Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Category: depth psychology (Page 1 of 10)

From Darkness to Light

Early morning darkness

I’m sitting in the darkness of early morning with only my screen and a fireplace set on low flame providing the only light. Outside, a full moon makes the snow appear to glisten, while two female mule deer wander slowly down the street, stopping only metres away from the window to listen before slowly sauntering across the street to an empty lot. It’s cold outside, well sort of cold at -12 Celsius. There is a light breeze blowing making it feel like -16 C. It’s the perfect time for one’s thinking to be less than bright and cheerful. As I scroll through my social media accounts, there is little to find that inspires hope. Stress is the norm. Frantic activity becomes a weapon to beat away the shadows that threaten. All of us need to find and use strategies to channel our frustrations. Our mental and physical well-being depends upon it.

It has been a year of losses for so many of us, if not most of us. Some have lost loved ones, some have lost livelihoods, some have lost connections with others, and most have lost faith in the governments that have been elected to protect us. I am trying to put a veneer of positivity in my own life. After all, I have everything I would ever need. I have no debts. I have good health, and I have family though I can’t visit them except virtually. Covid19 did enter my world in a personal way when our middle child got the virus. She works in the medical world, a front-line worker. Thankfully, she got over it without damage though her three children and her husband lived in fear until she was cleared and able to return to working full-time with covid19 clients. She messaged me to let me know she just got the first dose of vaccine. Needless to say, it did a lot to ease the pressure in my chest.

In a few days, 2020 will come to an end. The vaccine has become the symbol of a pathway out of the darkness of 2020. Will I get the vaccine? When it is my turn, I will. I want to travel again so that I can actually see my children and grandchildren face-to-face, to hug them, and … the list is so long. Like everyone else in my network, both virtual and actual dimensions, there is a thread of hope that begins to grow as the nights begin to diminish, even if ever so slowly.

How long will it take? No one knows. We only know the now. There is no choice but to hold the tension of what is. Being present, even though it is painful in so many ways, is vital. Slipping into the dimension of the past, constantly looking at the world through a rear-view mirror only feeds depression. Escaping into thoughts of the future feeds a crippling anxiety. We have managed to get to today, and that is a major victory. The knowledge that there is a spring and summer to follow has fueled our collective psyche since humans became conscious beings, allowing us to walk through the darkness of time of year, of spirit, and relationship with others.

The full moon told me this, as did the flame that ripples in my fireplace.

Moving Towards a New Normal

Privacy fence

The new privacy fence is done. I still have a repair to do for one of the old fence sections by the garden. With that done, I now have a new fence, a new garden shed, and a new deck. That brings an end to my focus on building projects, at least until the autumn season.

This has been a very different kind of spring for me. Normally, I would have travelled to three different homes scattered across the Canadian and American prairies to visit my grandchildren. As well, I would have attended about five book-signing events with the hopes of selling more of my books. Because of #StayHome #StaySafe, I have not ventured out using my truck, with the exception of two lumber yards and two grocery stores. The only other times for leaving the house and our property was to go for walks. It has been a strange three months indeed.

I’ve been paying attention to life. I have decided that this year will not have me travel to sell books at major bookstore signing events as I have done for the past three years. I don’t see or feel the need to travel very much. I have a yard that is now naturist friendly. I have free-hiking trails not too distant from my home. And, I have more than enough projects to keep me busy – writing projects for the most part. Naturally, #Covid19 has played a big role in having me think twice about travelling and trying to keep life “normal.” There is no returning to the old normal. All of us are finding ourselves forced to create a “new normal.”

Another decision I have made because of moving to a new normal, is with regards to this blog site. For a while, I have wondered about keeping it up. I think I have exhausted my desire to keep a naturist blog site going. I have been publishing naturist posts since 2009. My audience has dropped off significantly over the past number of months, suggesting that my readers are basically done with the blog site. as well. However, instead of shutting it down, I will try to post weekly for a while.  I will re-evaluate my decision later this summer. Before making a hasty decision, I will leave the fate of the site to you, my readers.

