Monthly Archives: August 2014

Naturists – A Community Of Like-Minded Souls

There is light in the shadows.

There is light in the shadows.

This is a photo taken yesterday, a day that started off with overcast skies and cold temperatures. It is still cold, this morning, however there is a lot of blue sky mixed in with the clouds with a promise that the temperature will get into double digits later this morning.

By noon hour, it was sunny and warm with the temperature at 19 Celsius. I hung out the laundry as my wife got called in to work again, likely the last day of work for her until next Friday or Saturday. Of course, I did all skyclad. Because it was so nice out, I decided to make a few videos for one of my friends in Ontario who comments here on and off. My friend is also a naturist. I am impressed by his courage to deal with the health issues that challenge him and by default, his wife, family and friends.

Naturists (nudists) soon build up a community of like-minded souls who share the same passion for freedom from clothing and for sunshine. Because the general population is averse to the idea, let alone the reality of being and living clothing free, naturists find themselves on the fringe, always alert for the long-arm of the law which sees them as terrorists, outsiders who are hell bent on bringing down their society and belief systems. Ordinary criminals such as rapists, thieves, and others who make breaking the ten commandments part of their life style. It doesn’t matter that there is no injunction in either criminal codes or religious codes for simply being naked. Nakedness is equated with sex, but in such a manner that it is near impossible for society to profit from naturists other than by charging them exorbitant fees to enter into locked compounds where they can mingle with other naturists. No amount of logic or reasoning is making a difference except perhaps for piling on more and more community restrictions that can be punished with one’s inclusion on a sex-offender registry.

Imagine if you can, how gardening in your own yard without wearing clothing is deemed a criminal offense, which if successfully prosecuted would have one place on such a sex-offender registry. So why? Why do people such as myself continue to push the envelope so to speak, on the issue of one’s right to be nude? After all, we were all born nude.

 

Being Responsive To The Weather – S.A.D.

There are clouds and shadows in the early morning.

There are clouds and shadows in the early morning.

I woke up at 5:15 this morning, the same as yesterday morning, in order to put the coffee on. My wife goes to work today and starts at 6:30. It was still dark outside as we sat in our living room drinking our coffee staring out the window waiting for dawn’s light to approach. Finally it was time for her to leave. She has a short walk to work, so she leaves at 6:15, the same time as I took today’s photos. This is the view our our living room window. As I am entering this text, thunder is filling the air waves and the skies are getting darker. This is not the weather that local farmers want as they struggle to get their crops off the fields now that it is harvest time on the Canadian prairies.

window into darkness

Looking out, hoping that somewhere a break in the clouds will give sunshine.

S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a real part of many people’s lives. Some people are almost not affected at all by the diminishing of light, at least not until there is a long stretch of time when the sun’s rays are absent. For others, there is a quick response to overcast skies leading to a sadness of spirit. I fall somewhere in the middle but it does seem to be getting worse for me, especially when I would be able to spend time outdoors basking in the sunlight while nude. I guess that makes it a psychological response as I respond differently in the winter when going outside while nude is more than impractical.

The skies are now weeping as their tears are blurring my vision out of the window. I can almost feel the anxiety and fear of my farming neighbours. Maybe the sun will peek through later today..

Feeling A Bit S.A.D.

Back at home waiting for the day to warm up.

Back at home waiting for the day to warm up.

It is cold out, only 7 degrees Celsius. However, the skies are clear and the forecast is for twenty degrees by this afternoon. I have a few tasks ahead of me for later this morning. I will be hanging out the bedding from our camping trip, mowing the lawn, and a few touch ups to our camper in order to get it ready for another journey, this time into the deep country, far from towns and cities.

Of course, all of this should make for a good time, but for some reason, I am S.A.D. – that is, I am missing nude time outdoors (and indoors) where sun can bathe my body and making it feel truly alive. Being outside in sunshine with all of my clothing on isn’t the same thing though it is better than not having any sunshine at all.

In a few moments I will be taking time out for my morning meditation. I am waiting for the room to warm up. I use a plug-in electric heater in my meditation space as a way to make nude meditation more comfortable in our house which is kept as cool as possible without using the air conditioner. I will return later, hopefully with a more upbeat and positive post.

Being Discrete

Debating if there will be a campfire - decision is negative.

Debating if there will be a campfire or not.

