Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Category: history

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.

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.

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