Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My First Time (Publicly) Nekkid

C.O.Beach sign
Clothing Optional Beach
It is no secret to all in my life now, that I take every practical (some would say to the degree of crazy… you decide!) opportunity to be nekkid. It was not always that way. I was “in the closet” so-to speak, for most of my life. I was always afraid of what others would say, how they would react, and the potential for mortal embarrassment, torment, vulnerability, and ridicule. Now, not ashamed, nor do I hide it. I used to go to very remote areas for gettin nekkid along Washington, and Oregon’s plentiful rivers, lakes, streams, and beaches. (always thinking "what if somebody sees me??") Somewhere around 2004, I got up the nerve to go to a public clothing optional river-front beach. Keep in mind, There are No laws against nudity in all of Oregon. But I chose to visit Rooster Rock State Park which was for some odd-reason designated as an official “Clothing-Optional Beach”. I guess I reasoned that if I was going to be “Caught”, I would be better-off where others were doing the same thing. Rooster Rock is located in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, about 30 miles East of Portland. After hiking about, and exploring the area, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did not see many people along the river. I found a spot where it felt kinda secluded, so even still, I might not be seen. After sitting on the shore for almost an hour, I decided to get up the nerve to strip down. I figured the best way was to strip, and run out into the water, thus not being "just hanging out naked"... you know a safe cover of swimming... or so I thought!

Wearin' only purple toenail polish, and a smile! by JOn's ~=:-) view
Peaceful View on The Beach
of Rooster Rock

I quickly (and nervously!) stripped, and ran out into the water. After many yards of water, it was still only ankle deep! So I just kept going... after about 50 yards, it was only knee-deep! (If you have ever tried to run in water, you know that it is an extremely grueling, tiresome chore) After it was up to my knees,
I could not run any more. I sat down to see if it was at least swimmable, only to find it was really muddy! No way I could enjoy “wallering” in the mud. I decided that I would just keep going out further. (After all, The Columbia River IS a Major Shipping channel for commercial ships, and barges, I Knew it had to get deeper eventually!) I Kept trudging out further. I realized I had been naked in a public water way for quite some time, now, and It was OK! I realized I could easily be seen by any number of people from many vantage points along the shores, or surrounding mountains. I was thoroughly enjoying the sunshine, and the water, the views of The Gorge, and everything that one enjoys while forgetting his troubles in life. I kept wading further, and further, occasionally splashing the water up over my head, and enjoying this!

After close to 100 yards out, it was just about up to my thighs, and was completely amazed at how far I could walk across the river! This is The Mighty Columbia! How can I walk a hundred yards in it?? This was now occupying my mind more than the original thoughts, fears, and what-if’s that accompanied this venture. I was totally engrossed in the beauty of my surroundings, the feel of the water lapping against my legs, the varying layers of temperature in the flowing water, the breeze on my body, how free I felt. I did not have a single care in the world at this point. I am over 100-yards from shore, and free! It was wonderful! There was a train going up The Gorge on the far side river-bank. I was listening, and watching the wonderful train… then I realized I had never watched a train while nekkid before. And I knew that if I could see that train so clearly, the engineer, and crew could easily see me. But that was OK! Another wonderful freedom! Then I heard the nearby sound I had not noticed in all my bliss. Suddenly, I realized, that I am hearing the familiar sound of a Very Large Boat coming up river, and not far from where I was. In the split-second when I turned to look, I had hoped it was just a Tugboat pushing a few barges upriver.(because a Tug would only have one or two people on board that might see me) NOPE! It was Not Just a Tug with barges. It was The Biggest Sight-seeing Paddle-wheeler Tourist Boat that operated in the region! Here I was, standing in the shallow water with a four-story boat loaded with tourists! All on the outer balconies, and Waving, and taking pictures! I was petrified!! Suddenly, I am naked in front of Hundreds of people with cameras!! They were Happy, Waving, and taking pictures! The Boat Captain then blew his steam-whistle, too! At the sound of all the happy people, and the steam whistle, I relaxed (a little) and just stood there smiling, and waving as they went past... SO MUCH FOR NOT GETTING CAUGHT, HUH??? But the irony, I noticed, in being fully exposed, and vulnerable to hundreds of strangers was that they taught me a very valuable lesson. They accepted me. To them, I probably appeared to be the most free, and life-loving, relaxed person, just enjoying nature as God had made me. Not a single one of them looked scared, freaked-out, or somehow threatened by viewing a naked human playing in the water. They were happy to see me! This was new to me!

