Road Closed

There once was a road here, but now, it is a part of prairie history.

There once was a road here, but now, it is a part of prairie history.

I went for a prairie walk today as the sun came out and the temperatures told me to get out and pay homage to the sun. I drove out of town about seven kilometres to the south and parked the little Toyota on a dirt road just before the road ends at the entrance to the prairie hills. A walk, au naturel, for two and a half kilometres took me to this sign. “Road Closed.”

The walk allowed me to photograph numerous wildflowers and prairie scenes that met the eye as I walked down what used to be the road. If you look carefully, you can see the evidence of that previous dirt road that has now been claimed by weeds, mud and birds for the most part. There were deer tracks that told me of other visitors. However, there were no car tracks or footprints or even tractor tread marks. Some of the old trail has been re-claimed as farmland with a crop of wheat now growing in old ruts.

Naturism is like a “road closed” sign that warns us not to go this way. However, it is just these places that take us back to nature and allow us to find our own nature, our own natural way of being in our skin. I am not the best at following rules that deny one’s humanity, that deny the right to simply be natural. For me, the road that leads to naturism is opening more and more.

Here Comes The Sun

Finally a sunny day and some time to return to a tanned state.

Finally a sunny day and some time to return to a tanned state.

Yes, it is sunny. Today began cloudy and cool with few prospects for getting out in the sunshine. Yet, by mid-morning the sun was a welcome presence. It isn’t supposed to hang around for a long time, but it is simply good enough for a few hours of exposure. My tan from Mexico is just about all gone as it is.

Other than taking time to read a good book in the sun (I’m reading Barely Retired, by Adam Lawlor), I did get in my morning meditation and checking my social media pages. I was also on the hunt for a bikini bathing suit for myself for when I walk on the public beach back in Mexico this coming winter. Yes, it is like the first day of summer here and I am already planning on escaping the icy blasts of winter. Plane tickets have already been purchased as well.

I could be upset at cancelling my naturist retreat at Green Haven, but I am really not upset in the slightest. It’s not like I don’t get time to be nude as I still haven’t put on any clothing today. On the plus side, I get to continue hanging out with my wife who is working for the weekend, day shifts. We make a great pair once she is home. That said, I had better plan the menu for this evening’s meal. I love being a “kept man.” Retirement suits me just fine as I can write without worrying about interruptions such as having to go out and earn a living.

Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside

Sometimes it is just too cool and wet to enjoy outdoor naturism.

Sometimes it is just too cool and wet for outdoor naturism.

Brrr! I have to admit that I am getting tired of this un-summer like weather. If I was younger and impatient – well, that is less patient than I am in my senior years – I might be filled with anger and resentment towards the weather and life in general. The good news is that I am old enough to realise that there is nothing personal in the weather, no god of rain who is pissed off at me.

The cold and damp weather has forced me to constantly revise my plans so far this spring and summer to date. For example, this is the second time I have had to call and cancel my trailer rental at the Green Haven Sun Club that is four hours from my home. The forecast for there, as well as here, is for cool temperatures, cloud cover, and rain.

So what does a naturist do when the conditions warrant some other kind of activity? I can’t answer for all naturists, but there is always the warm comfort of one’s home. For myself, there are so many things that beg my attention, admittedly, mostly in a clothed condition such as attending the high school graduation of my first grandchild yesterday. There were brief interludes between rain squalls in which I got to take a host of outdoor photos with him and his girlfriend. Between the weather conditions and the mosquitoes, clothes were actually a blessing. After all, this is Canada, and I am living on the Canadian prairies.

Home From Hiking, Writing and Camping

Writing in my add-a-room, protected from the mosquitoes.

Writing in my add-a-room, protected from the mosquitoes.

Well, I am finally back home, done with camping for at least a week. I had very poor access to Internet and that didn’t bother me in the least as I was focused on other things such as writing, as you can see in this image, relaxing, and engaging in long hikes with my wife.

We walked all but one day in spite of it raining almost every day. The day we missed was raining too hard to even think of walking. So, we took in some jazz and then went to the city library as well as heading out for a coffee at Starbucks.

Our walking was a test to see how our equipment functioned, especially our rain gear. We twice walked twenty kilometres (that’s 12 miles for the metrically challenged), more than half of that in the rain. We got to stop about two-thirds of the way through each walk at a great coffee emporium called Broadway Roastery where we enjoyed cafe au lait as if we were stopping for refreshment while walking in northern Spain. Our goal is to walk about 1,000 kilometres when all is said and done in the fall of 2015 – the main part of that called the Camino Frances which will take us from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago del Compostele in north-western Spain. I will talk more about this Camino in future posts. For now, it is back to taking care of a few chores that have accumulated since we left a week ago for camping.

Camping Interlude

A small and quiet space for meditation while camping.

A small and quiet space for meditation while camping.

