Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: October 2021

Halloween and Transition

It’s Halloween, or as it is also known, Samhain. The sun is shining and it is quite cool this morning. I woke up to -10 and then went for a decent hike in the countryside once the temperature soared to -6 Celsius while it was still morning. I want to be home for the early afternoon appearance of little people in search of Halloween treats. Of course, when they come I will be wearing clothing as I do want to continue living in our town and not taking up valuable space in some jail cell which is needed for real criminals.

Typically, the day signals the imminent arrival of NaNoWriMo. However, unlike past years, I won’t be attempting the challenge. I have other priorities for the month of November including the release of my latest naturist-fiction novel, Aliens Among Us, a book that is now on pre-order at Amazon [click here to add your name to the list]. The print version of the book will follow shortly after November 15th. The cover for the novel was designed and executed by Fabien Barabé, an artist from Nova Scotia, Canada.

I have just started another novel that will be space oriented, something that is completely different from any of my past novels. This story will take quite some time to develop as I am hoping to get input from a certain grandson in terms of story line and expected conflicts. I will get to spend some time with him in late November and again in mid December. Once those two meetings are done, I will spend more time on the story.

Until then, I am eighty percent through the rewrite of a non-fiction book that tells a number of micro-stories of marriage to the same woman for fifty years. I am hoping to have the story edited before Christmas so that our children and grandchildren can have their copies as Christmas presents. So, as you can see, there is no time for a focused NaNoWriMo adventure.

Now, with all that said, my words return to Halloween and Samhain. The intent going back centuries, if not longer, is about marking a transition. Days are getting shorter here on the prairies north of the 49th parallel, and nights are getting longer. Frost is becoming more and more of the norm, a sign that the big deep freeze of winter is on the horizon. There will be less and less opportunity for me to be out in nature while nude though not a decrease in the amount of time I spend clothing free. It is a time for transitioning from a life lived in the outer world, to a more contemplative time.

Taking Risks During a Drought

Early morning

I woke up in darkness, a normal thing this time of year on the Canadian prairies. At some point during the night, a light rain shower had happened. Unlike yesterday when I woke up to minus temperatures, today was a balmy +7 Celsius. I have to admit it, I couldn’t resist experiencing the smell and feel of moisture in the air. I took out my good camera and tripod to attempt capturing an image to mark this moment. Some of you might know that we are in the midst of a drought and there is no end in sight.

There is no doubt that drought affects the mental well-being of a person. People become more anxious and irritable, less resilient to the local, regional and global challenges that assault them via mass media and social media. People become listless and angry. These responses to drought are the same whether the drought is weather related, relationship related, work related, or about a dry spell in one’s creative endeavours.

I am one of the lucky ones. I am older and have no worries about my future. I know that I am on the slippery slope that will only end with my becoming a memory. It almost is a relief as it allows me to feel I have more freedom to do what I really want to do – within reason of course, after all, I do live in a community and there are laws.

As a writer, I have experienced creative droughts, some of which lasted longer than I would have preferred. I still experience droughts but they don’t seem to last as long. It only takes a tiny crack in the drought, such as last night’s brief shower, for me to rush in and allow the ideas to come to life. I am more willing to take risks with my writing, and for some reason I begin to believe that my writing is getting better because of it.

Lanie’s View of Naturist Images

Lanie

It has been a while since Lanie was featured here. It is with her permission of course, that I once again bring some of her images here, along with some of her words. Because of the last few posts that talk of people posting images of themselves on social media such as Twitter, I want to dig further into the reasons “why.” Why the nude images of self and what do these images say”

Lanie had a quick response for me, “I have had a month recovering from eye surgery so I was delighted to be out and about on a beautiful Autumn day in lovely surroundings and feeling so free and liberated to embrace my newly acquired curves (Post lockdown) I’m loving the skin I’m in and enjoy being a mature model. As I age I blossom like a wonderful bottle of delicious full bodied wine enriched with experience. We are all unique and I think we should accept ourselves, curves and all.”

