Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: October 2020

Gathering Wool or Gathering Data

An introvert at home

Being an introvert doesn’t mean that I am more or less rational than an extrovert. Nor, does it mean that I am more or less irrational. In the effort to try and understand myself and others, I have done a lot of studying and taken innumerable sorts of personality tests. After all, the objective is to “know thyself” as Socrates once stated thousands of years ago. You’d think that we would have had it all figured out by now.

Yet, here I am, a man who is seventy-one years of age, and still wrestling with this task of trying to know and understand myself. Why am I so invested in naturism? Why do I slip out of my clothing at every possible chance? Why do I let other people know this about myself? Why? Why? Why? Obviously, I don’t really have an answer to give to you, my readers. However, I can shed a bit of light on personality. Knowing the kind of person one is gives each of us a good starting point.

For example, in my last post, I talked about the attitudes of introversion and extroversion. With that knowledge tucked away in the background, there is a similar polarity in how we gather information, which then leads to another polarity in how we arrive at decisions using the data. I want to talk about how we gather data in today’s post. As I mentioned above, there is a polarity similar to that of introversion and extroversion. At one end is the use of sensation to gather data – what one sees, hears, tastes, smells, and touches. At the other end is intuition, where data is gathered more globally in nature.

100% Intuition ……………….. 0% or X ………………… Sensation 100%

As with extroversion and introversion, one is not locked in an either/or situation. Depending on many factors, each of us uses both to gather data with which we will then be able to make decisions based on that data. And as with extroversion and introversion, there is a resting point where for the individual is most like herself or himself. For me, that is at 80% along the Intuition sector. For the record, reason plays no role in the gathering of data. The data flows in and reason only comes into play when it is time to deal with that data. Because of that fact, both Sensation and Intuition are called irrational in nature. We perceive data before we work with data. How we perceive the data falls somewhere between the two poles. And to make a point, that place shifts constantly.

I walk down a road, wearing my clothing. There comes a point somewhere along the way where the data tells me that I am safe to remove my clothing. That data comes from a big picture, not from what my physical senses are telling me. When I trust my intuition, I make better choices for me. When I ignore my intuition and just use sensory data, I have been known to get into trouble – the empty road didn’t alert me to a truck that was moving my way, behind me, unseen. There is no right way or wrong way for the collection of data. Neither method is fool proof.

So, with that said, how do you typically gather information which will eventually allow you to make decisions? As for making the decisions, that is an entirely different post.

An Introvert in a Word Filled with Extroverts

Early winter has arrived

Well, it looks like early winter has set in here on the Canadian prairies. I woke up to -13 Celsius and the long term forecast tells me that there will be no overnight lows above freezing for the foreseeable future. As a writer, this is perhaps the best and most productive time of year. The urge to be doing something outdoors rather than sitting at a desk [or other writing location] seems to abate with colder outdoor temperatures. At least indoors, I don’t have to wear clothing. Warmer temperatures make it too tempting to stay inside.

I still go for long walks with my wife, despite the weather. Our daily average for the past few weeks has inched up to about ten kilometres with a mixture of 8, 10, and 12 km routes to be walked. Today, with sub-freezing temperatures, we walked a short five and a half kilometres, mainly because of the wind which adds to the discomfort. But of course, we dressed appropriately. Warm sweat pants topped with a thin wind pant on the bottom, and tee shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, and a very light jacket with hood for the top. A pair of mittens and a tuque finished off our wardrobe for hiking. The motto nude when possible, and clothed when practical definitely plays a role in my life.

In this time of COVID 19, I don’t find it as much of a hardship to keep my physical distance from people as others who are more social beings, extroverts. I am an introvert. On a scale from 0 to 100, I am around 90% introverted. That is at my resting state when all things are equal in my life. However, I shift closer to the centre of the spectrum when life’s situations demand such as when socialising with people I know, or teaching, or working with a client. That is the key to understanding the relationship between introversion and extroversion. It is “work” for an introvert to act and be in the world in a more extroverted manner. One isn’t locked into a particular number on the line.

Introvert 100% ………. 0% or X ………. 100% Extrovert

Introversion and extroversion are described in psychological terms as attitude types. The psychologist who introduced the psychological description of personality types that is widely accepted and know in modern times, was Carl Gustav Jung. He looked at how humans seem to fall between to poles. The first pole, introversion, was characterised by an interest in the inner world where ideas trump things. The opposite pole, extroversion is drawn to things and finds more value in the outer world of things than the inner world of ideas.

It probably isn’t an accident that most people who are drawn to the arts, to music, to poetry, to authoring stories, and such are for the most part introverted. That isn’t to say that extroverts don’t write good poetry or novels, or paint, or dance, or create music. However, the products of their efforts do reflect their “dominant” attitude. For example, in the world of art, the more abstract, either in brush strokes or content, the chances are that the painter is predominantly introverted. The works of art that are almost precise replications of a subject, be it nature, a person, or a human construct, the more that the artist is more extroverted.

