Monthly Archives: September 2016

Keeping it Simple and Real

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Mundane life makes one present in life.

For the past week I have been busy with the normal rhythms of life, of autumn on the Canadian prairies. With winter threatening as the geese gather to feed before their long pilgrimage to the southern climes of North America, I like many others, have been cleaning the last of our produce from the garden. The garden is now tilled and prepared for a long winter’s sleep.

Because of the need to focus on the prosaic tasks of autumn, gardens, and winterizing our camper, there has been no thoughts given to this blog site. There will more than enough time for that in the months that will follow.

Gathering the last of the garden produce.

Gathering the last of the garden produce.

I have been lucky in that the weather has warmed up just in time for the work to be done. We only had one rain day which was appreciated as it softened the hard clay that passes as our garden soil. For the past two days I have tilled the garden and added more than 200 litres of peat moss before tilling it a second time. I am pleased with the result though I have the beginnings of blisters on my hands in spite of wearing work gloves while manhandling the garden tiller. There is a sense of satisfaction in manual tasks done well.

Now that most of the work has been completed, I am turning once again to writing. The second novel in the pilgrim series is just entering into the first rewrite using the comments I have received from my three critical readers. Constructive criticism is vital for a writer.

Hiking in Bare-Bear Country

Hiking - Yes, this is bare country and that is bear spray in my holster.

Hiking – Yes, this is bare country and that is bear spray in my holster.

For the past two weeks I have been in Kananaskis country with my wife where we got to hike on trails alongside, and sometimes high up on slopes that had me wondering if I was going to fall hundreds of metres onto rocks and streams below the trail. Hiking in the fall is a bit dangerous if not prepared. We had bells (rarely used) and bear spray (always carried in a holster as in the photo) at hand when we hiked. Grizzly bears are active in the area as it is feeding on mountain berries season while they pack on extra fat for a long winter’s hibernation. Luckily we didn’t need to use the spray though we were in the same vicinity as at least one bear – he left a fresh dump of scat on our trail. Hiking bare in bear country doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared.

At the summit of a ridge where the fire lookout tower overlooks the Kananaskis lakes and valley.

At the summit of a ridge where the fire lookout tower overlooks the Kananaskis lakes and valley.

On our hikes we did get close to a cow moose and many Spruce Grouse. We knew there were coyotes near by and elk as we passed their relatively recent droppings as well. The weather was perfect for hiking in the mountains though the mornings were always hovering just above or just below freezing. The day we climbed the highest, the temperature at the top had made it to 2 C. by lunch time. Thankfully the sun was out and I got to sunbathe before we hiked back down the trail. As you can see, snow on the trees behind and below us tell the story of winter’s approach. I am fortunate that my inner furnace works well.

Erections and Perceptions

erectionA friend of mine in cyberspace sent me an email commenting and wondering about my photos which generally let the viewer know that I am skyclad, but somehow not showing my penis. Now this practice makes sense if using social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; but it doesn’t make sense on a naturist site where seeing full frontal images with male and female genitalia is the norm. What is not normal in most “real” naturist sites, be they virtual or real-world venues, is the presentation of the male genitals with an erection. The naturist world weighs heavily on the belief that naturist is asexual, non-sexual, and overt sexual displays such as an erection, need to be either hidden by a towel, or better yet, non-existent. There isn’t much threatening about a limp penis.

naked-old-man-erectSo, what drives men to show images of themselves with an erection is complicated with no clear answer that covers all. For some, perhaps the majority, it is simply about insecurity and the need for praise (See! I’m a big boy now). So many men are criticised as being childish by their female partners and/or their mothers. Flaunting an erection is a response to the doubt that many face regarding their status as “real men.” For older men, it is a protest statement that defies ageing, a statement that there is still a vital man hidden behind the wrinkles and grey hair.

Why? Why do men show images of themselves that show an erection? tumblr_naegjzNmur1qfqu7go1_250There is no simple answer. And, the answer changes dependent upon which school of psychological thought a psychotherapist has as a base, which philosophy informs the lens through which the therapist views the world. My view is through a Jungian lens, a depth psychology lens that has more than the brain and the body as determinants. For cognitive (brain-based) and behavioural therapists, showing an image (or the reality) of an erection is dysfunctional and abnormal. The problem can best be “fixed” by reprogramming behaviour and by critical analysis that educates the ego to rethink behaviour.

However, in depth psychology, the lens through which I understand the human psyche, the answer lies in the unconscious, the shadow regions of the self. Contrary to what most believe, we are a mystery to ourselves and the unconscious aspects of ourselves does impact our behaviour. In other words, there is meaning that hasn’t yet connected with the ego, the aware part of ourselves. The behaviour is symbolic of something deep within that needs attention.

Addendum: I have lost my Facebook account due in large measure because of this post. I guess that “education” has different meanings for FB. There is no education if there is a nude image involved.

Body and Mind – In Harmony or in Conflict

A detail from Michelangelo's statue of David/

A detail from Michelangelo’s statue of David/

It’s not working the way it should! It used to be longer and harder. What the #%&#@ is wrong with me? It’s one thing to be flaccid as the day goes on, but what about when I am trying to make love to a person I love?

There is something about erections that is vital to a man’s psyche. An erection is associated with virility, and virility was what separated men from boys. When the erections disappear, males suffer a loss of identity as a virile man. Either the male needs to redefine what it is that makes him a man, recreate himself, or he may lapse into a depression of sorts if nothing else can become the focus of his manliness. Without erections, he feels neutered, a eunuch.

Sculpture in the Round Erotica Stone House of the Vettii Italy Sculpture of a man with erect phallus Mulas, Eros in Antiquity,

Sculpture in the Round Erotica Stone House of the Vettii Italy Sculpture of a man with erect phallus – Mulas, Eros in Antiquity – Pompeii

With the modern world challenging the whole notion of the masculine, often viewing the masculine in negative and primal terms, men know that they are men in spite of what they hear from the world. The erect penis is the enemy as it is the erect penis that has raped women, has subjugated women. This symbol of power for men is a symbol of domination by men for women. That said . . .

In so many couple relationships in the modern world, the man follows the woman. She leads, and she leads with the knowledge of her power, especially over a man’s sexuality. With a few words or even a “look” she can deflate a man’s ego and his penis.

Perhaps this is why we now have so many men taking photos of their penis, especially an erect penis. Those images are not necessarily shared. Sometimes they are just there, in the background in an archive of photos as proof that in spite of what happens in the moment, they know that deep down they are men.