March 13, 2014

Naked contemplation

I’m on a writing retreat this week in a southern city, staying at a Jesuit retreat center where silence is observed. Flowers are blooming here, and it’s warm enough to feel sunshine on my bare arms. I love seeing photos of the snowstorm back home while I’m walking trails along the river and taking pictures of daffodils. I’ve been tempted to keep posting sunny photos to facebook so I can gloat to my friends, but I’ve resisted. Even though I can access the wireless here, I’m trying to stay unplugged because I’m working on a manuscript, revising furiously to meet a self-imposed deadline.

But still, I have an obligation to my blog readers, and so I offer you a naked photo.

No, this isn’t one of the Jesuits. Yeah, they’re pretty liberal but they’re not THAT liberal. And no, it’s not one of the other retreatants. They keep silence here! I have no way of offering any of them the opportunity to pose. I’m pretty good at communicating with hand signals — just yesterday I silently asked another guest where we were supposed to put our cloth napkins after the noonday meal. But to explain Project Naked without words might be more of a challenge than I’m up to this week.

This photo is one I took at the big creative writing conference I attended recently. I’ve known Kestrel for a couple of years now. I love that he chose the name of a bird for his pseudonym (that’s the perk of posing naked for me — you get to choose your own pseudonym) because his poetry is filled with references to birds and an awareness of the natural world. It’s also appropriate that I post his photo while I’m on a writing retreat that includes spiritual reflection, because he’s a guy who thinks thoughtfully and sensitively about spirituality. I like to think that if he were on this retreat with me, he’d be doing just what he’s doing in the photo: staring out the window after reading some poetry, lost in thought. Except, yeah, he’d probably have some clothes on.

Contemplative

Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.

9 comments:

Sam said...

I love it when you get a guy to pose for you!

Theresa said...

Lovely shot. I am amazed at how you get people to strip for you!

Zhoen said...

So relaxed, at ease in his skin.

BrightenedBoy said...

It is one of the great tragedies of my career that we've never been able to attend a writing conference together.

Sorry to say, however, that no amount of inducement could get me to pose naked. You and your friends are a brave bunch!

jo(e) said...

BB: Don't worry, your age lets you off the hook. You're the same age as my oldest son, which means I won't be asking you to pose naked.

But yeah, I hope we end up hanging out at some kind of event at some point ....

Cindy said...

I love this project. He looks totally relaxed!

Amanda said...

I always love coming here. It has been beautiful lately, but there is something about being away, looking back toward home and tasting something different, even if just to come back loving what you have all that much more.

Amber said...

Your picture is lovely as always. You take them with such heart, humility and sense of fun.
Next year that big writing conference is in my state. I will certainly be there. Will I have the guts to contribute to Project Naked, I wonder.

I am attending a silent Jesuit retreat in a few weeks. Very much looking forward to it.

Jeff said...

Don't know how I missed this so many months ago but it's a fine, introspective image. I like the relaxed pose and soft window light of this urban nakedness.