Monthly Archives: July 2015
I have about twenty-two days left for taking advantage of sunshine while au naturel before we head off to Spain for the remainder of the summer and a good portion of the autumn. While in Spain during the time we are walking the Camino de Santiago, there will be no time for being nude outdoors, at least that is what I assume. Perhaps at some point during the last part of October there may be an opportunity for nude beach time in Playa del Sol.
My all-over tan that was earned in Mexico has only been improved on here at home on the prairies with even fewer tan lines – no beach walks with mandatory swim suit. My yard is my naturist sanctuary that gets good use when the sun is shining and we are at home alone.
One of the things I have noticed since our sojourn in Mexico for the first three months of the year, is that I have regained the five pounds that I had lost there. It isn’t much, but it does show in the images of myself while skyclad. I have no doubt that these extra pounds will disappear while we walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in Spain, with extensions to Finisterre and Muxia added in – a total walking distance of approximately 1000 kilometres or 600 miles. We plan on walking about 20-25 kilometres each day, or 12 to 15 miles per day. Well, that is the plan; we just have to see what our bodies tell us about this plan.
A long time ago, there was a song “I never promised you a rose garden” that I used to sing to my wife. Well, the truth was that I had promised her a rose garden and had given her three red roses for a wedding bouquet to serve as a reminder of that promise. For many, many years those three roses have been kept in a preserved state, a place where they still remain. And, over the years, we have had roses in our gardens in our various homes. But, it wasn’t until we moved to this house thirteen years ago that we created a rose garden as seen here in this photo.
Little did either of us realise that the real rose garden has been a part of our life each and every day since the day we first met – a place of seasons that bloomed with promise of perfect, followed by seasons where that promise would fade and slip into frosty silence, and then return again in spring to uplift the spirit and blossom in the fullness of intentional relationship – unconditional love that dares to descend into darkness knowing that an ascent awaits back into the light. Naive? Perhaps, but it has worked for us for forty-four years.
Another gloomy day with little time for being nude. I shouldn’t complain as these days are rare days. I am having company down for a few days, my son and his young family. With cold, dreary skies and strong winds, wearing clothing isn’t such a big deal, especially when outdoors which is where we spend most of our time playing games, going for walks, and hanging around a fire in the fire pit I built in our yard. Roasted wieners and marshmallows are on the agenda for later in the afternoon.
Later today, I am hoping that my computer will be updated to Windows 10, an operating system that is supposed to undo the split personality of Windows 8.
It’s raining. It has been raining for more than 24 hours with the amount of rain surpassing 60 ml (2 1/2 inches) in the process. Last night moments after we had gone to bed, my wife suggested that it would be a good idea to put our cactus plants out on the back deck to get a good nature wash. Since we both sleep nude, the task of gathering the plants and then taking them out into the dark and the rain was done nude. There was no point in getting any clothing wet. We were both laughing as we worked quickly to complete the task. In the process, I tipped one cactus plant onto my right foot getting a few prickles in the process. There was no question about it, we had fun together.
The simple process of playing in the rain taught us a bit about ourselves that was beautiful. Some people would claim that what we did wasn’t good, perhaps even evil. Jung wrote:
“good” and “evil” are opposite poles of a moral judgment which, as such, originates in man. [CW volume 11]
which basically translates into relativity rather than an absolute truth. We can only hold as truths those things for which we are predisposed to accept as truths. We even deny reality when it gets in the way of what we believe to be true.
My advice is to trust your self and not be bullied by the opinions adopted as moral truths by others; trust your body, mind and spirit.
Though seemingly fractured into separate parts, the unity and wholeness remained below the dawning level of awareness of the life forms that had emerged. The shiftfrom simply being into consciousness was the creation of an inner light that touched the eternal and universal presence that found a mirror in man, a temporal form that was both male and female.
“Ah, so is this supposed to be Adam and Eve?” questioned René?
“Yes – or perhaps you can see it as Adam in Eve, or Eve in Adam, a whole that exists when both become one. I like to call it a ‘holy’ wholeness,” the voice elaborated. That was my finest moment when I manifested as human.”
“Two as one?” René said startled by what he had just heard. “This sounds like alchemy to me.”
“That’s one way of looking at it,” admitted the voice. “But I want you to focus on two becoming one, a man and a woman cleaving together. Apart they are suffering and incomplete. Think of this as both a truth about humans and as a metaphor for holiness.”
“Metaphor?” puzzled René. “You mean like the union of darkness and light, of night and day, of consciousness and unconsciousness, or any sort of duality conjoined?”