Well, there is no doubt about it, one can’t go around nude in a public campground, especially when all the sites are occupied and people are sitting outside and walking around to check out the various campers. The best I can do is this towel-wrap that is held up by velcro. I guess you could call it my terry-towel kilt. However, once inside the add-a-room, the kilt becomes my sit-upon towel for one of the white plastic lawn chairs.

Being a nudist in a non-nudist world demands that a person keeps awareness on the outer world in the forefront. The last thing needed is to find oneself in a confrontational situation in the larger society with citizens who are highly disturbed at the sight of a nude human, especially a nude male who a bit older. Fear leads most to conclude that the male is a “dirty old man” who is likely to rape any woman on site or abduct children for nefarious purposes. There is also the likelihood that nudity in a public place would quickly involve the law. For a nudist, discretion is critical.

Being a nudist (or naturist) in this modern western world is a way of being that is a deviation from the norm. It doesn’t matter whether or not being naked is natural or not. The majority are clothed and are very averse to others being nude. This deviation from the norm places a nudist in the role of being a deviant. One has to realise that being a deviant, in essence, is not something that is inherently bad. Being a deviant simply means that one is markedly different than the collective. Sing when everyone only prays with bowed head on bent knees and one is a deviant. Pray when everyone in the community views prayer as a dirty word also makes one a deviant.

The need to survive, and thrive in both one’s need for being natural and being in community with one’s family, friends and community requires that we find the small spaces and bits of time for nudity so that bridges aren’t burnt. Yes, one can move into a naturist community and live nude twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (weather permitting). But that almost sounds like a prison sentence in its own right, with locked gates and often a monitoring system. At least, that’s the way I see it.

Back In The Sunshine In The City

Camping in the city.

Camping in the city.

We have arrived at the campsite in our local city and we have just returned from a fourteen kilometre walk along the nature trails that follow the river that cuts through the city. The paths form a set walking courses called the Meewasin Trail, With the walk done, photos taken along the way downloaded onto the computer, and supper eaten (it’s my turn to do the dishes), I find that I have some time for posting here. Unlike previous visits here, this time we have decent Internet service.

As I have an add-a-room for my small RV, an R-Pod trailer, I have some privacy in the campground if I stay inside the add-a-room or the trailer. To wander outside of these narrow confines would be more than a risk, it would be very stupid. Since I have no desire to tangle with the law, I will limit myself.

Now, with those comments out of the way, I want to talk more about sharing a home with a spouse that is not a nudist. In spite of the fact that my wife is not a naturist as I am, she does not get in the way of my enjoying being skyclad. We have established boundaries for when she is in the house so that my nudity doesn’t overwhelm her, a very sensible thing to do when a non-nudist and a nudist share the same domicile. She has tried in the recent past, a number of times, to join me in naturist venues. Though she has no issue with nudity or with other naturists seeing her nude, she much prefers to be clothed. It then falls to being respectful of her choice as she is respectful of my choice. It’s not perfect for either of us, but it is the closest that it can get.

To expect and demand a perfect world on either side would only result in losses that are unthinkable. We love being together and doing things together too much. It is the real respect by not engaging in persuasive activities and pressures in order to convert the other than then becomes the cement to strengthen our bonds built over the course of the past 44 years. How do you manage this dynamic if that is where you find yourself?

A Naked Rainy and Cold Day

A rainy and cold day.

A rainy and cold day.

It is late afternoon, rain has been falling most of the day, and the temperature hasn’t yet reached 10 degrees Celsius. Needless to say, I have had no ambition to go outside. For the past two days, I have been outside playing games, eating, visiting and taking photos of another gathering of the in-laws – well at least some of the many, many in-laws that make up my wife’s clan. Late this morning, our company (two couples) left to their respective homes. The house is quiet again.

Though the company has gone, I find myself hiding in my office where I write and read while naked as the day I was born. This is a normal place for me to be, and a normal way to be there. Since I have been clothed since their arrival at my home, it feels good to be free of clothing again.

A few days before their arrival, I had been working on my latest book in my office, in my natural state, when the neighbour who has caught me naked a few times already, came into the house looking for my wife who had gone out for a walk with another neighbour. I left my office in my natural state and answered her question without startling her with my nudity, It was as if, it was just a normal exchange of information. No comments about my naked state were made when the short conversation concluded. Having her answer, she thanked me and then left.

Now, that is what it is supposed to be like between nude and non-nude people – non-judgmental acceptance of each other.

A Touch of Gray – Daring to Bare it All

Sometimes the world loses its colour and vitality.

