Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: August 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

More Nudity in Your Life? It’s Up to You.

Prairie meditation

It’s a good day. Then again, most days have become good as the years wear on. Fortunately, I have good health which helps. Today I got out once again for a naturist hike, or free-hike as many of my friends like to call it. I walked about eleven kilometres at a good pace of 5.4 kph. Once I had found my meditation stone near the bottom of a hill, I stopped for a short while for a second meditation followed by a refreshing lemonade that I had brought along.

I could have complained, as the temperature was only 16 Celsius when I began the walk, rising to 19 degrees by the time the walk was done. For those who are curious, I drive about four to six kilometres before parking the truck and beginning to walk. Today I drove 4.2 kilometres from my home in town to a point about 1 kilometre from a friend’s house, a friend who isn’t a naturist. The prairies are wide open spaces which offer more privacy than one could ever realise. Though it was cool and often shady because of many clouds in the sky, I reveled in the freedom of walking without the restrictions of clothing.

I think that many of us don’t realise just how much space is available to us for naturism in towns and cities. Obviously for those who live outside of a community, the only boundaries are the ones that are self-imposed. Having just experienced three cities in the past few weeks, I was able to find moments in each of them for freedom from clothing, even if only for a few moments. In all three, I found more than a few moments. Freedom from clothing isn’t defined by being indoors or out-of-doors, it is defined by being naked.

For those who are truly in a situation where there is zero possibility of nudity, then it is time to choose to either embrace the life you have, or to do something to change the condition. Of course, I am speaking to adults here, not children. Adults have choices for the most part. Since my wife works in a nursing home, I am truly aware that there are a few situations and conditions which don’t allow for changing one’s life. In those situations, it is often enough to simply be alive. If you are truly needing some nudity in your life, ask yourself a few questions and listen to your answers and determine if they are honest answers or not.

  1. Do you truly want to have more nudity in your life? This is about you, not about someone else close to you.
  2. Why? Again, answer about yourself without referencing another person.
  3. What is stopping you from achieving more nude time in your life? In answering this, give as many obstacles as you can find, and this includes others.
  4. What are you going to change about yourself and your situation to achieve what you want in terms of more nudity? This is a tough one. You can only change yourself, and that with supreme effort.

I’ll be listening for your answers.

A Few Hours Alone and Writing

Writing

Due to a lot of travel this summer for family visits and for selling books, I haven’t had the time or the energy to invest in writing. I have kept up my journal and done some bare minimum blogging, but as for the novels – two works in progress – very, very little. Then, in the past few days, that has been changing. I switched my writing spot to the dining room table rather than at my desk in my library/office/computer room. The idea was to have more light, especially since the house has been dark because of overcast skies, a condition that continues as I write this post.

I have only a few hours to write as it is our anniversary and we will celebrate it with a long walk along a dirt road before heading into the prairie hills with views onto Lake Diefenbaker. Following our walk, we will stop to buy Chinese food for our anniversary meal, a tradition based on our first meal as a couple following our marriage ceremony at a Chinese restaurant in 1971 in Edmonton, Alberta. There will be no more time, nor any time wanted, for writing for the rest of the day.

As you may know, the historical novel which has a Celtic god as a narrator, is being published serially on Wattpad. This speculative fictional novel traces the roots of my ancestors from the 900’s to the middle of the 20th Century. So far, the story is beginning to tell the tale of an ancestor, Guillaume Longpre, who historically took part in the first Crusade, the same man who fought at Hastings with William, Duke of Normandy thirty years earlier. The history is real which requires a ton of research, the story is as close to the truth as can be had with limited historical evidence beyond basic facts such as time and place and names.

The second work in progress is pure fiction, again a speculative novel involving Celtic deities who become the protagonists and the antagonists in a story that has no boundaries when it comes to deities being present in the modern-day world. Like the first work mentioned above, the story is being told in installments. However, I have that story appearing at my Patreon site which means only patrons get to see the story develop. As with all my stories, I write so that the characters in the books come across as real, complex, and typically complexed people, even the characters who are deities.

Both stories are beginning to develop much quicker with the infusion of new energy within me. I will be scheduling their serial publication so that my readers will continue to read while I am in Europe with my wife for six weeks – we leave in two weeks from today. I will be blogging our journey in Europe which has much to do with the historical novel in terms of research of places where my ancestors lived from the 900’s to the 1300’s. But the journey will be much more than research. But rather than say more, I will leave that for when I am there and I have photos to go with my thoughts.