“I knew you would get it,” chuckled the voice. It is only in the union of the parts that the whole is found, made conscious.”
“I noticed that there was no mention of Adam and Eve being naked,” noted René.
“Don’t worry, we’re not done here. There is more to come. I’ll give you a break until you have returned to your home. That said, until then, keep track of the dreams I bring to you.”
* * *
Frieda sat in the lounge restaurant with René at the airport. René’s flight was to leave in a little more than hour left until his flight left, an early morning flight on Scandinavian Airlines. He was to have a stop over with a connecting flight at Heathrow to an Air Canada flight with arrival in Ottawa in the afternoon. He had checked his bag and backpack, more than he had with him when he left Ottawa in order to walk the Camino.
“So you think it will be about a week to get everything taken care of before you come to Ottawa?” asked René.
“Likely a week, ten days at the most if I run into unforeseen issues,” Frieda confirmed. “But I don’t anticipate any issues,” she added with a smile as she squeezed his hand. “I’m really looking forward to meeting your children and your adorable grandchildren.”
Their conversation continued until it was time for René to go through security and proceed to the gate where his plane was waiting. René held her tight not quite believing he had somehow found this goddess who had accepted his love with a love equally as strong. She was beautiful beyond belief, she was wealthy, yet didn’t flaunt that wealth nor did she have an attitude of entitlement that frequently angered René when he met it with the rich and almost rich that he had met in Ottawa and in his work as a psychotherapist.
“Text me when you land at Heathrow,” reminded Frieda.
René smiled as he replied, “With three hours in the airport, I will probably wear out the tablet with messages. Love you, Babe.”
A final hug and kiss left René feeling filled with a warmth that went deep within him. Taking his small pack containing his new computer, his tablet and his camera, René walked to take his place in the line to go through security.
* * *
“Frieda,” René began, “what did you say was the name of your home? You know, it’s not all that usual to give a name to a home.”
“It’s called Sessrúmni and the land around my home is called Fólkvangr,” Frieda replied. “So did you do some writing on the darkness story?”
“Yeah,” René admitted, “but it isn’t just about darkness anymore. All of a sudden light makes an appearance. Do you want to tell me why the house is called Sess . . . Sessrúmni?”
“It’s always been called Sessrúmni, nothing much to say about it.”
“Strange,” wondered René. Changing the subject he grinned and asked, “What’s for supper?”
A glass of Malbec preceded the meal which somehow mysteriously appeared as if just prepared in the dining room. René knew that Frieda had servants that kept the house, or as she called it, the Hall, running smoothly though he had yet to meet these servants. Though it hadn’t shown up when she walked the Camino with him, Frieda was rich, likely an inherited wealth. They sat at the table in an alcove of the dining room, a small table that oozed intimacy, and relived the events of the day and René’s introduction to Eidfjord.
With the meal done, they sat on cushions before a fireplace that had logs already turning to coals with a few extra logs set to the side in order to keep the fire going for as long as they needed it. The outside temperature had cooled off significantly, nearing the freezing point. The past few days had been unseasonably warm according to Frieda, and she warned that René would have to be tough if he was going to meditate outdoors for the next several days. After all, Norway was a northern country. Two cats curled near the warmth of the fire looking at René with suspicion. These were Frieda’s pets, if they could be called pets. They seemed to be feline body guards in his opinion.
“Three more days in your paradise,” began René, “before we head to Ottawa. I can hardly wait to have you meet my children.”
“I’m going to have to delay going to Ottawa with you,” apologised Frieda. “Some estate things have come up that will be needing my attention next week.”
“Uh, okay. I can reschedule our flights. Just tell me when you expect to be ready to fly,” René spoke with obvious disappointment.
“No, no!” Frieda quickly interjected. “You take the flight planned, you know your kids are anxiously awaiting you. After all, they haven’t seen you in over a month. I’ll fly to meet you as soon as things are all taken care of here.”
“You sure?” René said with a mixture of relief that he hoped didn’t show up in his voice.
Frieda smiled, leaned closer and kissed him on the lips and said, “Of course I’m sure. Now put those two logs on the fire and cuddle closer. I’m getting a chill.”
In the small hours of the morning, René was again wakened from a dream. When he saw Frieda sleeping peacefully beside him, he was relieved that he hadn’t woken her as he had the three previous nights. With practiced skill he recorded the dream in his journal before attempting to return back to sleep. He lay still for more than an hour before deciding he may as well get up and work on the story of darkness and light, a story he knew was connected somehow with his dreams.