Sometimes the world loses its colour and vitality.

It’s been raining and cool, almost cold, and I have been sleeping well. Like many, I usually hide my emotions and adopt a calm, peaceful, gentle and caring attitude. It’s the Buddhist in me. But some days the masks don’t fit all that well and there is a shadow that washes over me exposing a pain behind my eyes that has nothing to do with a headache. It’s at times like this that I realise that there are many, many layers of the human psyche that rarely are made visible. And, as humans, we would just as rather that we never got see beneath the surface.

I am luck as I have made many journeys beneath the surface in quests to slay the dragons to be found, dragons such as dark and ferocious men and women (think here of Kali) that when confronted dissipate without protest. It was enough simply to stand there in front of these monsters and acknowledge their presence. Denying them only empowers them to rampage though the inner spaces unchecked, especially if we do our damnedest to stay are far away as possible from what lurks within our own psyche.

I guess that this could be the ultimate sense of baring it all – peel off not only the clothes, but the protective layers and barricades that hide the inner essence of self.

 

Relationships Between Nudists and Non-Nudists

When one is clothed and the other is naked . . .

When one is clothed and the other is naked . . .

Life sometimes gives us more that we seem to be able to handle. When that happens, we typically retreat into quietness and depression It’s that old “fight or flight” response that is hard-wired into our bodies, not something that we consciously think about. Yet, there are times when we have time to think when faced with something that is stressing us out. When we have the space and time and place to make conscious decisions about how we will respond, we have to consider that this space/time/place is a gift.

I am a naturist or nudist or whatever, that much I know as do a good number of people in my life. It isn’t exactly that I have chosen to be a naturist; it is more like I have opened up enough to the fact of the inner naked person that has lurked inside my head and body. My ego had denied this inner nude self for many years, too many years. But, rather than regret, I am simply relieved to have been able to emerge – come out of the closet? – into life as a more authentic me. I began to think that others were in the same place, that perhaps even most people would be unconsciously hiding their naked self behind a wide variety of belief systems, that if given the opportunity of experiencing the liberation from being clothed all the time, that they would naturally shed their clothing at the appropriate times and places that would present themselves.

However, this isn’t reality. Some people get to experience that liberation and find themselves stressed. Even after several deliberate attempts, they remain uncomfortable when unclothed. Their inner self is as clothed as their outer self. It just is what it is. Something we have to accept and not waste time trying to convert and change others. The last thing the world needs is another two sets of missionaries: missionaries preaching the ethic of being clothed, and missionaries preaching the ethic of being clothes-free with promises of heaven for all who convert. What we need to do is focus on being as authentically ourselves as is humanly possible.

So what about the situation where  both sides are committed to being together in a relationship. The person needing boundaries that are marked by clothing finds him or herself stressed when the other is naked in what is perceived as their space. That invasion of personal space within which a person thrives best creates all sorts of anxiety and stress. Unconsciously, there is then a need to do something to protect that personal space – fight or flight. Strangely, the person who is comfortable, even thriving with being clothing-free has no sense of a personal space being challenged by his or her unclothed partner. That is, unless there is a phobia about wearing clothing, a different issue entirely. So how does this problem get solved?

Does one create nude zones for the partner who finds a need for being clothes free? Such nude zones are only limiting one person in the relationship, the nudist. The give and take could include the creation of a time for nudity as well, a time when the non-nudist feels the least uncomfortable with their partner’s nudity. What emerges through these negotiations is a compromise in which the non-nudist accepts that he or she can’t deny the right of the nudist to clothing-free time; and the nudist accepts the fact that the non-nudist has acknowledged a right to nudity. So far so good. The relationship has made room for differences. Both feel a sense of accomplishment.

But time does strange things to a relationship. The nudist begins to feel more and more comfortable with nudity in the relationship to the point where the boundaries that were set begin to be compromised. Occasions of nudity begin to creep outside of designated times and places. There is an ache to have more time and space where the spirit, mind and body are able to be fully open. With this transgression, there is eventually a push-back by the clothed person who feels betrayed and disrespected. And so tolerance to the other’s nudity lessens. The differences become even more highlighted in the process. Yet, neither wants to have the relationship end, so there is a retreat back to the original position, or perhaps a renegotiation that allows the nudist a bit more time and space. This dynamic continues to reappear until either one or both are tired of the constant tension.