As the boat passed, it dawned on me that it was only a few yards out from where I was, so it must be deeper there. I began to wade out a bit, and found the drop! Yup! That is where the edge of the dredged-out shipping channel was, and I was in deep water. So I swam around and enjoyed what I was originally trying to do. After I was done swimming, I headed back toward the shore… More like "hiked back to shore" I was now very worn-out, and exhausted. As I made my way back to shore, I noticed that the bushes all along the shore is where all the people who were also using this beach were located...again, so much for not getting "caught", huh? By the time I got back to shore, I was tired, and had been in the sun a while, and decided I better cover-up, and head for home. I still was not ready to tell anyone, but that day turned out to be one of the most liberating, as far as casting off chains I had carried all my life. After that I made a habit of visiting the areas where others were enjoying the rivers, and lakes without clothes. I was getting very comfortable about my own body-acceptance.

That day turned out to be the best way to get over the nervousness. …Or so I thought… Next fear is overcoming the “being comfortably nekkid” in front of people you know. Getting up the courage to confront the “what-if’s” being seen nekkid by those who have gotten very familiar with you, and have never seen you without clothes, and will see you again after they see you nekkid. For example, Your Best Friend, whom happens to also be your roommate, and … you have managed to always be at least wearing a towel, when she walked-in. The person who when the topic ever came up, both of you were too mortified to talk about it. The person who knew you well enough to understand how much of a freak you were about anybody seeing you bare and vulnerable. We manage to build such walls around ourselves, and our closest friends accept those walls, and even help us build them. How on earth, could I manage to tear-down those walls, without causing a major wall to be built between us? How could she accept it, if she knew You, yourself never accepted yourself? The next full-year was filled with exactly that. My new-found freedom, was in fact another, newly-found prison. Turns out it is much easier to be Nekkid in front of people you do not know, and likely will never see again, than it is to be nekkid in front of people you know very well. So, How Did I manage to finally break down those barriers,and not push my best-friend away? I will continue this in another post.... where I will tell how the next year went, and how I approached the subject, broke down the walls, and learned to allow others to see me in a most-vulnerable, open way...flaws and all.

I Hope my writings help you in any way that you can find helpful. (or at least entertaining). Perhaps you have been conflicted about your own nekkid body? Maybe you are not at all interesting in finding such a freedom. If my writings help you to understand me, or someone else you know, then that is why I write. I love helping people, and this is one way I can do so…. Even without knowing the reader. I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!! (and thanks for reading!) Jon ~=:-)

Update, September 7, 2011: Here is the Blog about how I first learned to enjoy naked, and how that freedom got taken away at age twelve. It also covers many of the events that led to who I am now, how I view life, and even why I always have more female friends than I do male friends. It is titled "The Joys of Naked, as a Child, Then Lost", and you can view it here: http://enterwithanopenmindorclosedeyes.blogspot.com/2011/09/joys-of-naked-as-child-then-lost.html

Update, September 10, 2011: Here is the blog about "Coming Out of the (Naked) Closet". This is what I went through in the year following this event. 2004, and 2oo5 was the absolute most diificult, yet also the most rewarding as I cautiously started tearing down those life-long barriers. In this blog, I discuss the torment of finally allowing yourself to be seen naked by your best friend. The Humor, the fear, the curiosities, and the final moment of "What-if's". That blog is here: http://enterwithanopenmindorclosedeyes.blogspot.com/2011/09/coming-out-of-naked-closet.html

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Have a Serious Addiction, And I Have Holes In My Shoes!