“You’re right,” the voice confirmed. “Your dreams are connected. But then again,” and René could have sworn he heard a laugh, “everything is connected and is one. And that includes you. Now, back to work. There’s a story to tell.”
René opened the file that was waiting for him on the desktop of the screen. He reread the words already entered and found that there wasn’t all that many words written at all. Taking a clearing breath, he began, again, to write:
Light touched forms and changed the forms, transformed them into solids. liquids and gases. Each touch of light inspired yet another variation of energy, rising and falling and shifting with the unceasing caress of light, a light that retreated into darkness as the Earth spun. Day and night alternated as the planet rotated. And that varying blessing of light created newer forms of energy the sought to become something more.
Inanimate forms emerged only to become birthing grounds, whether on land or sea, for forms that approached animation, forms that were fragile. A dance of increasing complexity birthed plant life on the Earth, life forms that blazed for a few moments in order to recreate themselves in the constantly changing conditions of the Earth.
“So tell me,” continued Freida. “How is the story going?”
“Uhm, nothing new to add yet. Something tells me that more is just bubbling under the surface. You know,” added René, “I just realised that my nightmares and the story seem to be connected. I mean, I only began to write this stuff about darkness since coming here. Weird, isn’t it?”
“Hmm, you might be on to something with that thought. Breakfast will be ready in a half hour. Go and meditate and then meet me on the patio out back.”
René grabbed his tablet from the bedroom and took it out to a spot in the garden which he had adopted as his meditation corner. The tablet had a meditation timer program that used Tibetan bells to mark ten minute intervals for his meditation. Taking his seat in an open area near flowering plants, he closed his eyes, focused on his breathing and was soon immersed into an alternate world. And, as was not all that unusual, a flood of thoughts assaulted his mind. Bit by bit he released these thoughts until he found himself centered barely aware of his breathing though intimately aware of even the faintest of breezes that wafted across his skin. All became silent with the exception of occasional bird sounds and the normal pulse of life.
“So, did you get the message last night?” asked the voice in his head. Why René called it a voice was difficult to understand as there was no sound of a voice. Rather, it was as if a passing thought had imposed itself on his mind which had cleared itself of restlessness.
“Can’t you see I’m meditating?” muttered René a bit crossly. “Can’t you wait until I have finished?”
“Well, it is when you are meditating or sleeping that I can best get passed your defenses so that the messages can be given to you.”
“Yeah, I got the message. What do you want me to do with it?” complained René.
“Write it of course. You know what you have to do with it.”
“How about I wait until after we get back from town? Freida is looking forward to showing me her town.”
“Suit yourself. You know that there is much more yet to come so you don’t want to fall too far behind.”
“Okay, when I get back. Now leave me in peace so that I can finish my meditation.”
It wasn’t a long drive to Eidfjord just up the coastline. Freida drove her Jeep since she knew all the twists and turns of the journey having made it so many times in the past. The drive was filled with small talk about what she was going to show René. It didn’t take long before she realised that he wasn’t really listening to her. René’s mind was somewhere else.
“What is it?” she quizzed.
“What is what?” asked René slightly puzzled by the question.
“You’re not really here. At least your mind isn’t here. “What is it?”
“It’s a combination of the dream and the voice which came back while I was meditating. It appears that there is more that has to be written about the darkness.”
“Tell me about it,” suggested Freida.
“Later, okay? When we get back to the house. Right now I just want to enjoy being with you and seeing your home town.”
It was late afternoon by the time they returned to the house. No sooner had they entered when they discarded their clothing. Freida promised tea while René took out his laptop to begin writing:
A light emerged out of the darkness. The light moved through the darkness as though an intimate partner with the darkness. Though it moved, it appeared to be motionless. Yet ever so gradually, the uncountable points of that light illuminated uncountable solid spheres stirring them to resonate with their own slow movements.
The Earth received the light and was transformed. A violent shaking that cracked the still young surface and brought the inner core to the surface which further transformed the globe. All this was done in silence for there were no ears to hear, nor eyes to see this birthing of a world.
René woke up as Frieda gently shook his shoulder. It was still dark in their bedroom, still night time. Though he had been in Frieda’s bed back in her home for more than a week, he still felt disoriented. It seemed that the only real thing left in his life was the physical presence of Frieda.
“You were having another nightmare, René.”
“Sorry that I woke you up,” apologised René.
“Do you want to talk about it?” asked Frieda as she held him close in the darkness.