The Will To Love and Be Loved

It’s quite cool this morning, and it has got me thinking. I am married and not looking for another partner. I am 70 years old and I am grateful for having reached this milestone with good physical and mental health. It hasn’t always been this way – being in good physical and mental health. There was a time, a few decades, where my mental health challenged my very physical existence. Midlife can be a very trying time, especially for those who were repeatedly abused in childhood. How did I emerge from this? The short answer is: love, stubbornness, love, therapy, analysis, meditation, writing, naturism, and love.

I had to say love a number of times as there were multiple people involved. The primary agent of love was and remains, my wife. We met 49 years ago and will be married 48 years tomorrow. Those 48 years were a challenge. Since we are opposites in terms of personality type – I’m INFP and she’s ESTJ – with no other challenges, just being so different could have resulted in a short marriage. We’re both stubborn. We made the commitment to each other and to ourselves, and the other be damned, we weren’t going to give in so easily. We were tested by the appearance of others in our lives who would have claimed either of us as partners, yet we resisted. With the onset of my midlife crisis, we both pushed away, and immediately pulled back. Both of us knew, unconsciously, that there was only one way forward, and that was together. This kind of love is passionate, territorial, and life-long.

Love of and from our children was another key to my willing to risk living. And finally, the hardest one, has been to learn self-acceptance of who I have become over the decades. Naturism is a huge part of that journey of self-acceptance and self-healing. As a teenager, I retreated into quiet and isolated pockets of nature to heal. It wasn’t something I thought about or planned. It was instinctual, almost a primitive act. Henry David Thoreau did much the same thing when he retreated into his Little Cabin in the Woods. As I was struggling in midlife, I would risk nudity on isolated beaches while my wife and children were present. Eventually, family skinny-dipping became a thing in the evenings.

Then, with the crisis of retirement, the flight into being naked began in earnest. This is all spelled out in my book, Journey of Healing. Now, today, there is no more major crisis. Life just is. I am nude most of the time in our home and whenever it is possible when out-of-doors [sometimes when it really isn’t possible as well]. With my wife not being a naturist, the passage of time, along with my achieving a healthy psychological balance, we have both adapted with what I can only call as grace. Now to be honest, we are still as different as night and day and that is its own continuing challenge. However, the will to love is still vitally strong in both of us, and so our journey together continues.

A Post With No Identity – Egolessness

My shadow made me do it

Yesterday was a stormy day which dropped more than an inch of rain or about three centimetres for us here in the metric world. The country roads have turned into mud so that means no free-hiking for a few more days at the minimum. We’ll see what the future holds in terms of warmer temperatures, sunshine and precipitation. This photo shows a small break in the weather moments before another bout of rain.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 and put on the coffee. Since my good wife has to go in to work for 6:30, this is a task I faithfully take care of when she has an early shift. As usual we then sat on our love seat to watch the dawn approach. It’s easy to tell that summer is basically bidding us adieu as the sunrise comes later and later in the mornings.

Once she was off, I got the electric oven ready to cook lasagna which we will eat for our lunch around two this afternoon when she is home for the rest of the day. With that task done, I took note of the sunshine, as well as the temperature of 8 Celsius, and decided I needed a photo for my journal which I have included here to the right. The flag is flying in front of our house. With the temperature heading for 20 Celsius, I am hoping for a good day with lots of time spent outdoors.

It’s important to see reality as it is and not get hung up on what we want it to be. It is one of the lessons of growing older that many find hard to cope with. Many see that with time running out, they want to control everything around them more and more. Control the weather, control one’s mate, control one’s acquaintances, and control as much of the universe as possible so that there are no contradictions to one’s beliefs and perceived needs. Letting go of this control doesn’t change anything in the environment or the people in one’s life. It does, however, change one’s level of inner peace. Anxiety, bitterness, and anger fall away. Nothing in the world has changed, but the self has changed and life becomes many, many times better.

One of the lessons from my interactions with Buddhism and meditation. How does your worldview and self-definition set you up for a peaceful way of being, or for a life of uncomfortable challenges. Our attitudes are all mental constructs.

