Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: April 2020 (Page 1 of 2)

On Being One’s Natural Self

Working in plain sight

I received a comment from Alexis about my last post which I am bringing here:

“I am a bit curious though. You appear to have a fence around your yard, but you’re still able to see your neighbours’ houses and windows. Do they know you’re a nudist, and do they really mind you being outside working in the buff? I worry a lot about offending or causing strife with mine.”

Do my neighbours know that I am a nudist? Yes, an emphatic yes, they know that I am a naturist. Many of them have seen me nude while I am in the yard, a few have seen me nude in my home or other places. As well, a few have bought my “Naked Poetry” books which have nude photos in them, and not just nude photos of myself. Even more have bought and read my naturist fiction novels. And many more have bought and read my three part autobiography which explains how and why I have adopted naturism into my life.

Do they mind? I know that a few don’t mind at all. Others? It’s hard to know as in all communities, one doesn’t engage with most of one’s surrounding neighbours. They are there, they are friendly and wave whenever we see each other. They have their lives and I have mine.

When I am in the buff outside, I am very aware of others in the vicinity. I don’t make a point of being obvious when others are nearby. I am not an exhibitionist and have no intention of getting in someone’s face, especially when children can be heard approaching. I respect others and that has made it easier for others to not make an issue should they see me while driving or walking down the back lane while I am working or enjoying some sunshine.

When one thinks about it, this is likely a very vital way to normalise the practice of naturism. No secrets, no exhibitionism, keep it normal, and continue being one’s natural self, that self which is the same either clothed or clothing free.

Being Normal with Healthy Doses of Naturism

Carpentry au naturel

Building one’s own shed from scratch without buying a prepackaged set of cut lumber, and without a step-by-step plan is a daunting project. Add the fact that I am seventy years old and have spent my lifetime engaged as an educator and mental-health counsellor, one could well understand how this project gets to proceed as slowly as it does.

Of course, I planned, and planned, and planned a third time, drawing diagrams freehand to try and envision the final product. My drawings had lines for 2x4s, which I found vital when it came to ordering the lumber needed. My neighbour and good friend who lives two doors down from me is a long-time handyman who owns every tool a carpenter could ever dream of owning, and sometimes several brands of the same tools. He now is a seasonal worker for our local lumber yard. He was very skeptical of my lumber order. Now that I have built the frame, I know why. I have about twenty 2x4s extra.

Of course, none of this explains why I am building the shed so slowly compared to real carpenters. I must confess that no tool gets touched until somewhere between nine and ten in the morning, unless it is a morning where my wive and I decide to take a country walk, wherein the carpentry work begins after eleven in the morning. When the work begins, I carefully measure each board in place, before taking it to my new power saw. This Ryobi radial arm saw is the first radial arm saw I have ever owned. It’s an early seventy-first birthday present.

Today, I got to cut angles because of the sloped roof. I measured the long 2x4s in place and found out that I needed to cut the lumber at a 5 degree angle. Five cuts later, I had the vertical pieces needed. With a similar five degree angle cut for the top piece of wood, it was time to put the pieces together using three inch screws. Just in case you wanted to know, there are no nails used in the construction so far, and none are planned. Time out for a naturist tea time in the sunshine.  Then, it was back to work. I replicated that wall for the opposite side of the shed. Then, with my wife’s help, we placed the short walls and I immediately secured them to the floor and the front and back walls.

Time out for lunch, then a return to begin measuring and cutting the roof rafters with each rafter needing a five and a half degree cut at both ends. As soon as they were secured to the frame, it was time for a naturist  cold drink on the deck.

That break took a bit longer than anticipated as the sunshine was incredible. Sunbathing on the deck with a cold drink at hand. Anyway, there was more work to do for the roof. I needed to place five 1x4s on the rafters. Then, when all was secured, I needed to place some plastic pieces, which will hold fibreglass panels, the wavy panels that allow light to pass through, on top of the 1x4s. With those screwed into place, it was time to call it a day. It was time for another tea break followed by time spent by the BBQ.

Nothing in this post was philosophical or psychological. It was all about being normal, well sort of normal, a normal that includes healthy doses of naturism.

Keeping it Normal and Natural as an Author

Fact or fiction?

