Sunday, June 25, 2006

Naked is a State of Mine

--You going camping with us this weekend?-- Mitch IM'd.

I was supposed to spend a woodland weekend with another friend out in the middle of nowhere, but that turned out to be way more trouble than it was worth, and the plans fell through at the last minute.

--You really should come. It's gonna be a good time.--

The "good time" he was referring to was a three-day weekend at a 145 acre, clothing optional retreat out in the rural reaches of the city. The campout, which ran $25 a night, came with demos and games, swimming and community-style meals at a banquet table with 25 of the nicest friends I'd never met. After about an hour-long Q&A session, Mitch finally convinced me that I'd be just fine lounging in the brush with the rest of the group, and I was welcome to wear as much or as little clothing as I liked.

See, as open and liberal as I am about sex, and as comfortable as I am with my body, I'm still a bit modest about baring my big white ass to a field full of strangers.

When I pulled into the campsite, I smiled inwardly. Less than half the group wore any type of clothing at all, but those that were in the buff seemed comfortable and happy. The trees overhead filtered the midday sun, and all the faces that turned towards me as I approached were smiling. It was a good feeling... a comfortable feeling...

... maybe a little too comfortable?

One of the demo's for the weekend was a photography how-to. They'd hired a professional photographer to come in with his camera and explain lighting, filter, and poses.

"Will you model for us?" he'd asked. I laughed. Surely he was joking. Me?

"You should," said Mitch. He smiled. He knew I wanted to, but I was being tugged under by a river of trepidation.

Then I heard a voice in my head: a deep, strong voice that resonates in that barrel chest of his. "You know, that's one of the things I like the most about you. It's not that you're fearless; you have fear just like every one else, but when you come up against it, you grit your teeth, take a deep breath, and dive in head-first. Damn the fear - full speed ahead."

I thought about that as my jeans hit the ground beneath me and the shutter of the camera winked.

"Wearing nothing is divine.  Naked is a state of mind.
I take things off to clear my head, to say the things
I haven't said." (Naked Eye by Luscious Jackson)



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