I’m good with naked.

Vulnerability, I’ve realised, is not a common core personality trait. It’s taken me years to understand and accept this. I’d always assumed that everyone would respond to my transparency with matched openness: I see your crazy and I raise you two quirks.

No. Over the years, especially my previous blogging years, I’ve felt much like a peep show. People peer into my little world and have a bit of a giggle, then they drift off congratulating themselves on their own sense of propriety, making slight adjustments to the layers of garments they wear in order to hide their own flaws. Push-up bras, jock straps and trench coats, all in response to my nakedness. It became rather disconcerting. Maybe, I thought, I’m nothing more than a flasher. That shady character who walks around the neighbourhood, suddenly exposing himself to anyone who chances by. What is he hoping to achieve? TMI is offensive. Apparently.

Vulnerability is not profitable, I concluded. And so, I’ve spent years trying to learn a different trade. Fiction. The art of trading truths through slight of hand. I’ll steal your preconceived ideas by replacing it with a new perspective. And you won’t even know when or how I’ve done it.

The story teller is the master pickpocket; he’s, Fagin.

But I’m no good at it… not yet. I’m still, Oliver getting found out by those I mean to swindle. I’ll keep working at it. Please, Sir, can I have some more…

Recently, after submitting several stories to a man who has been charged with ‘making me better’, I had a bit of an epiphany. He, after slopping through the short stories I feel are my best, pointed to the runt and said, “This is the best. I love this one.” But, it’s the oldest story. The one I wrote when I was still flashing my good bits unabashedly. It’s about vain imaginations, and nipples and masturbation.

“This is your voice. It’s the first time I’ve actually heard you in a story,” he insists.

My true writer’s voice is a masturbating pubescent flasher. Right. Of course. Chekov be damned.

I shouldn’t be surprised. In my physical life, I find every opportunity to be naked. I sleep in the knick… always have. I can’t actually abide pyjamas. What are they, and why do they exist?!  I swim naked every chance I get. The best moment of every day is when I get to whip off my kit, and just be in my skin. I can’t help it, clothes feel foreign, and an imposition.

And so, here I am. Returning to the stage I know I can perform well on. The Vulnerability Dais. I  guess I’ll write my truths and take my chances. You may like it, you may not.

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say — Anais Nin.

 

18 thoughts on “I’m good with naked.

  1. The hardest part about laying thoughts out in words of your own is the unbearable truth that someone is going to rip into them and either love them or hate them. A marmite situation where critics often take up the position that they have the right to contest your stories and change your plot as they may see fit. Being naked in the eyes of the world, especially if you’re so honest, is a sign of inner courage that is missing in many. So, here’s to you and your brave choices. Have at them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love love love this! Will share and follow with the passion of one who hears and deeply values vulnerability!
    xo
    Wendy

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  3. Your voice, your perspective on the foibles of everyday life is so welcomed back…happy to hear the full clothes lines flapping in the breeze again.
    I say, “Brilliant!” Can I respectfully add, “I told you so!”
    I never doubted!

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  4. Oh Nats! Loved this! Warts and all … that’s the writing I love he best from you. Why? Because often, I am agreeing with you (although naked is not me); you have a perspective that is so unique and a way with words that makes me want more. Even if I am not on the same page, your honesty, clarity and humour are spellbinding. Welcome back to the storyteller of life situations that has me in stitches … time and again! Go Nats!

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  5. Ahhh I’m so glad you will be putting it all out there again! I love the vain imaginations and the quirky flasher, although to be honest as a mama it does make me feel a little uncomfortable at times! I think your thoughts are often confrontational and challenging……. which of course makes it a good read! Have at it my child!

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  6. how else can you be true to yourself . . . . and be ‘different’. We want to read something that is NOT the same as everyone else!! You go girl!!

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