Well, it’s Sunday afternoon and some filtered sunshine is making it through a thin cloud cover. Every once in a while a break in the cloud cover teases as the sun pours in through the large picture windows of my home. We went out earlier for a six kilometre walk even though the wind blowing between 30 and 40 kilometres per hour. We live on the prairies and wind is an almost perpetual condition of existence. You either go crazy or you get tougher. As usual, our walk meant that we were socially distant from the rest of the world. We didn’t even meet one passing half ton truck during our walk. The closest person outdoors was literally kilometres away.

Back home, I returned to an old writing project that I had begun two and a half years ago. It is historical fiction and it required a lot of research to write the first draft, and even more research since then. The last bit of research was done in northwestern Europe last autumn. Having allowed all of this to sit below the surface, something inside began to stir within me. A new beginning has been started with a thousand words already appearing. These words tell me that many more are yet to be written before I get to blend the old words with these words. If anything, what will emerge will be better for it, be a story that could well be a true story.

As a writer, I know that much that we define as fiction, is anything but. The moods, the emotions, the actions, the personalities, the conflicts, the joys and sorrows are all spoken from what is experienced, not imagined. Characters appear that are modeled on people in the author’s life, both consciously crafted and unconsciously mirroring these know others, and the known self. The better the author’s skill, the more likely a reader will see these characters as representative of real people rather than as caricatures. The more realistic and reality-based the characters are, the easier it is for a reader to identify with the characters or ascribe them to people in the reader’s life.

I am writing a fictional historical novel, that is a fact. I can’t point to a certifiable paper trail for each or any character that would enable the story to be classified as non-fiction. Doing the research is critical to creating a realistic context and setting for realistic characters.  Is there nudity? There is always nudity where there are humans. Again, context and culture will be important. The one thing I can’t do, is to ignore the reality of the historical world.

It’s time for a cup of tea before I return to the book-in-progress. Have an enjoyable Sunday.

Keeping Busy With Normalising Naturism

A toddler’s stand

I got a haircut this morning and I now feel I look the way I see myself – neither scalped nor shaggy. Once that was done and we had our morning walk, my task was to finish making a step stool of sorts for my youngest grandchild. The wood was cut, holes were drilled and the whole assembly was put together before it was time to have lunch. This afternoon it is being painted by my wife. The finished product will allow the little guy who is going to turn one before too long, to stand at the counter top to be involved while mother and sister are busy doing whatever at the counter. Older sister who is three, also has her own stand.

Naturally, this meant no time for writing this morning, and so far, none this afternoon. We did get out for a quick four kilometre walk. Normally we walk about twelve to thirteen minutes to travel one kilometre, today, the pace was between ten and eleven minutes per kilometre. There was a strong wind which was blowing snow pellets directly into our faces for a good part of our walk. We wanted the walk over as quickly as possible, especially since we had other activities waiting for our attention.

On a different note, I am more than surprised at how our neighbouring country, the USA, is fracturing during the pandemic. Large public gatherings are protesting “stay home, stay safe” directives, defying social distancing. Today that same public is calling for President Trump to fire the man responsible for the well-being of America, Dr. Fauci. Strangely, a similar crowd is calling for the Prime Minister to fire the doctor who is in charge of keeping Canada safe and healthy, Dr. Tam. Canada, unlike the USA, collectively follows the directives of Dr. Tam which has allowed us to test more, self-isolate more, and somehow that has resulted in a much better result than that of our southern neighbours. The angry opposition is finding itself more and more distant from the mainstream of the Canadian population.

I don’t want to make Covid19 the focus of my post here, or my posts in general, but it is hard to ignore the pandemic, especially when it touches every single person on the planet in some form or other. So to help change the channel, I turn to my writing and I listen to music. Another day will pass and another day will come. Now, it is time for me to return to my current work-in-progress.

Naturist Magical Moments and Breathing Freely

Some days are more frustrating than others, and then there is that moment when the universe sends you a message so that you come back to your senses. For myself, and in my opinion, frustration to life is a personal response, not necessarily a conscious response. And to be honest, it is rarely a conscious response.

I am a laid back person and what frustrates my wife or others, typically doesn’t frustrate me. I don’t for a moment discount the real frustration that others feelWe all have our own degrees of tolerance for various types of situations, a range of tolerance responses. Our feeling responses are based on our individual life history. What then frustrates me, doesn’t typically match up with what frustrates others.

For example, I get frustrated when I sense I don’t have control of my personal world, especially when it comes to nudity.  While walking in the country today, I got frustrated. I saw the hills where I would walk completely free, free-hiking. I ached to be free-hiking, yet here I was, bundled up in three layers, a necessary three layers, in order to stay warm while walking.

