Medium Short: Naked and Nakeder
Welcome to the latest Medium Short, a weekly accountability practice highlighting what I am reading, writing, and doing along the unmarked trail towards #IndustrialHealing. This is a personal update — my (debatably) more professional writing is freely available through this link.
I worked as a nude model for the Fine Arts department when I was a university student in the 1990s. It was the best paying student job on campus at $9/hour. I had to stand still, changing poses every few minutes based on the art professor’s guidance. (Sometimes I reclined on a chaise and fell asleep. I don’t think I was a very good model.)
In some ways it was the most basic job: be naked and visible so art students could borrow my lines and make some of their own. In other ways it was extremely challenging. Generally speaking, we are not supposed to be naked in a room full of others who are fully clothed. It feels strange when we are.
Anyway, I learned a lot during those years — it was an education, after all. I graduated debt-free, with lifetime friends who have gone on to become great artists.
Here I am now, feeling rather naked once more, only this time in front of a much larger audience. And I have no idea what, if anything, they’re doing with my lines.
Here’s the week in which I put a little more skin in the game.
I returned to a book I’ve read several times in both English and Portuguese: Nilton Bonder’s “A Alma Imoral” (Our Immoral Soul — a Manifesto of Spiritual Disobedience). It’s a short, stealthy book that re-centers the mind. Here’s a snippet:
A great paradox is that we cannot claim dignity unless we are truly aware of our nudity — yet nothing challenges our dignity more than the realization that we are naked. For this is a nudity not of the gods but of mortals. It is a nudity that can in no way be called natural, either by biblical definition or by common sense; because there is no nudity in nature. The human is at once the most clothed and the most naked of the animals.
Meanwhile the Boudica reading continues as I tumble into the second of four…