It is raining again. We travelled to Saskatoon for five days of camping with the intention of doing a lot of hiking on the trails along the North Saskatchewan River. We did manage to get in a ten kilometre hike an hour after we set up our tiny r-pod trailer and add-a-room (visible through the bedroom window of the trailer). We won’t be hiking this morning as neither of us sees the point of pointlessly and deliberately getting soaked and chilled.

Though we are camping in a public campground, I do continue to meditate and write while nude. It is just the way it is. Of course there is no nudity outside of the trailer and the add-a-room. I have no interest in making life difficult for myself and my good wife. Since the little trailer is still new-to-us, we are still learning a few things about it, and adding a few things to it to make it more “personal.”

The campsite has very poor Internet connections, so it is mostly a hit-and-miss experience for posting, checking e-mail, and using social media – mostly it is a “miss.” That means, I am spending more time simply writing, adding to my current body of work on personal and family history. That said, I will connect when I can.

Nudity – A Fundamental Moral Problem – Part II

The creation of Adam in God's image/

The creation of Adam in God’s image/

In the beginning, as we know it in the modern western world, nudity was considered a state of holiness. The Creator only became angry when Adam and Eve tried to hide their nudity, angry at their shame at being naked. Now, we have somehow turned that around. God would be angry with us for a lack of shame for being naked. Humans are created / born naked. It is hard to dispute that biological fact. For the majority of human existence, clothing has not been a part of life other than when the human body needed protection from the elements or from the conditions created in work.

Clothing became a part of social life as a means of separating classes or castes. Peasants and slaves continued to live and work nude according to conditions of weather and workplace. The upper classes adopted clothing to signify their superiority, their distancing from the base level of humanity. Clothing then began to signify degrees of power and importance within these upper classes. Yet, at the level of religious belief and practices, nudity was still held as important.

Nefertiti and the worship of the god Aton.

Nefertiti and the worship of the god Aton.

In ancient Egypt, the attitude towards nudity was made official as found in “the baked-clay tablet archives of Pharaoh Akhen-Aton (1385-1353 B.C.). It was learned through the subsequent translation of these tablets that the brilliant young pharaoh and his exquisitely beautiful queen, Nefertiti, considered the sun, Aton, to be the true wellspring of life and thus justified the practice of nudism for spiritual and physical advancement.” [Goodson, Nudity, Therapy and Joy].

Nudity in itself is not a moral problem.

Nudity in itself is not a moral problem.

Nudity in worship, at least by the priests and priestesses, continued well into modern times as noted in both Greek and Roman histories. Even in our era as late as 1981, Pope John Paul II said The human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendour and its beauty… Nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness… Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person…The human body is not in itself shameful… Shamelessness (just like shame and modesty) is a function of the interior of a person.”

It makes a person wonder why the great brouhaha over nudity that exists in the modern western world, the idea of nudity being immoral. It seems that there has been a shift in basic human understanding to allow the “shadow‘ or the unconscious to become the arbiter of human morality.

Thou shalt not be nude!

Thou shalt not be nude!

A person is naked – just naked – doing nothing immoral and without intent to cause either to him/herself or to others any immoral behaviour. Laying in the sun to sunbathe or to read a book is about sunbathing and book-reading, not about titillation or invitation for adulterous and/or licentious behaviours. A person who sees a naked human body, either in images or in face-to-face life responds to what is seen and either accepts what is seen for what was intended or that viewing person’s shadow is activated with thoughts that are adulterous and/or licentious. Needless to say that the “bad” behaviour is on the part of the clothed person who views and responds inappropriately – remember the original response of Adam and Eve? – and that inappropriate response is the real moral problem that we are faced with when it comes to nudity.

Losing Our Way – The Flight From Holiness

Shiva and Shakti - a scene captured in so many Tibetan Buddhist images.

Shiva and Shakti – a scene captured in so many Tibetan Buddhist images.

It isn’t often that I have seen an image of Shiva completely nude. I wondered about this, especially after having visited the Khajuraharo temples in India. The temple of Candi Sukuh in Indonesia also features nudity in the temple, especially male nudity. I did get to see other examples of nudity, male and female, in various Hindu and Jain temples in India when we spent a month there between teaching semesters in China.

More often than not, Shiva has his genitals covered while the rest of him is skyclad. Lord Shiva has roots going back likely more than 3,500 years ago. Shaivism is the oldest of the four sects of the Hindu religion, and it is in this form where Lord Shiva was always imaged as being skyclad. It is from these roots that the Naga Sadhus, or Holy Saints and the Digambara which are part of the Jainist religion that also sprang from the earliest roots of Hinduism.

Lord Shiva, as a god was skyclad. True worship of this god was done skyclad. It’s interesting to note that nudity was equated with holiness, with purity as it was at one time in the Judean tradition that forms the roots of modern Christianity. God created women and men in his image and this humanity was created skyclad. There was no sin in nakedness. Sin only came about when humans found this creation, this state of being nude, shameful. Yet, we moderns are so absolutely certain that nudity is as far from holy as one can get.