Writing Nude With Help From My Muse

Not much of a bathing suit, but it keeps things safe for me.

Not much of a bathing suit, but it keeps things safe for me on public beaches.

Another day in the sub-tropical paradise on the Mayan Riviera. We have returned from our usual two-hour walk along the beach followed by another half-hour in the sea. A short two-block walk takes us to our little private sanctuary where clothing is not essential – well at least most of the time. As you can see, the sunshine is working its magic in painting my body a rich shade of browns and reds with not much in the way of tan lines in spite of wearing a mini swimsuit. I can hardly imagine just how dark I will be come the end of the first week in April when I will be back home in Canada.

Back in the casa, or should I say in the garden behind the casa, I am continuing the work on the third book now having reached 25,000 words. Because of that focus, I am not finding much time for social media. As a result, I miss hearing the voices of friends that I have made on various platforms, friends who share and celebrate naturism in their lives. Enough said for today as it’s time to return to the book while the muse is still cooperative.

 

Writing Nude With Help From My Muse

Not much of a bathing suit, but it keeps things safe for me.

Not much of a bathing suit, but it keeps things safe for me on public beaches.

Another day in the sub-tropical paradise on the Mayan Riviera. We have returned from our usual two-hour walk along the beach followed by another half-hour in the sea. A short two-block walk takes us to our little private sanctuary where clothing is not essential – well at least most of the time. As you can see, the sunshine is working its magic in painting my body a rich shade of browns and reds with not much in the way of tan lines in spite of wearing a mini swimsuit. I can hardly imagine just how dark I will be come the end of the first week in April when I will be back home in Canada.

Back in the casa, or should I say in the garden behind the casa, I am continuing the work on the third book now having reached 25,000 words. Because of that focus, I am not finding much time for social media. As a result, I miss hearing the voices of friends that I have made on various platforms, friends who share and celebrate naturism in their lives. Enough said for today as it’s time to return to the book while the muse is still cooperative.

 

Dare To Be Authentically You

Taking a bit of sun on the Mayan Riviera on a sunny but cool day.

Taking a bit of sun on the Mayan Riviera on a sunny but cool day.

It’s not often that I let it all hang out in my photos here at Naturist Lens. Why today? Well, it just seemed so natural. I tried cropping to perhaps be less confrontational for some but found that the quality of the scene was severely compromised. At least this isn’t being too overt, too sexualised. The last thing that the photo would do, perhaps could do, would be to stir someone’s fantasy. That said, it is beyond question, enough to affront and offend.

We live in a culture of hate in modern North America. We hate those who are different from us – different colour, different politics, different religion, different values, different anything. The roots of this lie deep in all cultures and are hard to escape. Probably at some point, this was essential to our survival in tribal units of a long distant past. It’s not easy to get past this basic hatred, but it is possible.

Another reason lies in proximity. Our hate lessens when distance grows. When the difference is in our faces, the anxiety level goes up. With social media, Internet, global news saturation, ease of travel across time zones and continents, we don’t have much relief from the difference of others.

To make matters worse, if that isn’t enough, when our collective’s belief system codify the badness of difference, through religious, political, and even legal codes, those who are different are scapegoats that hold the darkness of the collective. We make enemies of strangers because they are different – nudists, Muslims, indigenous peoples, socialists, those of black African ancestry – basically anyone that is not White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant (very grudging acceptance of Papists, Catholics). Being W.A.S.P. is like a birthright to entitlement and everyone else is seen as stealing from us simply by having what we want. When others dare to do what we don’t want them to do, we punish them through laws, shunning, invasions, blockades, etc.

We segregate ourselves from these dark others. We build gated communities, we create tax systems to ensure that these others don’t get to near to us on an economic level. We use every tool we can to keep them out of our churches unless they come to acknowledge our superiority by being converted to the truth. We segregate others as much as possible – nudist camps behind locked gates, refugee camps in far-away countries, slums in our cities – our creativity at keeping these others at bay is taxed to the limit.