I wonder how many of us come to appreciate our bodies and our psyche as we age? I know that many find the process very difficult to deal with. The loss of youthful appearance and the beginnings of one’s body breaking down, little by little over time is a hard pill to swallow. Many invest more money in fashion and cosmetics to hide the truth of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and old injuries. For them it is better to embrace a lie for as long as possible. There is no relief and acceptance of their personal reality.

I am one of those who are aging and whose body is reflecting that process. I had thought that I should perhaps invest in more exercise equipment with the view of reshaping my body that is beginning to go too soft. However, that idea was soon abandoned when I realised that despite what my ego was telling me, I am okay for a man over seventy years of age. Going over my photo journal, I could see how time shows physical changes. Yet, the photos don’t tell the whole story. That story needs words and must talk about more than surface appearances.

I also love how our bodies are made up of soft and hard curves, shapes, lines and edges as is the landscape, nature and architecture – we are all interconnected which is a splendid thing.” Lanie added in her messages to me.

We are all connected and our bodies are truth of that. All of us age and change as we age. Just as nature ages and changes, what emerges is indeed beautiful. Yet saying that, accepting the changes of aging does not imply doing what one can do naturally through exercise and healthy living should be ignored. Our bodies are temples and they need proper due care and attention … and celebration.

Images and Community

Emma keeping connected with Community.

The summer season in the northern hemisphere is done and many of us are resisting as much as possible, the descent into the darker season of winter. Days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping. In summer, the community of those who embrace clothes-free living as much as practically possible, posted many images of themselves [myself included] to the online community. Yoga outdoors, hiking outdoors, nature scenes, gardening scenes, social scenes – you name it, we took the pictures and shared them. During the past 18 months the pandemic made the online community a vital piece of finding ways to remain sane and feeling less alone and isolated. Emma James has been an active member of the community who has reached out and encouraged so many with her images and her words. Today, she shared this image with the community and then gave me permission to share that image here.

Hanging out bedding and towels at -1 C.

Like others, I created an image this morning to add to the community. Emma has been responsible for many embracing what she once called the Diary of a Nude, DOAN. Being a thick-skinned Canadian, I can tolerate cooler temperatures better than many others, so I attempt to do “normal” things outdoors as much as possible. Indoors, I live nude unless we have visitors or it is mealtime. Dressing up for a meal is de rigeur.

So what is it about images we post of ourselves while being nude? Is it exhibitionism? Is there some thought that doing so will somehow give us friends or potentially a mate? Is it a sign of a personality disorder? To be honest, there is no one right answer. There are exhibitionists, narcissists, friend-starved individuals, and those needing psychotherapy in the crowd. However, for the most part, most are just normal people who are confident enough in themselves to risk engaging with others who share similar values. Each person is unique.

For those within the community, uniqueness is honoured. No one bothers to judge others for choices made, whether BIPOC, the LGBT+ community, conservatives and liberals, religious and non-religious, or whatever metric you want to use. Images, honest images, let others get to know the face behind the words spoken in the community. There is no focus on a particular body type or even gender. All the scars of living are exposed and honoured. I guess, in a way, we could state that the community is body-positive though I am not so sure of that.

I understand this to be more of a person being self-positive and self-accepting. And at the same time, being honest with oneself that the journey to be our best selves is far from done. We acknowledge that the bodies we live in need to be nourished and taken care of to the best of our ability, an acknowledgement that doesn’t mean everyone is on a diet to lose weight or strive for a body-builder physique. After all, we are each given a body to house our thinking selves, whatever it is that allows us awareness of self.

Images are one of the things that allow us as individuals to track our own journey through time and space, a journey that includes “others” whether we want that to be the case or not. We belong in community regardless of how big or small the community might be. In reality, we belong in several communities within which we carve out separate identities or personae. In the end, we are the sum of all these identities. Whether or not there is a community of nude others is irrelevant. The persona we adopt in relation to our own naked bodies is part of the whole self.

