**Warning: This is a naked post about public nudity. If that’s not your thing, this is a good time to avert your eyes, to avoid streakers! **
Okay, if you’re still here, I’m assuming you want to be. =)
What makes you feel beautiful? What’s helped you embrace your body/appearance as it is? What area are you still working on—or should you? What makes you feel sexy? What helped you embrace, rather than shame, your sexuality? What’s stopping you? How do you define real beauty or sex appeal? Who epitomizes beauty and sexiness, IYO? What advice would you give your younger self or a girl in your life about beauty and/or sexuality?
I’m a person who feels more comfortable, much of the time, in my own skin than in clothing. That’s reflected, maybe, in the nudity that pervades my writing- my aroused Vulcans see little logic in wearing clothing that will only get in the way of their goals. And my Tribed characters – well, when they aren’t in the animal forms of their inner Hunters, they tend to be naked in all but the coldest weather.
There’s more than a little of my own nature in that, in imagining a culture that lives wild in nature, unabashedly naked and bare to the world.
This is me, in Oregon’s deep woods, against an ancient tree, celebrating it and myself. I’m the mom of a teen boy, so I’ve covered the bits that might be embarrassing to him, and others…so this becomes a modest nude. =)
It wasn’t a planned shot. I saw that magnificent tree, and some deep impulse surfaced. I stripped down to get elemental by this piece of the natural world. The only things I was wearing was my wedding rings and a headband.
At the time, I thought I looked fat, and I was embarrassed that I hadn’t shaved my armpits. Fifteen years or so further along life’s journey, I see it differently. Armpits grow hair; that’s natural. Whether to shave it is a matter of choice, or fashion – not an obligation. These days I either do or don’t, and I don’t think much about it, either way. And that body that seemed so unappealing, then? Reminds me of a Rubens painting, now – a lush and strong body, padded for pleasure! =) No Tacivaarii Huntress would be at all embarrassed to wear it.
Oregon is an interesting place for nudity…even of the public type. There are several clothing optional hot springs there, and we visited two of them in our pre-parenting years. McCredie Hot Springs was tucked just off a state highway, accessible by a nondescript dirt side road. It was a short trek through the woods, and the pools were of varying temperature, sprawled across a generous area, and kept natural. We shed our clothes before we got to the springs, and ran through the trees, soon immersing ourselves. I can imagine the Pride having a place like this, at the Pridekeep.
On one visit, while we were soaking, a middle-aged man arrived. We chatted for a bit – the empty conversations people have when they’re filling up space and attempting to present an image. And then my Accomplice moved to a cooler pool, and I was alone with this man…
For a moment, I was nervous, and hugely aware of my nudity. I hadn’t thought of my clothing as social armor, before that incident – but it is. We tell others how we want to be perceived, and how we perceive ourselves, by the way we dress.
Without clothing, I was truly socially naked – and so was he.
There was nothing sexual about it, but it was very intimate. Our conversation took a turn, and became far more personal. He spoke of his wife and her dog – not his dog, but hers, to keep her company when he was on the road. He was a trucker, and often stopped there for a soak before heading home. He spoke of his grown daughter; I talked about my still young marriage and our travels. We both spoke of our hopes for the future, and then we parted ways.
I can see the Tacivaarii, frolicking and connecting in those pools, lounging and washing one another, weaving new and stronger threads into their Huntthread, which sustains their Tribe.There’s something of beauty and honesty in being naked with other people in this way, being as naked and open and vulnerable as the living and growing things that surround us.
The social barriers fell away, that day, and we were two people, genuinely sharing. Two people who might never have connected, if we were wearing our respective suits of fabric armor.
Bare skin has greater powers than the ability to attract prospective partners…
Baring skin can lead to baring souls. To realizing that we’re all connected, beneath the layers of identity we don to get through our lives.
And there is something beautiful in that.
How about you? Do you have any beautiful, inspirational, nude stories? I’d love to hear more about them!
This post is also for Love Is In Da Blog, Day 23.
Lise was asleep somewhere between 9 and 10, and Miah around 11, tonight, and Jim and I were left with the luxury of an earlier night…time together, when we could both manage to stay awake.
So, we watched a little TV, I showered,and we set my Kindle up to play Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints while we spent some time in connection – something like a date night in our own bedroom, listening to the music…
And then, I heard “Spirit Voices”, and had a flash of revelation…
This song is the inspiration for Osiiraan, which is a central setting in my Trueborn Weft Series books.
I hadn’t realized it before, but this place – the hollowed space within a tree that would dwarf a sequoia, where Untribed and Tribed first learn to live together and create a society with room for all, in what had once been Huntlands, but which now are freely occupied by whomever chooses to live there… – this place is my interpretation of the brujo described in the song.
There is the greatroom, born of this snippet of lyric:
“Women with their nursing children sleeping on the floor,
We join the fevers and the broken bones.”
The huge inner chamber of Osiiraan is where most of its life happens. Many of the Untribed sleep there, else in the area just above. There are areas that serve for cooking, gathering, weaving, and other arts and needs. It’s as communal a life as any of them choose, and yet, their is room for privacy there, as well… Osiiraan is a bustling, alive place, centered, integrated, and usually peaceful without the need for lawkeepers…
And yet, it has also been the one shelter remaining in a time of destructive warring, a place where the broken and dying are taken, a place deeply threatened…
I think Osiiraan is so much more real to me than the other places – the three Keeps, the Merchant’s Road, and the Untribed settlements (I’ve never even given these names, they are so unreal to me, as yet…), because those were created to fill a need.
But Osiiraan – Osiiraan sprang from a song that first spoke to my soul over two decades ago. A song by my favorite songwriter – maybe my favorite writer, ever.
Osiiraan was once a tiny seed, dropped lovingly into the fertile soil of my soul, watered by experiences, sustained by the glow of imagination, and thriving with time.
From this one song came so much…not just the place, but an evoked mood, a state of being, expressed with skittering, lively drums, spare yet intensely poetic language, Paul’s obvious fascination with other cultures, his keen ability to observe and pack worlds of knowing into only a few words:
The falcon calls,
Lime green lizard
Scuttles down the cabin wall.
And all of these spirit voices
Rule the night…”
For all this time, through maybe a thousand hearings, and maybe ten thousand times the lyric has flitted up to awareness, and all the innumerable times it’s been a hidden part of dream or fantasy, this song, like a subterranean river, has been feeding my world, tending to Osiiraan’s roots and trunk and branches and leaves. Tending, too, to the beings that inhabit her, be they Tacivaarii, Canivaarii, Untribed, or wild creatures…tending to their spiritual and physical lives…
Feeding me, and healing me. Thank you, Paul Simon. You may never know what you did, but I do.
You offered the seed that became a place not just in a story, but also a mood I try to evoke in my own life, in this (much smaller than a sequoia) little home I share with my beloveds…human and otherwise.
There is a sweetness and beauty to that, a sense of rightness, that makes me smile, now that I know – because it suggests that the most precious gifts we can every receive are the honest offerings of another’s soul, when we are willing to accept them as they are, and allow them the space to grow and move within us….
- Sima Garo Provides – Chapter Eleven, Scene One (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Favorite Song “The Sound of Silence” By Paul Simon. (dshenai.wordpress.com)
- Paul Simon Honors Sandy Hook Teacher Victoria Soto at Her Funeral (spinner.com)
- 30 Days, 30 Albums – Paul Simon – Paul Simon (outtheother.typepad.com)
- NPR’s First Listen: Paul Simon, ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ (ritholtz.com)
- My DSP: Rewrite (suitejen.wordpress.com)