On the rooftop patio above the hosteria’s kitchen.
I have now been in Olón for a number of days. To be honest, since we are spending the first ten days in a hosteria [nicer than a hostel] the opportunities for being nude are rare. As I was telling someone in a one-on-one conversation, being nude only happens in what I call are “stolen moments.” And, as such, there is a significant element of risk involved because of the tightness of the buildings. In this photo, I am on the second level which is visible from the apartments on the same level, as well as visible to anyone both coming up the road or going down the road to enter the seaside.
My apartment door at ground level facing the street and a café.
I have spent almost all the time in my room clothing free as is normal. It is a small room as the “living room” is basically a patio with benches, cushions, hammocks, and a plethora of flowers. Yet, being nude in my room feels very constraining, so I often open the door. The result is that I have been seen by people in spite of my attempts to the contrary.
Is the risk worth the effort?
That leaves me with the question, is the risk worth it?
Perhaps it is a statement about my age or my stage in life, but the truth is that I am willing to take these risks. Of course, that doesn’t mean I will be stupid about it and walk down the streets of the village fully nude. This isn’t my home. When I do get seen, it is “barely seen” and only at the edges. There is no confronting others with my nudity. And as such, the responses when I do get noticed is negligible, more of a non-response than anything, as long as I don’t intrude into their spaces with my nudity.
With this said, I wonder what your thoughts are about stealing moments for nudity, risking been incidentally seen?
Holly trying out the Kiniki bathing suit for the first time.
I’m in Olon, Ecuador waiting for another walk along the beach. It hasn’t exactly been the sunniest time I’ve spent along the Pacific Ocean, so it is hard to tell at this point just how well my Kiniki [tan through] bathing attire will work out when I am on a public beach. I’ve written previously about the bathing suits I bought to replace my previous briefs that definitely didn’t allow any sun to colour the private areas.
Holly decided to get such a bathing suit for her use, which finally got a work out during a trip to Gambia in the recent past. She graciously provided me with an image of her bathing suit before use, and another post-use which is also included in this post. Now, the whole idea that we need to own such a bathing suit is beyond ridiculous. Since more than 99.99% of the population has either a male or female body [I’m not talking about gender identity which is a completely different matter] there is nothing to be seen that isn’t as common as a grain of sand when clothing is set aside.
Holly post tan-through experience.
Everyone has a butt, genitals of various sizes and shapes, and nipples on some sort of breast. Yet, we seem to make a big deal whenever one of these are exposed to public view.
After a week’s use, there is some decent evidence that the bathing suit worked as intended. Only the folded material lines were evident to an obvious degree. The result was a big improvement over being white beneath the suit. I am hoping that I get the same results when I am forced to use mine. With any luck, private beach or private garden time in the full sun without the suit will tidy up the edges. Of course, I will let you know the results in good time.
Saying that, I do hope your Christmas celebrations went well and that you are not suffering turkey coma. See you again, soon.
Montana Christmas with Melvin and Sandy
Merry Christmas to all of my readers here. I have three photos that I am bringing here to you in the spirit of Christmas. I have to admit that I don’t have a particularly religious [Christian] view of Christmas. For me, the day and the season is about bringing the light of love and friendship to the world. I have some very good friends in my face-to-face world, as well as in the world of social media
Holly as a Christmas wish or gift.
Holly, in an atypical photographic moment becomes what I can best describe as a Christmas wish. In the dark time of the year, we turn to lights that will give us the courage to navigate the long nights to return to the time of rebirth, the season of spring. Woman is the symbol of Mother, the source of life. I have to admit that I am drawn to the archetypal symbol of Mother Earth as temptress, as goddess, as lover, and as enduring centre of life. If only all the world leaders were women, then the earth might have a chance to renew itself with peace among men, and the return to an environment that we could be proud to pass on to our children.
Wishing upon a Christmas Star
And then there is my photo taken last night. This little tree lights up in blue, a pleasing blue that pierces the darkness. I didn’t worry about focus as I needed the image to be more inclusive. I knew that I had to bring myself down to the level of the miniature tree rather than tower over it like some sort of pretend god. I knew that if I were to be honest in my Christmas wishes, I needed to show a vulnerability so that every reader here would feel included.
Giving is the trademark of Christmas. I don’t mean giving in terms of going out and buying presents, but a giving that is so much more – giving of oneself. Sandy and Melvin, Holly, and myself – we each give in ways that are unique to each of us. And now, I leave you to enjoy what you can of this moment of light in the darkest time of the year. Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, and Feliz Navidad.
A good time for a short siesta.
When you read this, we will be on a plane and then a bus that will take us to our tiny village in Ecuador only three blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Obviously, I wrote this before we left, scheduling its publication while we were in the process of our move. Now to the story written.