Now, it is time for your words here. Nude images? Yay or nay? Why or why not?

Nude Meditation

Joy Nelson and Nude Meditation

It is cold out this morning, literally cold. I woke up to -8 Celsius temperatures, a “hard” frost as it is called around here. Summer is officially over and winter will soon make its entrance changing our lives here on the Canadian prairies. Outdoor nudity will become more and more of a rarity. With the coming of winter, I tend to shift from outdoor meditation to indoor sitting meditation. I’m not sure about most other people, but nude meditation has been a significant part of my life for more than a decade.

There are a few [actually more than a few] others who find time for nude meditation in some form or other. For some it is based on yogic practice, such as for Joy Nelson. For others, it has to do with calming inner demons. And for some, the practice is all about spiritual connection. For me, it is a combination of taming the darkness and opening myself to the universe and connecting to my roots in the universe. I have no religious attachment to meditation though I did begin meditation practice 49 years ago via Transcendental Meditation workshops with some kind of guru on the prairies. Ten years ago, I reached out to Tibetan Buddhism and learned to include conscious walking meditation while learning to be a Buddhist.

Meditation in a field of clover 2011

Today, I can’t claim to be a Buddhist. I don’t have the discipline or the inclination. My strong roots in Jungian psychology and my acceptance of being an individual [individuation] on a journey of self-discovery are barriers to my being able to commit to any outside authority when it comes to self and soul. My spirituality comes from within, not from some some guru, prophet, saviour, or cult leader. This isn’t said to diminish the paths and choices of others, it is simply a statement of who and how I am.

I meditate nude. This doesn’t define me as I do many other things while nude such as gardening, carpentry, writing, sleeping, and drinking tea, coffee and wine. Yet, meditating nude does add another layer that needs to be known if an “other” is to know me in more than a two-dimensional being.

For too many people, meditation, either nude or clothed, doesn’t fit into their lives. There is no time, no focus, no certainty that the time spent meditating will give them benefits. Though I began meditation, consciously committing to meditation, forty-nine years ago, there have been long periods where “life” was too filled for me to continue the practice. I gave up these sacred moments for stuff and activity and wasted hours, believing I had no time. Those beliefs crippled me for a long time. Thankfully, I survived and I retired [sort of] and pulled the pieces of me back together like some artist using powdered gold to make a lacquer to weld those pieces into a whole.

Do you meditate? Do you meditate nude? Why or why not? I am hoping to hear your story, your experience.

Freedom and Nudity

Wickaninnish Beach, Vancouver Island

I have returned home after a month on the road. It was a good trip. I am surprised at just how much time I got to spend clothing free and my experiences during that month, such as my skinny dip attempt while in Tofino as seen in this image taken by my wife. I did get out far enough to take a short dip but the water was too cold to make it much of an event.

Since I have come home, I have been busy with doing some garden work – taking off the carrots and beets and the work around that to prepare them for the winter. Then, I began to do the first part of tilling the garden. We have two gardens, a small one which used to be a raspberry garden, and a larger one which we use for vegetables. Today I turned over the small garden using a spade as the ground was too hard for a gas-fueled tiller. The second round of tilling that garden will be with the rototiller. The weather is turning quite cold outside with single digit temperatures in the afternoon, as well as brisk winds. As long as I keep myself busy and wear a tuque, all is well.

Tilling in late afternoon sunshine

So why do I even bother with testing my limits? After all, it is cold outside. To be honest, I don’t have a good reason other than I “need” to do this. The more I am nude, the less stress that I feel. The nudity is for me, for my mental health and well-being. It isn’t an attempt to be seen by neighbours or to titillate. I share some images here to illustrate and nothing more. After all, a 70+ aged man naked man is never going to cause a rush of lust in other people.

I feel free and liberated and alive when I am nude. I know that I am alive and free when I am clothed, but it is different, a difference that only others who enjoy being nude can understand. There is a special kind of freedom when one is nude.

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