Here is a story that I have been urged by many to "publish". Well, why not publish it as one of my first on my own blog?
I Originally posted this on Facebook on January 10th, 2010. At the time, I was living in Portland, Oregon.
This sort of thing makes me smile, and captures very well my character, what I do, and how I do it.  I Hope You enjoy it as much as I do! ~=:-)

I have a serious addiction. And I have holes in my shoes. (bear with me, and you will see why they are in the same title line)

So, this morning, I noticed I already have holes in the soles of my “new” shoes. (I say “new” because I just bought these in October. So, as I went through my day, I was wondering how I managed to get holes in my shoes so quickly. After today, I now know the answer. It is because the streetcar was not going to come for another ten minutes. Simple enough, huh? I am guessing you do not see the connection. This is where my serious addiction comes into play.

At 2:30 this afternoon, I left my home to go to Safeway for creamer, and ice cream. I got back home at 6:30pm. You might think I have a serious trip just to go to Safeway, right? Nope! I have Safeway stores all around me. One is about two to three miles away in one direction. Another is about two miles in another direction. Yet another is about four miles in yet another direction. They all have direct bus lines that go right to them. Catching those busses is not a problem, either. All of the bus lines run frequently, and are within a block of my home.

The problem begins with my choice of which Safeway I will go to. I like the one in Downtown at 10th and Jefferson. Simple enough. Just take MAX downtown. Walk 5 or 6 blocks to Safeway. So I got on a MAX at the Hollywood stop, and went downtown. The MAX had to stop before it got where I wanted to go, because of another MAX disabled ahead of it. No problem. I like to walk. I started to walk toward Safeway, but then I saw a streetcar coming, so I hopped on it to go the last few blocks. But then I decided to ride it down to the south waterfront, and then come back around and get off at the Safeway. But then I remembered that once it get to the south waterfront, it waits there for 45 minutes, before making a return trip. So I got off at the River Place Marina stop. The next one I wanted would not be there for 10 minutes, (notice… that is the key to this whole thing). So I decided to walk down 1 block and look at the river, and take some pictures. Then I found myself exploring along the waterfront, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery, and wandering some more. Then I was at the Hawthorne Bridge, and taking more pictures. Then the clouds cleared up, and the sun was starting to set, creating even more great things to take pictures of.

Sunset sky over Hawthorne Bridge, Willamette, and Marquam Bridge
The View from atop The Parking Garage: Hawthorne Bridge, Willamette River,
and Marquam Bridge under a magical sky

I walked up a few blocks, and went to the top of a parking garage to get a great view of the river, bridges, sunset, sky, city, and world below. I took many more photos, and enjoyed the late afternoon, and sunset, played with the different settings on the camera, used the tripod, and the timer, and ran the batteries down. No problem. I have plenty of spare batteries. Changed the batteries, and kept taking pictures.

After a while, I then wandered on back to the street-level, and started to walk toward the streetcar stop at 4th. Found more things that caught my attention, and took more pictures. When I got to the streetcar stop, I noticed that the next one would not come for another 10 minutes. So I decided to walk up and check out the Lovejoy fountain, and neighborhood. I wandered back down to the streetcar, and missed the one that I was gonna catch. So I wandered some more, and caught the next one. Then, I decided it was too short a ride, and I was enjoying it, so I decided to ride it around the loop, and come back around to Safeway. I ended up in the Pearl District, and decided to get off at the Safeway up there. I like that Safeway, so it is not a problem.

After getting my creamer and ice cream, I headed back out to the streetcar stop. As I walked-up, a #77 bus pulled-up. I could take this bus, and be back home in a few minutes. But it was very crowded. (all the routes that go past the Rose Quarter were crowded for a game tonight). So I skipped it. The next streetcar was due in 10 minutes. I could wait. Well, as I was on that streetcar, and headed back toward MAX, all the people that were doing the “No-Pants on MAX pub-crawl” got on board. They got off at the same stop I was getting off at. Then they walked to Pioneer Square, the same place I was going. This caused me to watch and laugh at their antics, and miss the #12, and another MAX. So, I finally caught the next MAX, and headed home. I got home at 6:30 tonight.

So, I have realized that I have a serious addiction. I think, of all the possible addictions a person could have, I have one (or two) that are actually good for me, and healthy, too! My addictions are I like to wander, walk, explore. And, I love to take pictures! And the reason I have holes in my shoes after only three months is because the streetcar is not going to come for another 10 minutes.

