What You See Is Not What You Get

While waiting – a few moments in the early morning sunshine.

We should be in  Vienna and beginning our second day there as you read this. I wrote this blog post just before leaving so that there would be some continuity with posting. Hopefully, tomorrow’s post will be written while we are in Vienna,

I took this early morning photo as we were waiting for our ride to the airport . The photo was edited to create the blurred effect as that will make the image unpopular with the pirates who collect photos for their porn sites.

What is hidden from the ego?

Why did I choose this photo rather than something more “realistic?” Well, the best answer I could give would be that nothing is clearly defined in life, especially when one looks deeper than the skin, or the clothed outer layer. There is no question that I am the subject of the photo or that I am nude. That much is clear. Yet what or who am I exactly? Of course I have some ideas but I know that I don’t know the whole truth of who I am.

No one does. Anyone who claims to fully know themselves is likely less aware that those who admit to some confusion. We are complex beings What you see and get to know, for the most part, is the tip of an iceberg that floats in the sea. What is hidden from the ego, in the personal unconscious, is also “self.”

With this thought in mind, there is always something to discover about oneself. Usually, we learn from what others see and say about us. Rarely do we realise that we could learn even much more about ourselves by how we see and relate to others. Those whom we see in a positive light are usually mirroring positive things about ourselves about which we are unaware. Those whom we see in a negative light – anger, envy, annoyance, jealousy, fear, etc. – are mirroring inner aspects about ourselves that we aren’t ready to acknowledge. People such as myself in the fields of psychology, call these responses to others, “projections.”

We see naturists and nudists who seem much braver than ourselves, not realising that within us lies the same hero or heroine. When we smile inwardly at naturist images, we are smiling at the same capability that lies within. We just don’t realise it. It takes work and a lot of reflection to take back our projections and “own” what we put onto others. We all project onto others, but we don’t all come to understand what we have done and to withdraw those projections. Why? Likely because one would then have to own the darkness within as well as the light. We would rather live with illusions (delusions) about who we are. We work hard a believing and trying to convince others about the persona we create for ourselves, telling them, “what you see is all there is.”

Vienna – Statues to be Found

This statue is to be seen in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

I am preparing this post before we arrive in Vienna. I have been doing a fair bit of research so that our limited time in the city is not spent wandering aimlessly causing us to miss some interesting sites.

Maria Theresien Plaza in Vienna Fountain.

There is more than cathedrals to be seen and music concerts to beappreciated. Since I am very vested in depth psychology, I will be definitely visiting the home of Sigmund Freud and the gathering place for other notables such as Carl Gustav Jung and Alfred Adler.

Standing guard at the Temple of Theseus.

My research has also turned up pleasing information that there are quite a few statues of nudes, especially of Hercules and Theseus.

The statues of Hercules outside the Hoffberg Palace, Vienna, Austria

The images shown here are borrowed from Internet searches. I will definitely take my own versions of these statues and any others that are to be found in various squares, parks, and museums in Vienna.

Besides statues, we will also be visiting a place called Therme Wien, a hot springs spa that has a family section, and a naturist section. Of course the saunas and the pools in the naturist section are not clothing optional. Nudity is required. I know I won’t be taking photos while in this inner sanctum of the hot springs. That said, I will have a report to give after the fact.

Now, it’s back to more pre-walk research for another post.

Tools To Record a Naturist Life

Last minute additions to the backpack for the EPW.

Well, since my last post about the EPW, I have unpacked my backpack at least twice for the purposes of removing unnecessary weight [clothing]. I was able to reduce my backpack by about one kilogram [2.2 lbs] as a result of my efforts. The likelihood of yet another unpacking are likely nil, but I won’t hold my breath.

I will be taking my camera, a Sony α6000, along with my Samsung Tab S2 8, for recording the journey in both print and image format. And like all serious writers, I include a hand-written journal which will be used basically every time I stop to change socks, have a coffee or meal, or simply to have a rest.

Most of the images taken along the way will have nothing to do with naturism as defined by nudity first. Yet, saying that, the ideals of openness and honesty, which likely are more important than exposed skin, will be honoured. I know that somewhere along the way, I will find subjects that will lend themselves to discussion here.

That’s it for today. I’ve got other chores that need attending to at the moment. 🙂

Society as the Maze Naturists Must Navigate

Getting lost in the maze of a textile world.

Last month I attended a Jungian Psychology workshop that was focused on mazes and labyrinths. The focus was the intention to have each of us become more aware of that journey to the centre of our being, a journey of discovery, an experiential journey. When the centre had been achieved, the task was that of returning to the outer world with the lessons we had learned about ourselves.

Theseus defeating the Minotaur.