Free Hiking and a Chat With a Bull

Chat with a bull

It has been a few days, busy days here on the Canadian prairies. Today was just about as busy as all the other days, but I somehow managed to organise my time to fit in another free hike. I left home just before noon and parked at my usual spot where I then began my hike. I was able to walk the first half kilometre without shorts before putting them back on as I neared the busy grid road that I needed to cross. With enough distance passed I was able to walk free again. At the four kilometre mark, I came across a small herd of cattle with one good-sized bull in attendance.

I was wary of the closeness of the bull with no fence between him and me. However, I soon deduced that he was simply curious. He soon lost interest as he decided to munch. As he approached a large round bale, he began to paw the ground, throwing up dirt. I had visions of him getting ready to charge. The dirt went flying onto his sides and back. Ah! He was taking care of business with the annoying insects. Then he began to rub against the bale. His size and power were enough to make the bale quiver.

With a photo taken, I decided to walk on towards the shallow lake in the distance. I turned back every once in a while to see if the cattle and the bull was following. It never pays to assume anything. It is vital for one to be fully aware and present. A few more kilometres and I decided it was time for a rest stop for something to drink and to eat my apple. The stop gave me an opportunity to get a photo with the lake in the background. It was time to head back with a detour to walk up and down the hills that lined the pasture I had been walking through since I left the trail which ended when I met the bull.

The walk back went quickly and without incident. I got home and set about taking care of hedge-trimming and other chores. The weather became cooler and the sun decided to stay away making the chores easier to take care of. I was lucky to get sunshine for my walk.

What are your free-hiking experiences?

Getting Older and the Naked Body

Aging body

My wife was commenting about how I am shrinking in many areas whereas my stomach seems to be getting bigger. My body weight hasn’t changed, so it isn’t about my over-eating. Since my wife works in a nursing home taking care of seniors during their last years, she tells me it is a matter of getting older. It isn’t that I couldn’t become trimmer, eat less, and do all manner of gymnastics in hopes of looking fitter and younger. The truth is I eat well and get a lot of walking exercise, as well as other things to keep myself active. The question is do I want to work hard to change how I look? And if so, why?

I took the above photo this morning for a different reason and saw that in spite of sucking in my gut a bit, I did have a belly that wasn’t representative of how I looked when I was younger. I took this second photo for a different project and realised that I needed it here to talk about being honest with oneself, with myself. There was no sucking in the gut and this is what I saw. I am not ashamed of being seen nude as my readers here have long ago come to realise. Nor am I ashamed to display my scars and wrinkles and spots that come with growing older. Yet, when I see this image, I know that there is something in me that wants me to take a bit better care of my body. The past few weeks have been a time for little exercise, almost no walking, and often eating fast food as I travelled from city to city selling books.

But, immediately upon noting this, I know that I will focus more on body and mind health than upon appearances. However, like everyone else, I am a bit vane when it comes to how I look. With that said, I will be a bit more careful in treating my body with respect.

Tuesday Thoughts While Waiting for Warmth

On the Canadian prairies, it gets cold in the month of August, especially on those mornings on either side of a full moon. This morning’s temperature was 4 Celsius. As we sat watching dawn approach from our love seat, looking out at the prairie hills in the distant, we saw what looked like mist just at the base of the hills. It reminded both of us of the expression, “frost in low lying areas. Because it is Still August, the temperature is supposed to warm up to 23 C with sunny skies. We’ll definitely take advantage of the sun and the temperatures when we take our usual walk down gravelled country roads. There will be no free-hiking today as that is something I do when I hike alone.

Yesterday I picked three five-gallon pails of crab apples which will have to go to the community compost pile just outside of town. I will again pick today leaving the apples at the top of the tree for the birds. The intention is to pick enough to eat, and prevent our lawn from becoming a slick compost zone of rotting crab apples.

It’s my second full day back at home. Selling books is good, but it doesn’t hold a candle to being able to spent time with my wife, or to enjoy my home and yard without too much worry or need for clothing. Naturism seems to focus on the issue of clothing, something that is essential to the definition of the word. Yet, we can get too caught up in nakedness and lose sight of the larger experience of transparency and authenticity. When you think about it, nudity is quite simple. If weather and conditions permit, then one can choose to be naked. Otherwise, clothing becomes essential. Living on the Canadian prairies teaches one the value of clothing in a hurry as summer approaches autumn.