When I posted this on Facebook, I had intended to just share a funny story from my life, and the way my mind operates. It turns out, that not only did I share joy with others, they managed to give some joy to me! Hearing from old friends, and having them remind me of how much this free-spirit, happily-wandering, always looking for positive, and enjoying the moment, way of life I embrace brought them happiness. I was reminded at how hard I had to work to regain this way of life. There was a time prior to this (about a full year) that I was struggling to just keep going daily, let alone find ANY Joy.

I am now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the timing, and relevance of this post is very fitting... It would seem I once-again after four months have holes in My Shoes! (here we go again!)  I try every day to find the same sense of wonder, joy, and fun in daily life. I will definitely get some of my adventures on going to the grocery store in Vegas written soon!

I Hope You find as much joy in my adventures as I do! Thank you for taking the time to read, and Join My Journey through life! I Hope Have a Fun Day! JOn ~=:-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Best Card I Ever Received.... Twice!

Many many years ago, in 2002, I was given a greeting card by a wonderful friend, Tabitha. I had it hanging on my wall when I left Oregon (actually ran-away), and I left it there. Cara found it left behind, saved it, and later mailed it to me when I settled down in Virginia, in 2005. I loved it so much, and it has such powerful meaning, I actually painted these words around the entire interior perimeter of my apartment. The card has since deteriorated, but I kept the words. Every time I see this, I melt, and Thank Tabitha, and Cara for being such special friends in my life!

I Hope You Like it, too!

Be Alive. Think Freely. Smile Often.....

Tell Those You Love That You Do.....

Rediscover Old Friends. Make New Ones.....

Hope. Grow. Give. Give In. Pick Some Daisies.....

Share Them. Keep A Promise. Laugh Heartily. Reach Out. Let Someone In. Hug A Kid.....

Let Out The Kid In You. Slow Down.....

See A Sunrise. Listen To Rain. Trust Life. ....

Take A Leap Of Faith.....

Make Some Mistakes. Learn From Them.....

Explore Your Heart. Let Your Imagination Play.....

Paint Your Dreams. Enjoy. Celebrate Life.....

Make Each Day A Masterpiece.....

Just Hoping You Have A Great Day!....

(This is by Jan Michelsen)....

I HOPE You find as Much Joy and love in this that I have! Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!! JOn~=:-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting Started......

I am aware Blogging is not a new thing. It is New to me, though. I am hoping to be able to use this tool to further my creative expressions. I Love life, and all the joys that can be found in daily living. I do not own a vehicle, and am always quite pleased at just how much one can see, enjoy, and discover in what most would consider every-day life. I choose to find excitement, and make every journey an adventure.

I tend to go through life alone, and have not found that to be a bad thing. Many people wish to keep-up with my life-journey, but that is difficult to do in person. So, I have found the online world to be a way to welcome others in. Online has allowed me to share what I am so passionate about, and not have to wait around for those who might or might not come along. I learned long ago that if I waited for those who say they wish to come along, I would never, or at best, seldom even make it out the door. Occasionally, I am blessed to have another Human actually meet the same schedule as mine, and have a wonderful shared adventure.

For many years, I have found Facebook, and Flickr to be wonderful online tools. I have met wonderful people, and made some life-long friends all over this place we call Earth. I absolutely hate phones. These online sites allow us to easily connect at the times that suits each of us in our own busy lives, and at times when works conveniently for each person. There are many who we each only connect with on a rare basis, and those who we interact with on a daily basis.