Just a month ago, I wore next to nothing for my long-distance hikes – a pair of tan through mini briefs. At appropriate locations, even these briefs would disappear and I would savour sunshine on every square inch/cm of my body for literally hours at a time. Now, I try to capture the same feeling while the temperatures try to nudge the zero Celsius mark on the thermometer, a few moments at a time. For those few moments, frustration dissipates.

Yesterday evening, just before eight, I went onto the back deck and saw the colours of the sunset to the west-northwest. I forgot about the chill [cold for many others] and I simply breathed it all in. At that moment, I knew that somehow I was blessed. I had my health, I had my freedom, I had my home, and I was with my life-mate.  I breathed freely and was frustration free.

Find your magical moments and breathe.

Naturist Indoor Nirvana

Like many other places in Canada and northern USA, we are again getting snow. It is the soft, fluffy kind of snow that will quickly disappear in a matter of hours when the sky clears. Like almost everyone else on the planet, I am wanting this whole Covid19 mess to be over. However, I am not about to push any boundaries with regards to closing social distancing for the next while. At my age, being prudent comes with the territory of having grey hair.

We went out for our six kilometre morning walk in the countryside, another four kilometres are planned for the late afternoon, if weather permits. Today is a writing day with me working on two projects, the audio space opera which I publish twice weekly for my grandchildren, and the naturist post-pandemic novel. Both are coming along well in my opinion. I am avoiding as much as possible, anything about Covid19 in social media and main stream media.

It is better for my mental health to park myself in a light area of the house with a cup of tea and my laptop. My go to place for light is the living room with its large windows. In our home, the draperies are only closed once evening darkness has settled in. My reclining lounge chair is comfortable and with a padded laptop surface to serve as a desk, I am set. All that remains is to be willing to write. This is my indoor naturist nirvana moment.

The Sun is Shining, The Sun is Shining

The sun is out. The temperature is still below zero, but with the backyard protected from a southern breeze, I actually enjoyed a few moments in the yard. There is a promise for above zero temperatures in the afternoon which should make for a pleasant afternoon of drinking tea au naturel on the back deck … as long as there is sunshine and the wind doesn’t become a factor. I can’t believe just how good it feels to be outside in my natural state.

I just received an email from my local [defined as being local as in the closest – 4 hours distant] naturist site, Green Haven. Someone is selling their trailer there for $9000. It is tempting though I already own a trailer, albeit a much smaller trailer. The problem is, I don’t know how often I would get to the trailer. Time, circumstance, and weather are always limiting factors. For example, one year I will manage almost three weeks spread out over the summer, and then the next year perhaps only four days during which time I still have wind and rain making for a less-than-perfect outing.

The world is changing in a hurry and none of us knows how this change will impact naturist havens. Will we be able to even get to our naturist sanctuaries this year? Will the world become even more reactionary and fundamentalist in the aftermath of the current pandemic? Will the world become more liberal and open to nudity which would then leave very little motivation to travel distances and pay fees for the opportunity to be nude, when we could have all of this at home? With so many unknowns, it is hard to make a decision that has a significant cost.

How do you envision the future of naturism in the post-pandemic world? Will we be using our naturist venues more or less? Will the economic cost be too much for a world that is suffering huge disruptions to the local, regional, national, and international economies? I would like to hear your thoughts.

Quarantine Lifted and a Walk in the Countryside

Hiking boots are drying

I’ve just come back from our first walk in the countryside since our return to Canada on March 29th. Unlike during a walk in Ecuador, I never did manage to feel warm even though the walking pace was good and brisk. In Ecuador, I wore only a tan-through Kiniki bathing suit, mini briefs. And at times when the conditions were right, nothing at all. Here on the prairies, I wore two layers of pants including wind pants, three layers on the top half of my body, double layer mitts-gloves, a tuque, and a scarf that served as a face mask. With the temperature at -12 Celsius and a brisk breeze from the northwest bringing the temperature closer to -20 C., there wasn’t any hope of staying warm, let alone warming up and seating beneath my winter parka. Still, it was worth it. Likely I will go out for a second walk this afternoon when the temperature is supposed to warm up to about -5. It’s hard to believe that it is springtime as it feels like it is still winter time. This is definitely not the weather for free-hiking, for the liberation from clothing while walking in the abandoned countryside.

That is the weather on the prairies, a constant set of wave patterns that bounce between winter and spring until the summer when a different wave pattern appears that might throw in a spring-like day, followed by a week that is all autumn, before returning to summer. When I hear about the waves of covid19 that are expected to test our adaptations to a new normal, a normal that has yet to define itself, I look at the evidence of nature on the prairies and can better understand.