But it isn’t so simply defined for many in our own protected group also give rise to fear, to hate in us. Men versus women with women at the disadvantage. Heterosexual versus homosexual; liberal versus conservative; rich versus poor; middle class versus those in poverty. And within even tight groups hate shows its face – a small church community is rife with backstabbing and politicking and slandering and belittling the others who don’t hold us high thus denying us of our rightful place at the top of the tiny heap we call ours.

What to do in this culture of hate? Dare to be authentic. It’s powerful. Dare to be compassionate. Dare to let go of your own hatreds by accepting that the hate projected is about personal darkness denied. Lose the “special” and narcissistic self-definition. Learn that there is nothing that separates in the end as all are part of one whole that is indivisible.

Slowly Gaining Acceptance As A Naturist In The Community

Nude at home and visible to the community.

Nude at home and visible to the community.

I’d have to guess that all of my neighbours have seen me skyclad in my yard or in my home in Canada. It was something that took a few years of easing myself into the open areas of the yard regardless of the season. The reaction of my neighbours has been significantly non-reactive. I wonder if it is due to the fact that most of the community has either read the hard copies or digital copies of my books that tell the story of my childhood, and the other books that presents poetry accompanied by nude photography.

Here in Mexico, my landlady who lives in the front of the house has frequently seen me skyclad while I write, relax, sunbathe, or am otherwise occupied in the yard. Of course the windows are never shuttered making it easy to see inside the suite where I am almost always nude. I did let her know in advance, asking permission to have the yard and garden as clothing optional when she doesn’t have company wanting to share the yard.

In none of my nude adventures outside of the safe areas of home and holiday home, have I been confronted about my proclivities though many know that I am a naturist. No one comments or asks. In all situations it is simply one person engaging with another person assuming the best of each other. It works. Always assume the best and you will generally get a positive response. With negative responses I try to listen so that I can hear what is the real issue. So far, it has never been an issue about my nudity.

So, how did it happen that I have been gently accepted in my community, and tolerated for my nudity in my home and garden areas? I would think it has to do with having my community know who I am. For several years I was the school principal, and I was respected for my role and efforts. With the years following seeing me take on roles of university instructor and Director of education in distant areas and always coming home to the community when contracts were completed, I affirmed to the community that they were my home community of choice. I was a professional from the city who had chosen their rural community as my home. They were aware of my continuing professional activities as a counsellor, writer and photographer, activities which they adopted as a celebration of their community.

Thinking back to how this has all unfolded over the past fourteen years, I am certain that by not rushing out and confronting them with the reality of just how different I was, allowed time and experience to build enough respect between the community and I. That said, I refrain from overt challenges to the broader community. In allows my receptive neighbours time and opportunity to serve as a buffer between myself and potential antagonists within the community. I guess, like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will always win the day.

Honouring the Differences in a Relationship

Differences don't have to divide us.

Differences don’t have to divide us.

I loved this photo the moment I saw it. It could have been a photo of my wife and I taken more than forty years ago if one thinks in terms of the ages of the young man and woman in the photo.

We are different in so many ways, a difference that has been accentuated as we aged. I am like this young man, naked in heart and spirit and, when circumstances permit, in body. She loves clothes, feels comfortable in clothing. Yet, that doesn’t prevent her from crossing her comfort zone boundaries to be with me when the social situation is naturist. In turn, I respect her choice to be clothed and to take part in her social situations that require clothing. It has become a curious dance of give and take.

One of the dangers in a relationship is found in the belief that a couple has to agree on everything. As soon as one partner banishes a certain value or belief so that harmony in a relationship can be maintained, the relationship and the individual is in serious trouble. Only healthy individuals can make a healthy relationship. If that means one embraces naturism while the other doesn’t, the relationship can survive and thrive through respecting the choices of the other. If the relationship can’t survive the differences, then the relationship is doomed and will either come apart or the individuals will come apart.