“No, I will in the morning,” he said as he reached for his journal that he always kept beside himself at night, his dream journal. “Go back to sleep, I’ll be fine. Love you, Babe.”
René wrote in the darkness what he remembered of the nightmare. It wasn’t much nor did it make any sense. Strange how he had been having these wild and tumultuous dreams ever since he and Freida had moved into her home in Norway three days ago. When the dream’s scenes captured as best he could, René put his journal back on the table beside the bed and turned to Freida. He spooned to fit closely behind her, holding her as he felt his heart rate begin to ease as sleep approached. He knew that the rest of the night would be free of dreams, it always was.
In the morning, sitting in the solarium as the early morning sunshine added warmth to the early autumn chill, René slowly sipped his coffee. Frieda’s home was perched on a meadow that was perched at the edge of a range of high, rocky hills with the waters of the Simadalsfjord still dark in shadows because of the hills that delayed the touch of the sun’s rays on the water. Hearing the pad of Freida’s footsteps on the hardwood floor, René turned to see his goddess carrying her own coffee mug into the room. Rather than taking a nearby chair, she sat beside him curling her long legs under her and setting the coffee onto the glass-topped table in front of the love seat.
“Morning, Babe,” whispered René as he embraced her following the words with a kiss.
“Mmmm,” returned Freida as she reached for her coffee. “So, you ready to talk about the nightmare?”
“It is basically the same as the other nights, mostly just darkness, a living darkness that wraps itself around me, consuming me.”
“Mmmm, that’s all?” asked Freida.
“Well, it seemed that the darkness was trying to talk to me.”
“Weird,” Freida commented. “Anyways, I have to go into town, to Eidfjord, to get some fresh fruit and vegetables today. And, I want to show you around town. What do you think?”
“Sounds like a good idea,” smiled René. “That means you are finally, going to have to put on clothes, not that I’m complaining of seeing a naked goddess,” he grinned.
“Not naked, jerk!” Freida teased, “Natural. Besides, it also means you have to put on some clothes as well or haven’t you noticed you haven’t been wearing any clothes since we’ve been here.”
René Beauchemin leaned back in his office chair rubbing his temples in search of relief from too many hours at the keyboard with nothing to show for his efforts. The fact that he had written next to nothing during that time which was spent perusing the tweets and Facebook posts of his friends and followers, as well as playing a few games of Hearts against the computer only made him feel guilty. His headache didn’t go away. He knew that the only way he was going to ease his sense of guilt as well as his headache would be to return to the story that demanded to surface from someplace deep within himself.
With his training in Jungian psychology, it didn’t take much for him to realise that he had tapped into something deeper than his own unconsciousness. There was an archetypal feel for roots of the images that sought to be expressed in words. And, René sensed that he had somehow accessed the central core of whatever it was that lay as a foundation for life, both conscious and unconscious life. Perhaps it was that all-encompassing whole that Carl Jung called SELF, that wholeness also envisioned by humans as God in a myriad of forms over centuries and millenia. Whatever it was, it seemed to possess him with a will that superseded his own will. Why was he resisting so much was the uppermost question on his mind. Perhaps, it was fear. After all, becoming the voice for this inner voice that came out of darkness meant that he had to give up control, not something so easy for him to do. With a sigh, René turned back to the computer and brought up the document he had begun earlier, reading what he had already written down:
It was dark. Darkness was all that there was, an infinite darkness that was unbound by time and space and place. The darkness was anything but empty. All that was to be, all that would never come to be, everything was already in the darkness simply being unformed. It was dark, always had been dark.
Sitting still he heard the echoes of the voice which had demanded that these words be written just this way. Letting his guard down, the words began to flow again as he listened to the voice.
Time was unmeasured in the darkness. The dark pulsed as though alive which it was in a way that defied definition, an unconscious and unformed soup of invisible movement. The whole was alive with no parts. All was simply being, not becoming, not regressing or differentiating or birthing or dying. The darkness just was, and knew it just was.
There came a moment of almost awareness for that darkness, and in that moment, an agitation began to disturb the eternal sameness and sublime nature of simply being. That moment of almost awareness gave birth to form which gave birth to matter. Yet, in spite of the creation, the whole was still as it always was.
So it came to be that the whole became a universe in which a gathering of energy birthed planets, and moons, and other sterile forms with the space between them remaining a darkness that had no definable substance.
“You know,” observed René, “If I didn’t know better, I would say that this is just a complicated way of saying the first line in the book of Genesis in the Bible.”
“You’re right. I knew that you had it in you to write this. By the way, you kept your ego out of the way and wrote it just like I wanted it written.”
