Passing Thoughts About Images

As I mentioned in my first post, I live in a northern, temperate climate. Since it is April, early April, there is no guarantee that there won’t be snow. We had snow last night and there is more such moisture happening for the rest of today. I don’t mind snow, at least in the right seasons. This morning, despite the snow, feels rather nice. Because the world had warmed up in my corner of the universe, it wasn’t so cold on my feet to check out the world contained in my backyard.

I left my footprints behind me as I wandered onto the back deck, just as I have left footprints on beaches by the water’s edge. And just like those footprints in the sand, my snow-edged footprints will disappear as though they were never there. I think my life is like that to an extent. In time, my presence will fade from memories, perhaps even from myself. What remains when presence has faded? In fifty years from now, I will be nothing but a foggy memory for a select few. A few photographs such as this one taken this morning, will tell only some of the story. The story seen in this image is non-sexual in content and intent. So what story will emerge in the years to come with images such as this one.

I use photographs for a variety of reasons. Currently I am creating a book for my youngest grandchild who will turn three years old later this spring. The book is a picture book that tells the story of his first three years of life, pictures that show the people in his life interacting with him. As he grows older, memories of his first three years of life will fade and perhaps disappear. That’s normal. It is rare for anyone to remember the first four years of life. This book will preserve those initial memories. Perhaps, the photos in this book will allow him to remember more of his early childhood.

As I said, I use photographs. I literally have tens of thousands of photographs going back decades. Most of these photos are of people, places, and events. A small number of them show nudity. Over the past ten years, the majority of these nude images are of myself. Other than rare sharing of selected images with select others, no one sees these images other than me. I keep a journal, a private journal where I place one or two such images as illustration of the day’s events. Now, I wonder about these images. What if they became public and everyone who knows me were to see them?

That’s a daunting thought. I mean there are my children and grandchildren to consider. There are siblings, cousins and other extended family members to think about as well. There are neighbours and community members with whom I interact with on a regular basis. What about those whom I don’t know but who could have an impact on my life should they see those images? I mean, should I destroy them and hope none that have been shared fall into the dustbin of time? What do I have to gain? What do I have to lose?

Many of the others whom I know through Twitter, believe that the photos, theirs and mine, will change the world to become more tolerant, more accepting of the unclothed body. They speak of #NormalisingNudity and #NormalisingNaturism [I use the Canadian version of these hashtags – it isn’t a spelling mistake]. To be honest, I just don’t see that happening in my lifetime. What I do see is that the world is drifting to a less liberal worldview, a more fundamentalist worldview where differences will be less tolerated. It’s just my opinion, and I don’t pretend to be an authority.

So, why do I even bother with images where I or others are dressed only with air, skyclad? Honestly, I am just being me. I won’t be changing the world, my community, or my family. I don’t want to control others. I also don’t want others to control me.

à la prochaine – until the next time

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2 Responses to Passing Thoughts About Images

  1. Robert Payne says:

    Your last paragraph is all that any of us need to say.
    Thank you

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