We are now into our final day in Lima, Peru and finally, we aren’t rushing off on another round of tours or insane walking around to check out what there is to see. We had considered walking to the historic centre of the city, but it was a good ten kilometre hike which would mean a steady six hours of walking to make the return journey through crowded, twisted streets, not to mention the hours we would spend wandering through the historic section of Lima. Perhaps we will do it on a different day by covering most of the distance with a taxi – perhaps not.
Getting ready to make some tea.
It is so nice to have a place to call our own with no time commitments. We wandered for a good few hours this morning before we walked back to the apartment to make our lunch. This afternoon has strolling along a long beach on the agenda. Bathing suits? To be decided and dependent upon a few different factors. Whether we swim or not is not an issue when we have three months of beach time in Ecuador beginning next week.
We’re back from the beach which turned out to be smooth, rather large pebbles.
A moment for writing naturally in Lima
The action of the waves on the beach which was filled with surfers both in and out of the water, has pounded the stones to a uniform smoothness that is often associated with river stone. Several hours enjoying sunshine while sitting on the stony shore, and slowly walking a few kilometres of shoreline made for a very pleasant change of pace for us.
Now with our evening meal eaten and the dishes having been done, it’s time for tea, more relaxation, and finally a good night’s sleep. Now this is living as it should be lived when one is away from home. Next stop, Olon, Ecuador.
You won’t see this in an art school as a life-model pose.
Like everyone, Lanie is more than just a life model for art students or photographers. We humans often forget that we are not our jobs or professions. Our careers too often impose themselves too prominently in our lives resulting in our “forgetting” just who we are as authentic human beings. We begin to believe that career defines us and is the sum total of us. Too often we see the yawning abyss beneath the level of our conscious daily lives of work and interactions with others.
A time for reflection and honouring the body and the soul.
Those of us who are lucky intuitively find the spaces and places where we can reconnect with our bodies. For, it is the body that tells us so much about what is happening beneath the layer of ego. Like Lanie, we need to find that still place where we can allow the constant chatter of the mind to be silenced. For some, that place is within meditation; for others, that place is found in nature. Within these spaces and places, we set judgement aside and simply be still, accepting what is presented.
Listening to one’s body.
I am finding it difficult to find just this place and space here in Lima, Peru. We are sharing our apartment with two other ladies who are Peruvian. As a result, I am finding it next to impossible to “dare” being bare to reconnect with my own body. The moments are fleeting, and only when all have left the apartment. So, I take the little I am given and accept that as a gift. I breathe deep and let whatever needs to be released escape with a clearing out breath. Que sera, sera.
Checking out the early morning view from the window of our Miraflores apartment in Lima, Peru.
We’re in Lima, Peru and are comfortably settled into a shared apartment near the sea. The owner is a kind youngish woman who has two bedrooms she makes available to travellers such as us, or locals wanting to cut their living costs. Yesterday I found the closest grocery store which means that we finally don’t have to eat all of our meals in restaurants. Home cooking is much more preferable than constant restaurant dining regardless of how good the meals there. It’s just who we are.
Yesterday we began to discover the Miraflores quarter of the city, and will likely continued to wander more through this upscale section of Lima which is in the northern half of the city beside the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully, we’ll get a bit of beach time [black sand and pebbles] as well.
Our apartment Christmas tree and minimalist decorations.
Even though bathing suits are mandatory in Peru, we want to start getting out bodies used to sunlight again as our summer tans have long gone. We will wear our tankini bathing suits in hopes that they work to prevent the “white-tail” look by the time the opportunity for sunbathing in Ecuador arrives.
Peruvian nude statue in Larcomar square
When we are in our apartment, the owner and another lady who has rented a bedroom, are rarely present. Of course, that allows me a wee bit of privacy for the occasional photo and time to be simply clothing-free. Peru is allergic to nudity as far as I can tell. In the Larcomar Park area, I did come across a nude statue. Surprisingly, the genitals were absent – not broken off by someone who was offended, but simply omitted by the artist who was commissioned to create the statue. Something tells me that I’ll be more than glad that we had chosen Ecuador rather than Peru for our three month winter escape.
An animate still life
Lanie is a life-model for art students, as well as a model for photographers in the United Kingdom. It takes a lot of courage to take up a position that doesn’t always flatter one’s sense of self, poses that are often uncomfortable when held for too long. I know that I would struggle with this hard work.
Likely, I am not as self-confident as Lanie in risking how others see me. And make no mistake about it, this takes a lot of self confidence.
On stage with the lights creating shadows.
To be a life model, is in my opinion, similar to being an actor or actress. The audience is focused on performance, not on the person behind the scene. The audience is studying the scene, learning to capture what they see. And surprisingly, what is seen isn’t a mirror image of what or who is to be seen.
Lanie has been gracious in allowing us into her life as an artist, a life-model artist. There is something about this woman that tells you that behind the poses is a woman who is passionate about her life and about others. I know that I am looking forward to yet another visit with this beautiful person.