The reference point for the workshop was rooted in the myth of the Minotaur who was contained within a labyrinth on the island of Crete. The story had Theseus defeat the Minotaur. Of course, like any good story, it got complicated. The point of this post isn’t to tell the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, but to talk about how we wander in foreign lands and tend to get lost. The particular land that I am referring to is that of the textile world as a maze through which a naturist and/or nudist must navigate.

There is a lot of frustration and even at times, depression that arises for those who embrace naturism/nudism. The world doesn’t provide much in the way of space, place, or opportunity for the practice of “being and doing” while nude. There are laws, injunctions, censure, and all sorts of prohibitions against being nude in the presence of others. As a result, we hide behind curtains and doors, or behind locked gates in hidden communities. We celebrate these infinitesimal spaces for our full expression. Yet, all is not well if we are to be honest.

We find ourselves stuck in small centres of mazes knowing that there is no journey back to the outer world where we can live fully, bringing back the treasures we have discovered at the centre. The image above shows the life [colour] at the centre, but outside the centre, life seems to fade when we are unable to bring the gifts we are given at the centre, back to our everyday world.

I don’t have any answers. Thinking of the EPW to come, I find myself already missing the freedom of being without clothing. If only I could walk each step free of clothing and of the anger and fear that arises in others in the presence of a nude human . . . . .

Barbecuing Chicken While Skyclad

BBQing chicken for neighbour ladies over for supper.

My wife and I hosted a BBQ chicken supper for two of our neighbours, two women who are similar ages as us. Both have often seen me nude and accept the fact that this is just who I am. It was our last get-together before I return from the European Peace Walk at the end of June.

I don’t push my preference for nudity on my neighbours. When they see me, it is usually when I am in the yard doing something. In the house, when either of them are visiting my wife, I make sure to keep my clothing on. After all, they are her friends.

My wife isn’t a naturist at heart though she is very accepting of my proclivities. She does attend a few naturist functions with me from time to time and participates at a level that would leave the others assuming that she is a true naturist. She isn’t ashamed or shy when without clothing. She just prefers clothes as much as I prefer not to be wearing clothes.

When the BBQ was done, I put my clothes back on and went into the house to share a meal with the three women. It is what it is.

Being Bare in Cold Climes

It’s cold out here.

No, it isn’t snowing though it feels like it. I took the liberty of turning a cold, evening scene into one that captured a sense of what the body and mind felt, rather than the objective reality which is not often a good barometer for what goes on inside of a person. I used PhotoshopElements to create the effect, a combination of glass, ripple, and rain effects.

Needless to say, I didn’t stay outdoors very long when I took the photo because of a cold, north-east wind blowing and a decided lack of sunshine. In spite of the cold and dark skies, I am in a positive frame of mind due in large part to the new adventure that I will begin with Sunday morning’s flight to Vienna via Toronto, Canada.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, it seems that I feel somewhat warmer when nude outdoors than when I wear clothing. Well, that is only up to the point when it gets too warm outside. Then, the reverse comes into play – I feel refreshingly cooler with the lack of clothing. The lack of clothing encourages the body to self-regulate. Clothing inhibits this natural body function, and perhaps over time, our ability to have our body’s inner thermostat work effectively is compromised.  Something to think about.

Walking as Spiritual Therapy, Skyclad Therapy

My backpack is now ready for Sunday’s flight to Vienna, Austria.

There are only three more sleeps in my home here on the prairies before I begin the journey to Vienna, Austria where I will join, what will be a group of ten, for a 500 kilometre [300 miles] trek through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and finally into Italy. I am taking part in the European Peace walk – EPW for short – which was first walked in 2014. I encourage you to read more about the EPW here. Of course, I won’t be walking it while nude regardless of what the image to the right suggests. This is not a NEWT event.

For those interested, my backpack with all that I am taking weighs about 14 pounds or 6.35 kilograms. Of course, I haven’t included water or munchies in the backpack weight as that is something that is constantly changing as a day wears on. My target weight was 17 lbs or 7.7 kg which is about ten percent of my body weight which is accepted as a reasonable weight for long-distance hiking, day-after-day hiking while carrying a backpack.

So why do I do these long hikes? After all, when all is said and done, it isn’t easy or all that kind to the body. Basically, it is the process of walking, or hiking that is at the heart of the matter. There is something that happens to the mind, body, and spirit when engaged in these hikes. It is akin to a pilgrimage where the journey changes the pilgrim. We rarely realise it, but each day that we “walk” through life, we are on a pilgrimage – not one that is tied to a church, but one that is bound to one’s spiritual and physical nature. Consider it a form of therapy, depth therapy, and you get a good idea of what it is all about.

More to follow . . . . . .