There is something moving within me that is about poetry. A long, long time ago I was enchanted by a Lebanese poet named Khalil Gibran, author of The Prophet, one of the first books that I bought. His words and vision acted powerfully upon my young spirit aching for beauty in a world that seemed too full of war, discord, fear, sadness and ugliness. In his words I could feel the breath of nature, the kiss of whatever it is that is the human spirit and soul.
“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” ~ Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Somewhere, tucked away in his words I saw beneath the layer of the world I was growing up in, the world of the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and generational poverty in a dysfunctional family. Beneath the ugliness was holiness. It was all the inspiration I needed to begin searching for something more than what was presented, dressed up in the media and paraded as the “latest holy grail” purchases that was guaranteed to fill in the emptiness.
“And the weaver said, “Speak to us of Clothes.”
And he answered:
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.
Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment,
For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.
Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”
But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread.
And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.
Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.
And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ” – Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
These words were written a lifetime before I was born, before father was born. These words speak of the vision I hold within of naturism as a holy and healing way of being. I hear echoes of words spoken in Genesis when nakedness was perfection, the time before sin and shame. It is as though we, as humans have found all kinds of reasons to hide the perfection and beauty and holiness of our human bodies.
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” – Khalil Gibran, The Prophet