Photo Essay: The Joy of Skinnydipping 

Steve is more hardy than me.  Florida vs Maine


Photo Essay: The joy of skinnydipping

Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011 in Features
by Steve Cartwright


Swimming in your birthday suit is the best.

In other words, swim naked. You wouldn’t take a shower with clothes on, so why on earth do we wear suits when we take a dip in river, lake or sea?
There are reasons, of course. It’s tradition. You have to cover up certain parts of your body because…well, because of Victorian repression and the conviction that it’s improper to be bare. In our culture, we turn all nudity into something sexual. Our society seems so hung up on sex that we see any exposure as provocative or perverse. But swimming naked is no more obscene or unseemly than sleeping in the nude.

In all the years I’ve gone skinnydipping with others, nothing unpleasant or uncomfortable has ever taken place. There is a certain basic honesty and trust implicit in taking your clothes off. There you are, baring it all. We’re all made of the same stuff despite our differences, many of which are superficial.
You don’t know how good it feels to swim naked until you try it. It’s liberating and refreshing ~ like swimming in a suit but definitely more fun. Then you can lie on the warm sand or a smooth rock and sun yourself like a seal. No tan lines.

After years of skinnydipping, I admit that putting on a swimsuit feels silly. But of course there are places where it makes sense. I try to be careful not to offend anyone, so that means I usually skinnydip in secluded places. Islands, quarries, ponds ~ there are endless opportunities for the discreet skinnydipper. And there is the cover of darkness. Ever swum under the full moon? Or under the stars with phosphorescence creating fireworks around your arms and legs?
Maine has many fine places to swim naked, both in salt and fresh water. Of course, with our water temperatures, you may want to get dressed pretty quickly after drying off, unless it’s a really warm day.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there are local networks of skinnydippers in numerous Maine towns who know where to go for a delightful dip without the bother of bringing a bathing suit and then carrying it around wet.
In randomly surveying friends, I’ve found many of them agree that naked swimming is wholesome, healthy and just plain sensible. One friend said she loves to skinnydip, but wished it would make her skinny.
Think of the money spent on expensive swimsuits, by women in particular, when it’s really more comfortable to swim without one. Those string bikinis are so close to nothing at all I wonder when people will realize there isn’t much difference. “For the uninhibited,” says one ad. Ha, why not just skinnydip? In other countries, women go to public beaches bare-breasted, and even in the U.S. there are beaches that are officially “nude,” although none are in Maine, as far as I know.
http://www.newmainetimes.org/articles/2011/07/20/photo-essay-joy-skinny-dipping/

Thawing Tundra

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Mother Earth, Father Sky, Great Spirit, you are having your fun with us again.  “Normal” you laugh, “What normal?  We don’t need no stinkin’ normal?” So it rains buckets for days where it never rains in Southern California while the frozen tundra of Wisconsin soaks up 60 degree high temps.  Thank you for the chance to wander naked in the February sun.  Mother your ground is still cold asleep while Father’s rays warm my body and the Great Spirit swirls it all between hot and cold breezes.  Thanks for the treat.

Watchful Waiting 

Here is the latest update on my cancer. As you see from my data below, I remain in the “watchful waiting ” phase and I hope to hang out here for a few more years.  

The definition of active multiple myeloma is:
 1.) Clonal bone marrow plasma cells ≥10%, mine was 13% percent on 12-2014 

   AND

 2.) any one or more of the following CRAB features or myeloma-defining events:

 

· Hypercalcemia: serum calcium greater than 11 mg, mine is in low 9’s

· Renal insufficiency: creatinine clearance greater than 2.00, mine is 1.09

· Anemia: hemoglobin value less than 100g, mine is 147

· Bone lesions: one or more osteolytic lesion on skeletal radiography, CT, or PET/CT. I had no lesions when full MRI was done 12/29/14. We will do an updated bone survey in 2017.

· 60% or greater clonal plasma cells on bone marrow examination, my percentage was just 13% when diagnosed in December of 2014.

· Serum involved / uninvolved free light chain ratio of 100 or greater, mine last month was 14.

· More than one focal lesion on MRI that is at least 5mm or greater in size. None for me

All of the data above is favorable and indicates my myeloma does not warrant treatment at this time. However, the bad guy cells remain active in my bones.  My type of myeloma is IgG, where my G immunoglobulin continues to grow. The pace remains moderate but steady.  This trend line would indicate that treatment might wait another 2 or 3 years. Most of my IgG is diseased and no use to my immune system. Of further concern are my low IgA and IgM levels. My immune system is compromised. If I avoid recurring bacterial infections, we can sail on. So far so good there, but we must watch.

Living through cancer: My Journey of self discovery

Naturist Fab

They say that writing helps in dealing with what is going on with your life. I hope that by putting my emotions into words I can in some way help myself and others when dealing with a traumatic event in one’s life.

As the title of this blog states I am living through and past cancer. For many of you who follow my blog know me as an artist and naturist and I write and blog about body positivity.

I will discuss this issue here as well, as my body has gone through many changes after my surgery both in weight loss as well as the scars. The weight, I have to regain and the scars, either physically or emotionally will heal over time.

Before I get to that let me tell you about how this all began.

Seven months ago in mid-July I had what I thought was a canker…

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