What then? It is hard for a couple, it is perhaps even harder for collectives sharing communities. I would like to have your ideas and experiences added here.

Naked Thoughts On Identity

Writing on my deck on a cool and cloudy morning.

Writing on my deck on a cool and cloudy morning.

It’s a cold one this morning with the temperature sitting at eight degrees Celsius (that’s 46 F.) and the sky covered with pasty looking clouds that seem to be undecided about breaking up or building up. The forecast was for sunny skies and warm temperatures. Needles to say it makes me feel a bit cranky and disappointed. Regardless of the weather, it is a good time to ruminate on identity. And, as you can see, write outside. Canadians are tough when it comes to dealing with cold weather.

As far as i am concerned, my identity is probably quite clear in terms of who people think I am. Yes, I am a naturist as the photos and the majority of the content of this blog site frequently show. And yes, I have had a career as a psychotherapist (among other paid activities) and an educator. From time to time, the Buddhist thoughts which have become part of who I am have also been on display, sometimes through images and other times through content. Not so well know is the fact that I am a parent of three adult children with a son and two daughters who are now married with children of their own. Of course the role of grandparent has helped fill out my identity though not as much as it could have been since I only have grandsons – no granddaughters. I am a writer (obviously) and a photographer (equally as obvious), skills which have made me comfortable with writing here on my blog site. I guess that you might say that I am stating the obvious, things that don’t really need saying about identity. After all, we all have roles in life from which we build our identities.

Yet, I am, as you are, so much more than these roles. There are intangibles that have as much, if not more, in carving out who we are in comparison to every other human being. We are all unique though we usually believe that truth. As individuals in collectives, we lose our identity to the community. We believe what we are required to believe as members of our communities whether those communities are small such as skateboarders or nudists, or large such as church communities and corporate communities. The collective unconscious is a very powerful force that takes people to places and ways of being that don’t necessarily fit with an individual’s sense of self. As individuals we know how powerful groups are – political groups, activity groups, religious groups, etc.

Still, there is yet something more vast that shapes us unknown to us, and completely beyond our control as thinking and doing human beings. We sometimes get hints of these things through our dreams, and through our unconscious responses to life, events, and others. What we think of as our identity, our sense and belief of who we are, is all provisional. If anything, we could say that we invent our identities in order to have some sort of tenuous foothold on life. For, when we look deep within and without, we get an almost horrifying glimpse of an unending cosmos, a formless chaos of shadows and light where there is no real separations; no I, no thou.

Coffee and Morning Sunshine

Time to have some coffee mixed with sunshine.

Time to have some coffee mixed with sunshine.

I have returned from another road trip that took me and my wife to visit her brother in a nursing home where he suffers from Alzheimers, and my sister’s husband who has been taking treatment for some aggressive cancer conditions. It makes one appreciate just how lucky one is simply to be alive and relatively well. I am glad that we went on this road trip and plan on doing it again sometime next month. Until then, I will take time to garden, write, play and enjoy being with my beautiful wife.

I do have things to do today other than just drink coffee and claim my share of the sun’s rays. Somewhere along the way I have raspberries to pick, green beans to pick and prepare for part of our supper, crab apples to clean off some more of the lower branches, and there is my writing that is demanding some of my attention.

Sitting and drinking coffee allows time to think about some of the more important things in life such as why are people so afraid and so easily offended? We have so many of our own citizens in jails in Canada and the U.S.A. that it is embarrassing to say the least. Yet, we are convinced that we have barely begun with the job of putting all of the bad guys behind bars.

Murder, assault, theft, rape, and other such crimes are serious offenses that we punish with jail time, our society is working hard to include drinking coffee au naturel in one’s own back yard, skinny dipping in any body of water not roped off with warning signage, or reading while naked in some grassy park setting, or even going for a nude hike in relative wilderness settings. For too many, the sight of a naked human body induces fear, panic, and visions of Satan running amok hell bent on raping every female in sight. The solution? Put all the naked people in jail where they can wait for their turn to enter the gates of Hell.

Well, the truth is, our societies are indeed afraid. Self-awareness has been reduced to small quizzes on social media sites. The main messages coming out of our collective tell us to blame the strangers, to fear those who are different. To take comfort in the sameness of fundamentalism. We don’t realise that all the darkness out there is a projection, an unconscious projection of the stuff about ourselves that we would rather didn’t exist. Naked people are a threat simply because we can’t admit that we are naked under our clothing. So we hide and we punish others for our fear.