I am continuing on with what I discovered in Hollis’ book, On This Journey We Call Our Life. As I read, I thought of Melvin’s work with hides, a work that has a meaning that defies simply being a way to earn money. It is a work that somehow connects to something deeper for Melvin, especially in doing so while in his own natural state.
In the book, near its end, I found these words written by James Hollis as he talked about his own journey:
“Speaking for myself, all that I believed possible in the first half of life – complete understanding and management of life – proved to be delusory. At midlife I was blessed by the psyche with a deep depression. … I was being asked to confront old ways, life-diminishing complexes, to open to a larger feeling life, and to find a deeper relationship with the inner world.”
“Opening up to a larger feeling life, and to find a deeper relationship with the inner world.” Yes, that nails it right there. Though it may appear to the outer world that we are retreating away from deep relationships with the world, when we build a deeper relationship with ourselves, we in turn enter into a more authentic relationship with the world at large.
Naturism has that impact on my life, opening me up to a larger “feeling” life. I can only speak from my experience, but when my clothing is set to the side, I “feel” more fully. I feel my environment and I feel my body, and perhaps more importantly, I feel a resonance that tells me that this is what I have needed to be alive, to escape the shadows and the darkness of being an invisible person in an impersonal world.
So why does Melvin and so many others, choose to live as much as possible, a naturist life? What is it for them, for you, that makes the risk, the vulnerability worth it all? I am wondering what you can add to this conversation. Tomorrow I hope to be established in my Cusco, Peru home and will have time to once again connect with you here.