Getting Down to Naturist Basics and Deck Building

Filling my truck with free dirt

Well, it seems that my last post was a “dud” as far as my readers are concerned. Perhaps, it was because it was too serious, too psychological. Though it has garnered no likes or comments, I will leave it there while I return to posting less serious material. I have a feeling that the corona virus pandemic has affected us all with its seriousness, leaving us to want to hear more “normal” stories of daily life, a naturist normal. With that said, I will return to my actual life on the prairies in the present, a life with limited outdoor nudity because it still isn’t warm enough to spend too many hours outdoors without clothing.

The shed is done and the old deck is now gone. For the next while, I will be getting the structural frame for a new deck built. For an academic type such as myself, this is easier said than done. I end up spending a lot of time “thinking” before doing, just so that I don’t have to tear it all done because either a, b, or c hadn’t been considered. One of the pre-construction tasks has been to build up the dirt around the house so that water doesn’t flow toward the house, a real problem for older houses.

I know a farmer not too far from town, who has a large hill of dirt next to a large dugout he has had prepared to bury old concrete and such. I got permission from him for a small truckload of dirt to be used against the house. Though it was cold and windy, I did manage a few moments of nudity while shovelling, just to say that I am tough. Of course, I wasn’t that tough as I soon reverted to my work jeans and a checkered shirt, along with my work gloves. I filled the truck the old fashioned way, by hand. That task done, I returned home with the intention of emptying it at some later point during the day. Two hours later the dirt was where it belonged.

Then it was time to plan out my first beam that would span twenty feet [east-west].  I placed four cement pads at regular intervals to hold the doubled 2×8 beams. Then I placed an adjustable deck support on top of each of the pads. Taking a length of wood, I then found that I was able to have the beam supports just as I wanted them. That was yesterday.

Today, we went for a six kilometre walk as a change of pace to begin the day. Once back, I got to work making sure that all was ready for the next stage. Now, in the middle of the afternoon, all turned out just as I had hoped for which now allows me to prepare for the second of three beams that will support the deck surface. Life is good and it’s time for some tea, or nude tea time in the back yard.

The Healing Journey of Naturism

The deck is gone

The deck has been completely deconstructed. The deck flooring has been saved and that is about it save for a few pieces of 2x6s that will find a use in the new deck.  This whole process of deconstruction is vital when one is engaged in the change process. As a former mental-health counsellor with a background in Jungian psychology, I learned that in order to move forward, one needs to let go of the past. Of course, it’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. We all have a host of hooks that are  connected to our pasts, hooks that are very reluctant to let us go forward.

Think of the work to change one’s self, as the magnum opus of one’s life. Ordinarily, one enters this work with the goal of getting past an issue that has seemed to almost disable one’s life. Perhaps it is a divorce, or the loss of a child, or some inexplicable anger or anxiety that just doesn’t want to let go of us. Engaging with a specialist who has skills is one necessary path that deals with the psyche; perhaps taking the medical route is also necessary where medications are critical because of a physical issue such as cancer or other condition; and for some, setting out on a life-changing journey is called for. I mention these so that you, my reader, don’t get the idea that there is one answer that is best for everyone. Likely, for most people, it will be a combination of any and all that will allow one to let go of “what is/was” and make the transformation to the desired state – feeling alive and invested.

Naturism is one of those journeys that take a person from a darker place to one that is filled with light. Ask almost any naturist and you will hear much the same thing – being fully present to sunlight in a nature setting is the ultimate in personal freedom. It really isn’t about other people, by that I mean one doesn’t need the presence of others to experience this transcendent state. Rather, the presence of others often gets in the way of that transcendence. Given the right circumstances of setting, a person gets to be fully present to herself or himself. The personal shadows are banished by light, at least for the duration of the moment of transcendence. It is at this time that one experiences a “preferred” version of self, a version that becomes a new hook for the psyche to grasp and hold while leaving the darker version of self.