Of course, for many, it might just be about nudity. For me, there is another dimension. Shedding clothing is almost a religious act, or perhaps more spiritual than religious. I think here of how meditation involves both body and spirit. Walks in the countryside involve both mind and body. One learns to be present within one’s body rather than trying to escape the body to live only in the mind. Even doing dishes can become a “mindful” act where one knows and senses the body while performing a task. I used to do dishes in the past where my mind was frequently elsewhere. My body was on autonomous function not needing any thought at all. As long as I didn’t spill water on my clothing, nothing drew my attention to the fact that I had a body while washing dishes, well other than water temperature when the water got cold.

My wife calls the slipping away from being fully present, a journey to la-la land. I used to take many, many such journeys in the past. Now, thanks to meditation and nudity, I am rarely taking such journeys. It sure makes for a better relationship. This is who I am; an older man who is typically naked and satisfied doing little things like dishes and picking apples, a man who is honouring his body with good food and exercise, and a man who at home in the inner psyche. This is my reality.

Sunny Day at Home

Picking crab apples

It is good to be home after a flurry of book signings and visiting grandchildren. I got to enjoy sunrise and then meditation outdoors as I usually do when weather permits. After taking care of cleaning up the books and data, I decided I could go out for an eight kilometre walk, five of which I was able to do while clothing free. With the walk done and lunch completed, I began the task of cleaning up the crab apples off the tree as they are making a mess of the lawn.

For a while, I thought that I would lose everything at this blog site. The service provider blocked my account for some sort of resource issue. Since this is a small site with very little traffic, only 102 subscribers, the idea of excessive use of resources rang hollow. A phone call to HostPapa quickly had my site back up and running. I immediately downloaded all of the posts and images to create a backup site in case this one again falls afoul of HostPapa’s rules. The alternate site is renebeauchemin.wordpress.com should it be necessary to relocate. For now, I am staying here as I am paying good money for this service.

With that, it’s time for me to return to picking apples.

Sunday Morning Musings

Airbnb breakfast

It is my last day of this year’s book-signing tour. Once I finish at the next bookstore in the afternoon, I will make the five and a half hour drive to return home. I don’t care for driving in the dark, but the payoff of being able to sleep in my own bed beside my wife of 48 years more than makes up for it. Perhaps it is simply getting older and becoming seventy, buy I am finding that I have less desire and energy to make these book-signing tours. From the evidence presented to me in my records, I am selling less books this year, for the most part due to appearing less in bookstores.

The weather has not been the greatest during these past twelve days away. Opportunities to wander outdoors in the sunshine have been rare. I did get out yesterday evening for a pleasant walk in sunshine through city streets here in Calgary. It made all the difference in the world as far as my mood was concerned. This morning, the overcast skies, as you can tell from the photo, have returned.

On Sunday mornings, especially darker Sunday mornings, most people take the opportunity to grab extra hours of sleep if they can. When I went out there were no passing cars heard, no voices of children, no one putting out the trash. It was all silence. It was also chilly which encouraged me to return to the warmth of the house and have my first cup of coffee before settling down to do some writing. That’s one of the things I miss the most while doing these tours – sitting down to write. My works-in-progress have me missing in action. This will be changing beginning tomorrow when I don’t have anything to do or places to go to distract me.

When do you find your private time for thinking and being honest with yourself?

Waiting …

Waiting . . .

The hardest part about being on a book-signing tour, aside from not being at home, is the waiting between events. I sleep less to begin with which adds a fair number of hours to the days. I wander more whether it be around the various guest houses or down different streets of each city. Intellectually I know that there are no changes to time which is recorded by clocks and watches. Yet, what it feels like is quite different. It doesn’t help that I somehow can’t turn on the television and get lost in whatever appears on the screen. Even Netflix fails to keep my attention. I think the coffee doesn’t help either.

I do know a way to pass the time away that resonates within me, and that is being outside in the sunshine, preferably in a nature setting. Of course, the weather has to be cooperative and the timing needs to be precise when one finds oneself in a bustling city. On days such as today, when the temperature is only 8 degrees Celsius, I take advantage of the sunshine that pours in a window. Somehow, the sunshine seems to stop time and allow me to be fully in the now. There are no thoughts about books sold or not sold, no worries about the long drives to come – nor about people. It becomes a matter of myself, my body, and a spirit that is at peace. A side benefit is the fact that my body and mind recharge enough to allow me to be fully present when I finally head off to the next book store.

And yes, I likely need a hair cut. One is planned later this month before we fly off to Paris and a six-week wandering adventure that is sure to result in another book.

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