“But why bother with re-writing what already has been written. You know that it will only create a boatload of misery for me and most of the world. I will likely be terrorised and likely even murdered when, and if, this gets published,” moaned René.
“Well, not that I have any choice,” René admitted , “but no. I guess I just want to understand what I am doing and why I am doing it.”
“Well, the times have changed and fewer and fewer people have a clue of what I had written for me in the past. You know that Genesis wasn’t the only version that was recorded. I have been explaining to animate life that was able to grasp at least a small part of the story in multiple versions suited for the time and place of those who would hear it. That time has rolled around again.”
“But why me?” asked René puzzled and surprised with what he was hearing. René knew he was either stark-raving mad or . . . a thought he didn’t dare complete.
“Well, just think about it. You’ve had a good life, of sorts – family, a career, love, and all that have ever needed. You have spent a lot of time exploring where not many dare to look. True you got seriously lost a few times, but here you are now doing my work.”
“That’s it?” quizzed René.
“Well, there is also the fact that your boundaries between yourself and me have weakened enough to let you hear me. Your willingness to be vulnerable in search of meaning and truth, a vulnerability that shows up in your poetry, your photography and your embracing the natural body you were gifted with. Is that enough?”
“Yeah,” admitted René. “I think I get the gist of what you are saying. But, something tells me I will have more to ask you as the story gets told.
After a conversation with one of my neighbours, it dawned on me that I should be telling this story that I have been bringing here, as a story. The words, “It was a dark and stormy night,” seemed to be almost the perfect metaphor for dealing with the “Creation Myths,” especially that of the Bible that I have been drawing upon. And as soon as those words left my mouth as we travelled to deal with my neighbour’s computer issues, we both laughed. Yes, a novel, one that has a sense of humour, is perhaps the best approach for me to take. After all, I don’t want to be so serious that it closes so many doors between the story and whoever might read it. And so, with this post, it begins.
* * *
It was a dark and stormy night. “Erase that, you can’t write that. I hadn’t invented night yet in the beginning. Everyone knows that to have a night, there also has to be a day with morning, afternoon, and evening thrown in for good measure. All that comes later.”
“Okay, okay already,” Rainier grumbled. How about, “It was dark and stormy.”
“Geez, can’t you just write what I tell you to write?. It wasn’t stormy. You can’t have storms without planets, atmosphere and weather systems. Just write. “It was dark.”
“Boring,” stated Rainier with exasperation. “I heard what you said. Yes, it was dark and that is the whole story for so long that you finally got bored of nothing but darkness. Do you really think anyone will want to read a story that basically talks about nothing else but being dark?”
“That’s not fair. You know that there is a huge story that follows.”
“You talk about being fair?” exploded Rainier. “If there was fairness, I wouldn’t be writing this crap that no one in their right mind is ever going to believe, even as a fiction story.”
It wasn’t as easy as he thought it was going to be, to write this story, especially since it wasn’t his story, nor his idea to write the story. Rainier thought he was going to write a follow up story to his last novel about the Camino de Santiago. How the idea for this new novel ever got into his head was a complete mystery. Rainier was used to mysteries as a Jungian psychotherapist working with all sorts of people who had found life difficult as the boundaries between the world they had carved out for themselves and their inner world came into conflict.
It wasn’t easy as the voice in his head was determined to control every single word that was to be put on paper, well, the keyboard and screen. Rainier had been reluctant to give in to this impulse to write this particular story as the voice wanted the “truth” to be told as it had never been told before. When Rainier had protested that it couldn’t be a novel if it wasn’t fiction. And if it was fiction, then the words really didn’t matter as long as the story was told. That response to the inner voice only resulted in a headache that didn’t let up for several days.
Rainier took his concerns to Frieda, the woman who had become his significant other when he had walked the Camino the year before, an event that had resulted in his first novel. All that she had to tell him was to just go with it, trust that the inner voice, to trust it as his muse. After all, what did he have to lose other than a headache whenever he resisted that muse. Rainier had to admit that Frieda was likely right about the whole mess. After all, when the story was done, he sure as hell didn’t have to publish it. Conceding a defeat of sorts, Rainier returned to the keyboard to let the story be told.
It was dark. Darkness was all that there was, an infinite darkness that was unbound by time and space and place. The darkness was anything but empty. All that was to be, all that would never come to be, everything was already in the darkness simply being unformed. It was dark, always had been dark. And, it was boring. “Boring? I didn’t tell you to write ‘boring!'”