Repetition of the experience creates a trail through the doubts and fears that have helped keep one hostage to depression and to the old beliefs of self. Taking off the clothes, literally, is matched by taking off the hooks that hold one hostage. The feelings of transcendence allow feelings of fear, anger, confusion, and a host of other disabling conditions to lose their stranglehold of power. Bit by bit, the old foundation is removed, one issue, one problem at a time. What is rotten in the old foundation is discarded. What is valued, and there is much about one that is worth saving, is kept. Using naturism as a catalyst, the self is put back together leaving the diseased parts out.

It is a personal journey, not a social journey. Naturism does have a social element that can be supportive of one’s transformation to a more authentic self. However, there is a danger in substituting “others” over the “self.” One can’t really be a whole and healthy person when the valuation of a new collective becomes a new hook a new distraction from the hard work of becoming the person one is meant to become.

Oh, Lordy, I have blathered on and likely have bored too many of my readers. Time for me to make a cup of tea and relax with another distracting Netflix offering on this cloudy, cold, and windy day.

The Naturist Blog Site’s Audience

Nude but not rude

I have been reading a number of posts from naturist bloggers whom I respect, that are talking about the use of images on Naturist Blog sites. The consensus appears to be that “borrowing” images from the world of cyberspace, with the exception of images that are in the public domain of Creative Commons, is a no-no. I have been of the same opinion for many years though I do admit that every now and then, one sneaks into a post without my first having done due diligence as to whether or not the image is actually in the public domain.

As a result, I am making an effort to verify all the images that haven’t been taken by me, or by someone who has given me express permission to use a given image. Even with these “with permission” photos, there is a legal requirement for having a photo release document for each of these photos if there are questions in the future. However, with the exception of such photos that I have used in my published poetry books, I doubt that I will worry about it. I did have the poetry book photos covered with release forms. So, if a photo disappears from an archived post, likely it is because the image was not proven to be in the public domain.

I am continuing to use photos, almost solely taken by myself, for this blog site. This is a naturist’s blog site and my photos will reflect that fact. That said, I am not “genital centric” when it comes to these photographs. For example, in today’s photo taken moments before I began to write this post, it is obvious that I am not wearing clothing and that I am outdoors. Equally as obvious is the fact that I am a male and wouldn’t qualify as a specimen showing a classical, muscular model.  You don’t need to see a penis for the photo to do its task of telling a story. In this case, the photo was taken for my diary/journal in which I record my projects such as the current one where I am deconstructing a deck in order to rebuild a safer version of the deck. Some of the work is done while nude, while most of it is done while wearing clothing – it’s mostly about weather at this time of year.

Do I need to have photos? For me, the answer is quite easy. This is my site, one open to the world and more importantly, one that is about the reality of who I am. I choose what to say, I choose what images to use, and I choose over time, which posts will survive in the archives. Not everything I write needs to be saved for posterity. My journal is a different story. Just like writing and then editing a novel, or even a non-fiction book, not everything written gets to make the cut for the final product.

There are “purists” out there who would and do judge based on some sort of fundamentalist belief that a) genitals must be presented in a naturist photo, overtly or casually, b) that nude photos must be included, and c) that whatever has been written MUST be left in the archives. These fundamentalists don’t have blog sites for the most part though they are quick to let others know what constitutes a “real naturist.” It’s all about control. They want to have the naturist world conform to some vague, amorphous ideal that is circulating in their heads with the problem being that these ideals are set in stone, slightly differently, for each of the purist fundamentalists.

Okay, I got off track there, apologies [I am a Canadian and apologising is part of our cultural psyche – yes, this is humour] are extended.

I have been deleting posts from the archives. In my opinion, what is eventually left is worth reading. Some of them will likely be revisited and expanded upon as I perhaps gain a bit more wisdom or see an opportunity to add to the topic of a particular blog post from the past. Editing. All writers do it to some extent.

There, I have given my opinions, now it is time for you to agree, disagree, or offer amendments to these ideas. I am, if anything, open to ideas, suggestions, and even criticism. After all, in the end, you are my audience.

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.

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.

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