills heading west with constant ascents and descents for three kilometres before deciding that the lack of trails had us scrambling too much in the growing, oppressive heat.

By the time we reached the car, it was 32 C. Our plan to walk a different path was nixed and we decided to return home before a thunderstorm caught us in the hills. Neither of us are fans of hiking when lightning is likely to be present on the prairie hills. The storm was intense though not long-lived. Likely we will have another storm or two arrive according to the weather forecast. Because of this, I am able to send this post out, unplanned.

Tis the Season for Mosquitoes

meditation with mosquitoes

Well, it finally had to happen with all the rain we’ve been having. The mosquitoes have hatched and they are hungry. It has been about a year since I last needed to use the spray which is pictured here to the left. Yesterday afternoon, I used it as the morning saw me receive too many bites. This morning, it was very cloudy for the most part which seemed to only encourage the little beasties, so again I applied more bug spray.

It worked is all I can tell you. I was able to meditate in my usual location outdoors while nude. The result – no mosquito bites. Now, all that is left is a country walk with my wife, and perhaps another free-hike in the mid-afternoon. There’s no guarantee as there was some rainfall this morning and the skies don’t look too promising. If that is what continues, the country walks will be postponed until the next opportune time.

A Change of Plans or Going With the Flow

The arbour

For whatever reason, my computer is behaving a lot better. I have been able to mix research and writing without wait times of more than five minutes as I switch from web searches to Word. Often over the past week, I’ve had to shut down a number of times just to get Word to work. Working with images was a nightmare. Needless to say, I’m taking advantage of just an ordinarily slow computer until it becomes non-responsive again.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking during this forced retreat from productive writing using my laptop. I have been involved with my youngest grandchildren more than usual due to family circumstances that have created a need for such. It has meant time away from my wife and home. There are more such time-away-from-home activities that had been planned such as a week at a naturist club, a twelve day absence for book sales in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton, and an end of August grandson-sitting in North Dakota. Neither my wife nor I do well when we are apart – she is scheduled to work during these times. I have even taken my thinking into my meditation.

So, there is a new plan, at least in my mind. I cut out the Calgary book events [four days of sales] which means being at home a week earlier – I wouldn’t make the drive back home in between Calgary and Edmonton as it would be an extra 1000+ kilometres of driving. Seven nights together rather than apart are gained. Then, I decided to give up the naturist club outing with the plan that I frequent the prairie hills more to get my quota of naturist time. The only irrecoverable loss is the social naturism aspect. That said, another seven nights at home with my wife. The other separations can’t be helped. Life happens and commitments are made, and in our home, family comes first. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t get my nude time. So, more is gained than lost.

Free Hiking on a Windy Day

An extra few kilometres

This morning, my wife and I went for our usual morning walk in the countryside, only a six kilometre hike as she had been called in to work for the afternoon. Because I am finally able to push limits post-operation, I decided to add in a mid-afternoon free hike at a site I haven’t been to for a couple of years. I put on a few pounds with all the taking it easy over the past month.

Because of recent rains, there were times when I had to leave to walk through the lentil crop to get around standing water on the soft dirt road. I was amazed at how good the crops looked after such a dry spring. Rain makes a difference, At the 2 1/4 km mark, I left the dirt road to follow a faint trail through the hills. Both the hilly dirt road and the prairie hills gave me a good work out. My time included a number of stops that I made to take photos of flowers, mushrooms, cactus plants, and self portraits. I found a surprising number of flowering plants.

The halfway point was at the 4 1/2 km mark. I had covered the distance in less than an hour. The photo stops were left for the return trip back to my truck, which I had left parked by four very large grain bins. I ended up taking quite a few nature shots, though not of the three deer I had spotted in the hills. They spotted me almost as soon as I had seen them. Being so far from civilisation, they were easily spooked. The buck and the doe didn’t want to risk an encounter with a human as they had a young fawn with them. It ended up being a good day.

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