Naked and Caught With Rake in Hand

Raking apples in neighbour’s yard.

It’s a hot, muggy, and windy day, a day that knocks a lot of apples from apple trees. My neighbour has gone away until next week, so I took the opportunity to rake up most of the apples into two piles which will make the rest of the clean up easier for her and her housekeeper.

Of course, I did the same at my place – well, not raking them up, just picking them up and putting them into a trash can for disposal at a later date. We don’t put them into our compost as there is just too much to use for our tiny garden.

Too many apples on the ground. In the background my house and yard.

It isn’t that I normally take time out of my rather busy life for these kind of tasks that could easily wait. However, with the power being out for a few hours, and the sun being out, I turned it into a pleasurable activity. All was going well until I her the next neighbour arrive. With no fence between the two properties, I was seen. I wonder if this will result in some unpleasant consequences somewhere down the road. This was likely the only neighbour who hasn’t seen me, but possibly the only one who will cause me grief as she is often at my wife’s workplace. My only hope is that she doesn’t create a scene the next time she goes there. If nothing is ever said, it means that yet another neighbour has accepted the fact of a crazy, nude man as a neighbour.

Getting a Few Tasks Done Naturally

First part of tub surround gone.

We are doing some major bathroom renovations at our house. The wall paper is coming down, the tub surround is disappearing, baseboards are off, and all the smaller things that need to be removed will happen over the next few days. We are aiming for a brighter room getting rid of the beige sink and toilet as well.

The old tub surround has to come off to make way for the new.

It’s a pain, especially because it is sunny outside and I feel like I am missing out on being skyclad outdoors.

Regardless, this project has been in the books for a long time. We are having a significant (and expensive) redo of our bathroom because it needed to be done years ago. So why did we procrastinate? I guess the answer is really unimportant at this time since we are now taking care of this project.

My friend, Brian Collinson, a Jungian analyst in the Toronto area, has written a couple of good posts on procrastination that I hope you will read if you have time. As he mentions in his first post, procrastination likely has its roots in a complex that is related to perfectionism. In his second post, he looks at the relationship between perfectionism and procrastination. Carl Jung didn’t talk about procrastination, but he did speak to the idea of being stuck in his book, Modern Man In Search of Soul.

“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times. … In the majority of my cases, the resources of consciousness have been exhausted; the ordinary expression for this situation is: ‘I am stuck.’ “

This rings so true for me. Being stuck leaves me feeling less energy, almost depressed. And when the log jam breaks, I regain energy and find the will to go forward with tasks that I don’t particularly care to do, even if they are relatively important. I guess it helps that I can do the tasks while nude, something I wouldn’t have considered with any seriousness a number of years ago. But likely, it isn’t as simple as that. Still, it helps.

Struggling With a Naturist Novel

Ready to tackle yet another rewrite of novel three in the René Beauchemin series.

I have to admit that I am a bit frustrated with how book three is going. Since I have spent so much time on the book, between too many other ventures, it has been next to impossible to join the pieces together into a cohesive story. So, it is time to start again from the beginning, even if it means sacrificing parts of the story so that it becomes a unified story.

I started this book last year when I worked for about six weeks to develop the core of the story. Then I went to Mexico for three months and focused on a final round of editing of the second novel in order to have it ready for publishing this past spring as I wanted to take it on the road with me for book-signing events.  With that task done, I returned to this third novel thinking it wouldn’t take me long to finish it. Then, I went on a five week tour of central Europe in order to do the European Peace Walk. I got back home and found myself busy with family for the next month, and then this past month has been busy with book-signing events (as is next month), leaving me little time to have consistent time to work on the novel. The bits and pieces written pleased me. However, what emerged was in conflict with what had already been written. Thus, I find myself now having to go back and start again.

As one of my writing friends told me, “Paciencia, amigo.” Yes, I need to have patience, even if I feel that I should just toss the whole thing into the trash. I know that this is exactly what I need to do if I hope to have a third novel in the series. At least, I get to write skyclad outdoors when there is warmth and sunshine; and nude, indoors at other times.

Knocking on a Naturist’s Door

Welcome to my home

Welcome to my world

If you were to come to my home on the Canadian prairies, you would be more than welcome to enter so that we could get to know each other better. Though there is a doorbell button beside the door, it doesn’t work. I disabled it quite some time ago and have never gotten around to fixing it for some reason or other. So, you would have to knock, perhaps a bit louder than you would normally knock for I am losing some of my hearing and I don’t always have my hearing aids in place.

For those who are neighbours and friends, the door is unlocked and there is no hesitation in opening the door and calling out to see if anyone is inside, a wise move as I am often in the back yard. Another reason for calling out, is to alert me that perhaps I should get some clothes on. My neighbours know I rarely have clothing on when I am in the house – well, with the exception when I am in my robe while the house warms up after a cool night which has dropped the house temperature.

However for others, the knocking does give me a bit of time to put on the robe, or to dress in a pair of shorts before answering the door. My penchant for being nude is not meant to be confrontational with the world at large. I am not an activist as I have learned long ago that I can’t change people’s minds until they are already halfway their themselves. Any good therapist knows that you can’t heal another until they are ready to be healed, which is pretty much the same thing. So, when I answer the door for strangers, I am cloaked in camouflage, hiding the true nature of who and what I am.