Why Blogging, now? I have felt the urge to express some of my thoughts, views, and wonderful discoveries in life. Facebook is great for small amounts of dialog, and tidbits of daily life. Flickr is wonderful for all my photography, and sharing to the world My view on life through a camera. Please visit My Flickr page!: 
 I also have a Giant Rubber Duck, named Just Ducky. There is a Facebook page for Him and all His Wild Adventures. (life cannot be viewed in the same manner once ya add a Giant Yellow Rubber Duck, and a cast of many other rubber ducks of all shapes, sizes, and of varying character.) Please visit Just Ducky's page: http://www.facebook.com/giantrubberduck

No Doubt, You will find I am The Most Unique Person you have ever met, or will meet. I am passionate about many things in life. I absolutely love and thrive on anything positive, honest, happy, and full of joy! I am not at all religious, but I am very spiritual. Do I attend Church? That would depend on what you define as church. If "church" is a building, then no. If "church" is where one goes to connect with the creator of our Earth, then yes. Nature is My church. I believe We have a wonderful God. (I have seen, felt, lived, and experienced way too much to deny that God exists). I am fine with those who insist otherwise, and it is not my purpose to attempt to convince them otherwise. It may surprise some to learn that I also fully believe in science. Some would say they cannot be both believed, and that it is one or the other. I believe they exist in harmony, and actually support one another.

I am fully supportive people doing as they wish in life, just as long as they are not harming anyone (themselves included). I support anyone being of any religious, political, sexuality affiliation they see fit for their own life. I do not see color, race, or other things that most use to divide our population. I see Humans as exactly that. Human. It should not matter that someone is of a different skin-color, a different ethnicity, a different religious, political, or sexual background than I am. Where I have the problem, is when someone thinks they are superior to another based on those beliefs, or that what they believe is the only way in life. Every single one of us is Human. That should be all that matters.

I was born with parts that would make me "Male".  In my belief, that is far too general a classification. I believe there is much more that makes-up whether a person is indeed a male, or female..... Or combinations that could go on endlessly as to what a person really is. I do not claim to be a male, in the typical sense. There are sooo many subjects on this alone, that I will save those further details for later, individual posts.

What about Nekkid? Yup! I live as much of life as is practical without clothes. I am not at all interested in being seen, or attracting attention for not wearing clothes. Nor am I sexual about it. (in fact, you will discover that I am The Most Non-sexual person!) To me there is much more to life than sex, or sexuality. Yup! I know I do not match most other humans in this belief. Anyplace I can be without clothes, I will. I do not break any laws, in doing so, nor do I Ever do this in places where people would get the impression I am trying to be an exhibitionist. Simply nekkid is not illegal in most places. Where it becomes illegal is when one is being an exhibitionist, sexual, obscene, or lewd. I Do none of the above...Ever! Sadly, Most of our society is under the belief that naked is somehow illegal. That is where the problems occur. Even Most police officers believe naked is illegal, and would arrest someone, before they figured out that person was in fact doing nothing wrong. Due to this belief, I am forced to wear clothes in most of main-stream society. Going to jail is one of those things that is on my list of things I will never do. (even for an occurrence that would later be deemed 'wrongful arrest') ( a Funny footnote on the same... Did you know the Supreme Court ruled Women are allowed to go topless anywhere a man is? And legally, too! Why do they not, then? Because most of our society has deemed breasts as sexual, and again most women do not want the hassle. They would be harassed, and possibly arrested before the officers understood their wrong-doing.)

There are so many topics I have brought-up on this post. I will, in time, expand on each of them, and many more, too! I am excited about starting my creative venture into this world of Blogging!  I Will likely piss many people off. That is to be expected when one expresses his own beliefs. Keep in mind, before you decide to get pissed.... I make it clear these are My Views, on MY Own Blog. I welcome open discussion, and even opposing views. But ya gotta play nice, and show respect to other humans. Some of the things I do not tolerate are: dishonesty, illegal activities, and people who are narrow-minded (believing others should only believe as they do). I will express strong views on many topics, because I can back those views up with a lifetime of searching for answers, digging up the facts, and having lived through a life that I would not consider an easy one. That said, Do I consider my views and opinions to be widely accepted by those who see, or hear them? Absolutely not.  I DO hope that another would be open enough to view them, and consider the merit, reasons, and truths behind them.... Just as I would do with your views.

Thanks For Reading!! Have a Wonderful Day! JOn~=:-)

P.S.... The Ads are generated automatically by Google... I have absolutely no say-so in the contect you see onthe ads. My appologies, if you see something that does not match my views. (but please let me know if you see something that I won't like!) :)