Easter weekend this year had some snow, some sunshine, and we were tempted to head out for a walk in spite being in quarantine. Many people that we knew just couldn’t self-discipline as they said enough to social distancing and travelled to visit family for Easter. In places where the weather was actually nice, the abandonment of the distancing principle was almost an epidemic. Many even protested the whole idea of self-distancing citing rights and freedoms. Though the sober voices of our leaders continued to tell us otherwise, our immediate perceptions of reality convinced us that “enough is enough.”

Unlike the next wave of winter, it isn’t just a matter of finding our winter clothing or turning up the thermostats in our homes. Covid19 doesn’t respect our attitudes and certainties. We let down our precautionary measures and a new wave will catch us unprepared. And, we will likely blame someone else for our own behaviours – government leaders, health professionals, a foreign power – just like we blame the weatherman for an unexpected storm that returns us to winter for a while.

We have a long way to go as a collective. We will suffer for our arrogance, our entitlement, our projection of responsibility onto others.

Easter Thoughts as a Naturist

Easter thoughts

It’s supposed to be springtime on the prairies, a time for the circle of life to be in a period of renewal. Emerging from the cover of dead grasses, the crocus wears the colours one often associates with Easter – purple and gold. One of my friends found a crocus on her walk near her home on the prairies. I hope that when I am released from quarantine that I will also find these harbingers of spring.  Nature doesn’t disguise itself, hide its true face, unlike so many humans who abhor the sight of themselves and others. Camouflage is required, often by laws that make no sense.

Our religions are often to blame for this. The Easter story somehow has turned history on its head in order to paint a less-offensive story. Romans crucified criminals without worrying about worrying about their dignity. Nudity was normal. Clothing was worn when required.

Working as fishermen, as carpenters. or at other labour intensive jobs was done while nude. Slaves and peasants had either no, or very few clothes. Yet, we find the reality of history to be offensive, so we cover up wherever we can.

Early church history painted a different picture of Jesus and graced their buildings with this Son of God. He was beyond shame. He was presented as God had made man, unclothed.

Over the centuries, the paintings and the statues were touched up to hide any hint of sexuality. The world changed into a darker place. We are still there, still denying that we are supposedly made in the image of God, born naked in that image. We have redesigned God to be an old man encased in many layers of robes that allow only hands and face to be seen.

This bothers me to no end.

Being There For Others – Clothed or Not

Early morning sunshine

This morning, I woke up to clear skies. With dawn, the sun made an appearance and promised a sunny day. Mid-way through the morning, everything had changed and it began to snow. This is normal for the Canadian prairies. The only certitude is that the world, the weather, and life is dynamic and volatile. With the wind now up, I have decided to stay indoors after a short time outdoors. While outdoors, I managed to cut a piece of wood for a new shelf. Of course, I was doing all of this while unclothed.

Now, I am inside, nice and warm. This afternoon, there is a learning practice run using Zoom to prepare for tomorrow’s extended-family Easter Sunday gathering at distance. So far, the efforts appear to be working quite well once individuals get a bit of experience.  Like the dynamic and changing weather, we are learning about computer-mediated communication in a dynamic manner. The need for learning new ways to relate to each other in these days of covid19 social distancing, is vital.

Connectedness. Being connected in some manner with others is vital to one’s well-being. As people have learned in the past, as long as there is a sense of being connected, one is able to better navigate being alone. In some extreme cases of isolation, that feeling of being connected is often projected onto imaginary friends. When some see one talking to oneself, it could be that was is observed is a real conversation with absent others. Of course, being present face-to-face [f2f] is the optimum means of enabling and enhancing connectedness. Social media and video-conferencing platforms are likely the second best option. Audio [telephones, etc.] connection is next with chat [text] connections rounding out the most prevalent means we use to stay connected to others.

In spite of these options, people still feel disconnected for one reason or other regardless of whether one is in a face-to-face situation or in a chatroom conversation. The means are there, but there remains an internal disconnect. During Covid19, the problem of feeling disconnected and alone is magnified. For many, it needs the catalyst of someone they know, even if only slightly, to breach the isolation being felt. Knowing that, we each need to reach out to others, especially the ones in our lives who have gone silent. One never knows if that will save a life, or save a person’s sanity.

Be there for others, and you might find that others are there for you. This is who we are as humans. We are social beings.

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