Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zen and the Art of Nakedness

I figure in this world there are Naked People and Pre-Naked People. Some people are so deeply Pre-naked that I even refer to them as People in Pants. But there comes a time when we all must learn that there are benefits to just letting it all hang out. Revealing yourself can be scary, I know, especially before you get rid of those embarrassing tan lines. But the only way to get rid of them, is to take off your clothes. Here are some helpful hints.

[note: this blog is useful both in a literal, and in a metaphorical way… hopefully I’m not too subtle]

Naked Among Like-minded Strangers

I think it is frequently harder to get naked among people you know personally unless you are all naked sorts… Other nudists are friendly and comforting, and know when to say something (you have toilet paper stuck to your foot) and when not to (you’d really look better if you did some crunches). Non-nudists completely don’t get it, so they either think that simply the fact that it’s YOU makes it perfect (the mother syndrome) or they think you are a brazen hussy for having the balls to be naked in the first place (I’ll believe you’re naked when I see you in a magazine).

I first came out as a nudist at HPANA among other young nudists… it was like a nude beach of sorts… gentle interaction, all of us careful to say mostly nice things (except when someone really needed a hint like “You’ll be sorry if you let that burn”. There are people who say things like “that’s not at all what I pictured you’d look like” but usually they are softened with, “Nice tattoo!” (At least a LITTLE compliment to go with the questioning and far more people only give constructive criticism in small doses and say nice things by the Abraxan-pulled carriage-full).

And then I found MY zen in a group of aspiring nudists easing into it together. My motto… share a little nakedness at a time (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours). My Nudist Group… I’ll call them The Burrow… shared a little at a time, gave feedback… of course we had a pre-agreement on honest critiques, because you can’t improve as a nudist without it, and we ALL want to be fully Naked eventually!

I don’t think people were shocked I was the first one fully disrobed and flashing to non-nudists, but there is a definite vulnerability to it.

I’ve recently had the mother of one of my daughter’s friends offer to trade manuscripts flashes, and again… a new layer of vulnerability… not only do I KNOW her, I SEE her. She periodically has my daughter at her house… so apparently the layers aren’t all off yet.

I can’t imagine what it will be like when I am naked on shelves at book nudist stores all over the country!

Know Who To Trust

So my advice to people who are afraid to get naked… find people first that you trust for POSITIVE feedback. It might be your family or friends, but remember… non-nudists may not get it. Many will just find it a cute little hobby you’ve taken up. A few will be enthusiastic cheerleaders who would love a muddy bare foot, but probably wouldn’t recognize a full frontal if it assaulted them, only because it is YOURS.

Better to find a few other nudists to share with. It is why I love the fan fiction naked Harry Potter forums—the feedback was gentle, consistent, and reciprocal. (never mind that there were some body parts already there for borrowing, so we could borrow parts we hadn’t quite developed yet—extremely helpful!).

Expand then to people who can critique and improve your Nudism… because lets face it… we all have a naked body in there, but some of them need a little work before they are ready for public consumption. You don’t want any cosmetic surgeons, because then it is no longer YOUR voice body, but recommendations on flexibility exercises or toning can only improve us. And those extra limbs? You’re doing your fellow nudists a disservice if you don’t point out that they should really just start a NEW naked person with those…

Expanding the Metaphor to Breaking Point

Nudists come in all shapes and sizes—there are mystery nudists, who don’t reveal themselves until almost the end; romance nudists who get naked in scene one and proceed to gyrate for 200 pages; suspense nudists, dropping an item here and there, teasing us; fantasy nudists (many of my nudist group fall in here—they are a colorful lot, what with their alien forms and giant swords)… and then people like me… mainstream nudists trying to drag the whole world along and convince THEM to be naked too.

But there are more nudists still… poetic nudists, painted nudists, sculpted nudists… I think whatever our art, revealing ourselves can be a truly frightening thing, but finding a nice gentle place to start, get feedback, grow, get more critical feedback, and then finally take it all off is a grand thing. Eventually we might even get paid for it!

Find your colony!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Well said, Hart! If we can just find our colony where we fit in best, then we feel so much more comfortable. Revealing ourselves through our writing (or, in some cases, nudity!) is incredibly difficult but the only way to really grow artistically.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Your posts are just so darned entertaining while being insightful at the same time. What a great talent to say what you have to say in such a unique way!

Let's hear it for getting NAKED!

Watery Tart said...

Elizabeth, you are such a fabulous support! And yes, we definitely grow through sharing. Sometimes it's fabulous and sometimes it is no fun at all, but it is pretty much always good for our craft.

Crystal-you were one of the people I was thinking about... contemplating writing, but a little afraid to dive in--I really encourage you to share a little, just to get your feet wet. I think you'll find it's quite addictive for people who love the language.