So, if you intend on visiting me, give me a heads up so that I can decide just how I will answer the knock on the door.

Taking Out the Trash – Naked

DSC03815 (354x400).jpgThe day started out a bit dreary, but pleasant enough for me. Since it is Monday, it is garbage day. I have to get the bin placed alongside the pavement before seven in the morning, a time when not many are out and about on the street.

I was just reading an old (September 2011) Psychology Today article about how creativity needs one to frequently take out the trash. I have been struggling with “taking out the trash” as I re-write the third René Beauchemin novel, and it is causing what lies there waiting for me to begin stinking like some old dirty diapers, or rancid food.

DSC03816 (357x400).jpgI take out the trash in our home. It is just the way it is. The division of labour has worked itself out along traditional, almost gender lines. Taking out the trash is a man’s job. I don’t protest or even mind having this chore. If I lived alone, I would have all of the chores to do and thus have less time for writing, photography, or wasting away on social media. The idea that somehow, creativity is associated with taking out the trash is something that had never occurred to me. I mean – who would have ever thought about it that way.

Still, it does make sense. More than one writing effort has met the garbage can, literally or figuratively (trash icon on my computer). At certain times in my life, paper drafts and journals found their way into a burning barrel. What had been written “Stunk” and it needed to be disposed of so that there was room in my head for something that would perhaps deserve to published or carefully placed into my archives for future reference.

DSC03817 (400x266).jpgOf course, taking out the garbage nude is pure nonsense in our modern western world. The risks don’t seem to be worth taking this kind of chance. But, when it comes to writing, having one’s words parade naked and vulnerable is precisely what is needed. It becomes much easier to spot the garbage when the camouflage of flowery language, or overly complex sentences, or twisted and complicated plots hides the truth that the story actually stinks.

Hmmm … now that is a lesson that I need to reconsider as I return to my rewrite.

Naked Omnivore

Today is round two of making jerky. Yesterday I experimented with lean, ground beef with good results. There were only a few changes needed, a bit more seasonings, and a little less salt for my taste. So, yesterday afternoon, I ground up a kilogram of deer meat and then added the seasoning so that it could sit overnight in the refrigerator for this morning’s session of making the mixture into jerky.

All of this was in response to my children’s request for jerky, deer jerky in particular. It has been a few years since my last attempt, so I took my time to hopefully make it just right. If all turns out well, there will be a lot more jerky made during the autumn, especially if one of my grandsons gets another deer during hunting season.

In this age of many moving to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, and with my having become a Buddhist, I wonder why meat has remained such a significant part of my diet. And by significant, I mean in importance, not in quantity. After all, shouldn’t I be more environmentally conscious and respectful of all life? Well, the truth is, I am very respectful for all life forms. Like my First Nations ancestors, I know that I eat meat as a gift from both the animal whose life was sacrificed, and the universe which provided the animal with life. I don’t take meat for granted whether it is pork, beef, venison, fish, or any other life form that finds its way onto my plate.

Am I rationalising? I don’t think so. I grew up very poor when meat made rare appearances on our plates. My family had abandoned its rural roots and never did quite fit into urban life regardless of two generations of effort. When I did learn about hunting as a teenager, it was always about the meat, not the sport. And that, is a philosophy I carried with me throughout the years as I provided for my own family. Now, I only hunt with my camera and leave the hunting for meat to my grandchildren.

Negotiating For More Naked Space

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Changing bathroom lighting fixture.

My life isn’t totally spent outdoors while nude when there is sunshine. As with most other people, I do have to do other things even if the sun is shining such as today’s projects of making some beef jerky and changing a bathroom light fixture. Of course, those things can be done while nude as can almost everything that I find I need to do around the house and yard.

Outside of our home and garden, it is a different story. I don’t live in southern Spain or other naturist friendly location. So when I go out to buy a new lighting fixture, or to deliver more books to a bookstore, or take my wife out to have lunch, I wear clothing. It is what it is and I accept that – well, for the most part.

It is with that understanding of the world within which I live, that I search for what is possible for my preferred state – nude. And it is also this understanding that I find myself using as I write my novels. The characters within the stories need to reflect the “real” world even though many of my characters are naturists. Not many live in isolation from the larger world. Most of us who attempt to live as naturists need to interact with others who are not naturists, or accepting of nudity period. Naturally, there will be conflict when others either learn of our preferences for nudity, or when we step to far into the public eye while nude.

So how does one lessen the degree and the amount of conflict with others who want us to keep our clothes on? Well, the best answer is to let all around you know about your being a naturist, explaining if asked, why. That way, if they “accidentally” see you nude in your yard, or in your home through a window, there will be less “shock” leading to a gut level response. Since I have published books about my history, which included the therapeutic need for nudity, especially in nature, most in my home community “know” I am often nude, even if they haven’t seen me. As long as I don’t impose on them, try to proselytise and persuade them to also become naturists, tension is kept to a minimum. And so, I get more space in my yard and home, to be nude.