What is your experience? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you thrive best with quiet and relationships with fewer people, or with engagement and activity with others and the outer world?

Writing, Walking, Repeat

A break from writing with indoor sunshine

NaNoWriMo, the thirty day novel writing project, is quickly approaching. Since I have at least six writing projects in process, I have found it hard to focus on one particular project since returning to Canada in March 2020. I blame it on COVID 19. Now, in just over two weeks, I will be adding yet another novel to the mix. How do I manage to keep my sanity with all of this going on at the same time? Well, for me, it is walking.

A number of my blog posts have been about free-hiking, hiking while free from the confines of clothing. It has been a good year for this kind of activity. However, most of my walking has been done in the company of my wife while I wear clothing. It isn’t because of her presence, but because of where we usually walk. At times she walks with me when I free-hike without issue. And of course, weather is also a factor of whether or not I wear clothing when I hike. With summer gone and winter not yet here, walking outdoors has remained a very enjoyable activity. For example, over the past week alone, our shortest walk has been an 8 km effort. All the rest have been a mixture of 10 and 12 km efforts, or longer.

Sheltered sunshine

I write in the morning after coffee. Then, after breakfast we go for a walk. Lately we have been walking at a brisker pace, usually around 5.3 km/hr such as today’s 10 km walk. Upon our return, I return to writing as I want to recapture some of the ideas that had presented themselves while I walked. Weather permitting, I then spend some time outside doing yard work, such as pruning young trees, or simply enjoying autumn sunshine in spite of cool temperatures. With this diversion, I find myself finally able to get back to focused writing.

My current writing focus has shifted to a story about two youths who have their lives turned upside down because of a pandemic. The story isn’t really about the pandemic, but more about how a small group of people respond to the pandemic. When I first began the novel, I thought it was going to be more “normal” and more “reflective of the COVID 19 pandemic. But as usual, my intentions were turned aside as the writing muse had dictated another approach. Unlike any of my previous works, this story could be categorised as Young Adult as the protagonist and his co-protagonist are both 18 years old. It won’t be a naturist novel, though naturism could be assumed to be in the background from time to time. The setting is in northern Canada for the most part though there is an assumption that there are other places yet to be in time. I guess that suggests that this could end up being a series rather than a single story.

The story has a working title, Pandemic Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a uniquely constructed cabin in the northern wilderness. I have already placed the first two chapters of the story at Wattpad in hopes that I get feedback from readers. I have done this in the past with good results. You can find the story, Pandemic Sanctuary, here. Please take the time to read, to like, and to comment. Don’t be afraid to make critical comments when you spot something that needs attention. The final objective is to have an error-free and interesting read.

Canadian Thanksgiving

Thankful for sunshine

Tomorrow is the official day for Thanksgiving in Canada. However like almost all Canadians, the whole of the three-day weekend is treated as Thanksgiving. Actually, for many, the holiday begins at some point on Friday. On Friday, I went solo hiking, as the previous post explained. Yesterday, I went hiking again, this time with my wife who had booked the day off. Today, she is back at work until the middle of the afternoon, at which point, we will work together to prepare our Thanksgiving feast, including the obligatory turkey.

Yesterday began with a long drive to reach a new hiking trail. Along the way, I managed to take a few wildlife photos of Pronghorn antelopes, Sandhill cranes, and a Coyote. It seemed that the animals and birds were patient while I set up my camera to get a collection of images. Of course, I took other photos as well as we were travelling down a road not yet taken in the past. However, that drive to our hiking destination was filled with wildlife. I was thankful for such a wealth of images and scenes that illustrated just how beautiful our world is.

Once we began our ten and a half kilometre long hike, with about half of it on loose sand, the energy levels rose. I love hiking, both clothed and nude. About two and a half kilometres into our hike, a small herd of Mule deer appeared. And like the other animals, they stopped and waited patiently for me to get a couple of photos.

At just over the halfway point, we stopped to get the sand out of our shoes and to enjoy an apple before walking the last four kilometres. My wife decided that I needed another photo taken of me. What was one of the things that made the day’s hike extra wonderful was the warmth and the sunshine. According to the two-week weather forecast, it was the last day of warm temperatures, meaning that we celebrated the end of Indian Summer together outdoors.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Having someone to share the days and the years has been the greatest blessing that I have been given. Having someone who shares my passions, well most of them, makes our years together even better. This day of hiking accented the need to recognise that I owe thanks to Mother Nature and our planet. For a wonderous day, the Internet and social media were set aside.

Once we got back home, the warm temperatures continued through the evening. We had wine on our back deck and some warmed up pizza. It is unlikely that we will have another evening of wine and relaxing music on the back deck where I don’t have to wear clothing until sometime next spring. I realise that it isn’t Thanksgiving Day in the rest of the world, yet I do know that regardless of an official day of thanksgiving, we all have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving! Joyeux Action de Graces!