A Natural Woman

Magical Other

Magical Other

I am going to borrow some images from the past to use in this post with the hope that I don’t offend anyone in any way. As well, I am going to borrow a few other images from FB of friends who I have found to be “real” people, “natural women.” If at some point, a person wants a photo removed, simply ask. With that, I will begin the post dedicated to the natural woman. This first photo is my wife. She is my Magical Other. For those who have bought my poetry books, you will recognise her instantly. She is in her sixties with this photo taken less than a year ago.  Is she a natural woman? In her opinion, yes. She accepts who she is and her body as it is. She is confident being herself without worrying about the opinions of others when it comes to body image and personal identity.

Healing Through Naked Prayer

Naked Prayer

I was fortunate to be able to have other women allow me to use their photos in my photo books which are still available for purchase at Amazon.

Daring a Natural Life

Daring a Natural Life

These women have adopted a belief system that says the hell with having other people control their body image.  These women have managed to thrive in a world that would have them hide their natural beauty.

Natural form

Woman birthing herself

They have claimed control of their own destiny, defined themselves rather than having the men in their lives define them, rather than having media define them.

In the process of daring to be real people with real bodies they have earned the respect of those around them in the face-to-face world. There is an authenticity that refuses to be compromised, refuses to be tamed and constrained.

With the doors pried open so that they can be the women that exist beneath the skin, Natural women  evoke the goddess in all women. And, in the process, they become part of the archetypal Great Mother, the energy force that birthed a universe.

Who Traumatises Children in the Presence of Nudity?

Writing in the shade in mid-afternoon heat wave.

Writing in the shade in mid-afternoon sun.

We are back in Puerto Morelos after spending a day in Playa del Carmen visiting friends. Since it was a cloudy, windy and at times even rainy day, it was a good break from sun worshipping and activities that are becoming almost habitual. Our morning ritual of coffee in the garden was continued, coffee served dark and rich. Of course the dress code for morning coffee for me is au naturel.

We got dressed for a trip to the farmers’ market for fresh fruit and vegetables and a loaf of homemade whole grain bread, before we had breakfast. Once both breakfast and shopping were done, we went for our morning walk on the beach with swimming and sunbathing following before we had a late lunch.

I realise that for anyone reading this blog post, none of this sounds very exciting. But, that’s the whole point. Living as a naturist is just the same as living in clothing – normal living. There is nothing extra exciting or sexually charged with natural nudity just as there is noting basically exciting or exotic about wearing clothes. Life is what we make it. I choose to live as much as possible without clothing. It’s as simple as that.

I find it difficult to understand how I could be doing my life in a carbon-copy fashion with the only change of being clothed would elicit no response from the world at large, but simply by doing the same potentially boring life without clothing the world at large becomes offended and frantic and in a rush to protect the world from having to be witness to my life.  People are so fearful that they take offense at almost everything that suggests that a different world view is valid. Even wearing clothing is offensive if the clothing doesn’t fit within what the collective tells us is appropriate. We are offended by baggy pants with boxers showing; we are offended by no clothing; we are offended by women’s breasts; we are offended by men in skirts; we are offended by women in burkas and men in turbans – the list of things that offend us are legion.

We see ourselves as victims of those who offend us. Somewhere along the way, we began to believe that those who offend us should be punished, and if possible – punished harshly. We claim that our rights and freedoms have been trampled by the offensive others who don’t live life or believe as we do. There is no way for us to understand that this kind of thinking attacks the rights and freedoms of others. We become so ethnocentric that all else becomes heresy, evil, and a threat to our very existence. So, we do our best to deny the rights of others, putting into law everything we find offensive.

In terms of naturism, beaches become battlegrounds where only the offended have rights. We scream about how we are sinful, agents of the devil, how children are traumatised by the sight of a woman’s breast or, horrors, her genitals in plain view. Our screeching terrorises our children. They see our horrific response to nudity and learn to be terrorised. After all, children learn their truths from the truths of their parents. No logical reasoning is heard or tolerated. The terrifying shadows within have been woken and someone must be punished. It doesn’t matter that those shadows belong to us, are hidden within us. Someone must be punished.