"Let's go naked hand-in-hand

back to our forgotten garden" (May Day)

forward?

 

Well, I decided to walk my talk & not balk. After all, before I could walk & talk, I was naked, without even that word or concept & such prelapsarian innocence & ignorance was relatively blissful. I thought nothing of it at the time. Bare in mind:

"we were born naked

we dress to kill

beneath it all

we're naked still"

(Human Condition)

 

The same is almost certainly true of you, dear, stylishly-dressed reader.

So, come perambulate with me, unless you are easily shocked by the sight of self-described homo sapiens' flesh. Remember we weren't ashamed to send this pioneering selfie to putative E.T.s:

Pioneer 10 plaque: Hi, we're only human, we come in peace (?)

 

Hi-tec for 1972, these representatives of Planet Earth weren't exactly clad in the latest fashion. Safest not to wear any clothes, as we wouldn't want to risk looking dowdy. They were still considered decent to greet possible intelligent aliens.

So, back down to earth, in the twenty-first century, why be shy?

Going right back to our hominid ancestors, it's obvious that humans haven’t always worn clothes, some like remote Amazon rainforest residents, the Yanomami tribe, still don’t, though, unfortunately, their days are probably numbered due to loss of habitat (which is driving the 6th global mass extinction.)

That explains the nakedness.

 

So why gardening?

Why not? Do I need an excuse to commune with nature?

Actually, to be candid, am taking Voltaire’s sage advice & cultivating my garden - indeed growing sage along with parsley, rosemary, thyme & other herbs.

In these circumstances, please excuse any colourful, flowery language that may follow. Would you prefer words desert?

click pic?

 

Having seen a theatrical production of the musical “Hair” in the late 1960s, with its notorious nude scene, I felt inspired & empowered to remove my clothes on stage during a performance of “May Day” I did while still a student in the 1970s. My costume was an alb, under which I was bare. When I came to the line: “let’s go naked,” in a boldly symbolic as well as literal gesture, I whisked it off & stood there starkers for a few daring moments. Coup de théâtre, you could say. Only occasion I appeared completely au naturel (to continue the French) in front of a theatrical audience.

However, like Quentin Crisp (of Naked Civil Servant fame), over the years I modelled for Life Drawing classes, so became quite used to posing in the nude without undue embarrasment. I practiced hatha yoga so was fairly limber.

 

 

 

 

... in the buff, butt naked, in a state of nature, au naturel, wearing the Emperor's New Clothes, unclothed, undisguised, in the altogether, bare-arsed, without a stitch on ...

 

etc etc etc

etc etc

etc

 

 

 

Sorry, ran out of fig leaves!

 

So the prudish  have no cause to object, carefully placed object to cover my “shame” - or rather my glory but I don’t want to show off. Maybe if I water, it will grow!  Privates are called such for a reason I guess.

 

 

 

There is, you'll be relieved to learn, literary precedent for this sort of behaviour. My state of  horticultural undress, was in homage, humble rather than hubristic, to one of my heroes, William Blake. The well-read will recall the following anecdote to which I am making allusion:

 

“At the end of the little garden in Hercules Buildings there was a summer-house. Mr. Butts calling one day found Mr. and Mrs. Blake sitting in this summer-house, freed from 'those troublesome disguises' which have prevailed since the Fall. 'Come in!' cried Blake; 'it's only Adam and Eve, you know!' Husband and wife had been reciting passages from Paradise Lost, in character, and the garden of Hercules Buildings had to represent the Garden of Eden... Blake lived in a world of ideas; ideas to him were more real than the actual external world. On this matter, as on all others, he had his own peculiar views. He thought that the Gymnosophists of India, the ancient Britons, and others of whom history tells, who went naked, were, in this, wiser than the rest of mankind - pure and wise - and that it would be well if the world could be as they. From the speculative idea to the experimental realization of it in his own person was, for him, but a step; though the prejudices of society would hardly permit the experiment to be more than temporary and private. ” - Alexander Gilchrist, Life of William Blake

 

Peter Ackroyd, in his biography of Blake, continues: "This corresponds with Blake's known interest in primitive belief, but there were other influences all around him from old sectarian faiths. The Ranters were believed 'to preach stark naked many blasphemies', and the Adamites went naked in order to practice 'promiscuous sexual intercourse'. The Quakers went 'naked for a sign', in accordance with the twentieth chapter of Isaiah, and antinomians in general considered nudity as representation of primeval innocence before the Fall as well as an emblem for the 'naked truths' of the gospel. Swedenborg's own interest in sexual magic was related to his belief that 'nakedness corresponds to innocence'. There was also the contemporary doctrine of Nareism, in more intellectual circles, which associated the practice of nudity with the liberation of female sexuality. There is nothing peculiar, then, in Blake's adoption of this radical belief; again we must think of him locating a doctrine here, and an image there, all the time trying to find material to bolster his unique and idiosyncratic vision."