October Free-Hike on the Prairies

October free-hike

I didn’t believe that I would fit in another free-hike this year because of weather and a host of other reasons, but with weather being the prime deterrent. Today was a sunny day though the temperature was anything but promising. The forecast high was for 13 Celsius with a brisk breeze of 25 km/h. Once I had eaten lunch, I risked a writing break in the backyard. I saw sunshine in the corner by the shed and wondered if it would be worth spending time outside while nude. A half hour in the sunshine was enough to convince me to attempt a free-hike though the temperature had only reached 11 Celsius by three in the afternoon.

I pulled up to my regular departure point, parking my truck in a stubble field. Getting out of the truck, the breeze made me wonder if I was losing my mind. I dithered for a bit before chiding myself for being such a wimp. Off came my clothing which I put into a small bag, along with my keys, wallet, and phone. And then I was off. It was the sunshine that made the decision easier to make.

I walked down the familiar dirt road and turned off at an opening between two hills. I decided to explore the valley I had never walked down before. I stopped every once in a while to make the six kilometre hike last longer. I had all the time I needed to make the most of this golden opportunity. It was with a bit of regret when I reached the turn-around point of my hike. The journey back to my truck would have the sun at my side while I faced the breeze for the three kilometre return hike.

The walk was an unexpected gift from 2020.

Remember to Turn On the Light

Greeting the dawn

I woke up early this morning. It was darker than dark. I sat in the darkness in my living room, staring out the window where a street light seemed to accent the darkness. I knew that in another two hours, the sky would begin shifting to daylight. Knowing that the light was making its way to where I sat while staring out the window, I was able to sip my coffee in comfort. The darkness became calming, almost restful despite a lack of sleep. I am one of the fortunate modern humans. I have managed to navigate from a world where inner darkness reigned supreme, into an inner world where there is a beacon of light.

Before the sun rose, in the early light of dawn, I went outside and did my part to greet the emerging light. In the bigger picture, I see myself as a point of light, one of many such lights. It isn’t an ego thing where I am at the centre. Rather, it is a realisation that I am simply a container, a mirror of something bigger than myself. In total darkness, all that exists is thought, if anything. None can see themselves or others in total darkness. Yet, one can, if one dares, talk to the darkness.

It is at moments like this that I can understand how humanity has created or fallen into states of spirituality. Total darkness has a dark spirituality that denies or defies the light. There is no nothing but fear and hatred to feed on. Total light blinds and has its own rage and fear. It is an embrace of both light and dark that allows for dawn and sunrises, dusk and sunsets.

As a single point of light that is self-aware, one is better able to see the world as it is, and how one is within that world. Being self-aware is a journey that doesn’t appear to have a destination point where one can state, “I have arrived.” Rather, it is dropping all disguises to stand naked in both the darkness and the light, risking being seen by others without the masks and camouflage that we use as protective covers. When we can’t look at ourselves without disgust, we dare not expose ourselves to others lest they see us as we believe we are. Negative self-concept feeds that disgust with the self. It also feeds anger that is then projected on others. We see this negative self-concept and dark projections overwhelming our world.

Yet, it need not be this way. The darkness that tortures us can be banished. There is a light within each of us that can be turned on if we would only dare. It is hard work. We need to see ourselves with more than our eyes that have been taught to be self-critical. We need to learn that beauty is not totally physical. Only when one can release the fear and the anger, can one breathe freely.

Falling Into Autumn

Turning the garden soil

I’m back home in my small house on the prairies after a visit to my son’s home where I got to play at being grandfather. Thankfully, the weather was pleasant enough to spend time outdoors, planting leaves with the three-year old and visiting a local park with her and her younger brother. As we were playing later in the day, in the house, building a Lego castle, I noticed that one of the shelves in the living room had books on display. There are books everywhere in the house, not too unexpected. However, the living room isn’t what I would call the scattered library found in other rooms.

Curious, I looked at the titles and noticed that beside travel books, my novels, poetry books, and autobiography books were included. Now, there is no way that I could say that my daughter-in-law, who arranged this selection, is a naturist. Yet, here on display were books, especially the poetry books which contained nude photos, were naturist fiction and non-fiction books. The books weren’t hidden in a room where guests would likely never find themselves. Needless to say, this meant a lot to me.

Now that I am back at home, it is time to get back to writing as well as finishing up some garden-related chores. This morning, I had a bit of spade work left in the garden that needed to be done to loosen up the packed soil where the beets and carrots had been grown. This afternoon, I will travel to get a truck load of sheep manure for the vegetable garden [we took the last of the carrots out yesterday afternoon]. Once the manure is spread on the garden, I will do a final tilling of the soil to mix in the manure. And, as most of my readers know, almost all work done in the yard, I do while clothing-free.

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