 

Here is Blake’s Angel of the Divine Presence (on whom you may have noticed I model myself) introducing Adam to Eve. Pace Bible, no rib removal involved.



A little later, the new couple got a bit more intimate.

Now, here I am with my Eve. Hair not fair but I still fell for her. I try to be a gentleman but don’t really prefer blonds.

 

 

We sealed it with a kiss.
 

And ended up with this:

click pic?

Our Little Acorn (aka OAK or O.A.King)
 

***

 

For many years, I’ve been emulating Walt Whitman’s whiskers. There are several references to him on this site. I even nicked his title, Song of Myself, for a piece I wrote, which has the virtue of being a lot shorter than his somewhat verbose, sprawling longer song, considered a masterpiece.
In it, he writes:

"I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked.”

I only made it to my back garden, epitomizing the smaller scale on which I operate.

He enthuses about nakedness at some length elsewhere:

“Never before did I get so close to Nature; never before did she come so close to me... Nature was naked, and I was also... Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! - ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness the indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is--nor what faith or art or health really is." - Specimen Days

 

A contemporary of his, fellow writer, Henry David Thoreau, in Walden extols “the very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages…” In his Journals, he observes how, in contrast, nowadays:

"What a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under the severest penalties!"

 

In an earlier century, John Donne, waxed lyrical about nakedness:

"Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee,
As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth’d must be,
To taste whole joys."

 

Continuing literary precedents, this is my impersonation of  Shakespeare's "poor, bare, forked animal..."

Actually, here I have a RAKE not a garden fork or even a kitchen fork. (I realise the reference is to bifurcation, i.e. legs!)

Some might  say I AM a rake, in a different sense

("A fashionable or stylish man of dissolute or promiscuous habits" - O.E.D.) 

 

 

(Embodying bathos - from Blake to rake!)

 

A rake, possibly, half-baked probably, on the make certainly, but, give & take, for goodness sake, was I a fake?

Was I cheating when I wore a hat?  The sun was hot. Needed to keep a cool head.

Also the eagle-eyed might detect a turquoise earring. Still naked enough for you, surely. Unclothed anyway, I'd say:

"Articles carried rather than worn (such as purses), worn on a single part of the body and easily removed (scarves), worn purely for adornment (jewelry), or those that serve a function other than protection (eyeglasses), are normally considered accessories rather than clothing." - Wikipedia

O & not forgetting flip flops. Shoes aren't so much clothes as an accessory (to the crime?) I suppose. Or does that count as flip-flopping? Not wishing to lead you up or even down the garden path but going barefoot became painful on my poor feet after a while, though I did enjoy the benefits of grounding or earthing.

Had to be careful not to tread on this prickly fellow, a species sadly close to extinction. Feel happy & honoured a hedgehog has chosen to hang out in our little garden:

[To hear sound, enable audio in browser. If it's too distracting, simply mute]

click pic for another dictionary entry?

May Day

Costume

Findhorn

 Adam down in the garden

Garden Buddha

Cute in my birthday suit

Garden visitor in fur coat

Where have all the flowers gone?

When do we take off our monkey costumes?

Blake's Libertarian Vision

Garden of Eden Location?

Blake's Bard

Bamboo

Zen Garden

Blossom

Apple Tree

Pee

CV

"The altogether" with Brian Behan

Tribute to TREES

Earth Matters (Eco mix)

Raving Reporter

Homepage

Contents

A-Z

 

coming soon to a locality near you

drought &/or flood

 

 

 

        

Perhaps  it needs watering

Maybe overdid the watering a bit

 

but Life goes on

& where there's Life...

click pic to follow frogs

 

bananabanner2.gif (13598 bytes)

(click pic)

 

Talking of losing Paradise, as a species we are actively destroying it,.

Time is running out to regain/ restore it.

 

click pic?

 

I make my work freely available to one & all. Share as you like, with an acknowledgement of course. If you find this page interesting, entertaining or useful (choose whatever epithet you think fits), please consider making a donation via PayPal here. It's safe & secure.

This entire large website has been a real labour of love by Yours Truly. I don’t get paid & have to cover all running costs out of my own small pocket. Am in the proverbial
starving (at least slightly peckish) artist in a garret situation. Give what you can. Thanks. Happy to gratefully name check any contributor, unless you prefer to be an anonymous donor.