(credit) Undertow | Tastes Orangey by Clare Elsaesser
CHANGES by STARS
They’re Canadian. Yay! The song is very languid and eloquent…you know, it makes you want to sway. I always get Stars and Metric mixed up. I prefer Metric, but in all honesty both are a bit too hipster for me. I do like Changes by Stars (listen HERE), as I said, and am so impressed by the girl in the video who’s all twirling and swirling and dancing around in the nude. Who wouldn’t want to do that…without anyone watching and just being in a lush, ornate theatre like that?
We have a thing about nudity here in North America, non? I remember the first time I went to an onsen (hot spring bath) in Japan as an adult. I had forgotten that you have to strip down and shower before you soak in the fragrant hot spring baths…in front of many other women. Strangers. It took my aunts an hour to convince me that I would look ridiculous wearing my underwear or swimsuit.
Last year I went to a beautiful secluded little place in British Columbia called Cortes Island. Stunning. Warm waters. Bioluminescence. Eagles. Seals. Local, organic, fresh gourmet food. Spa. Sailing. Evening kayaking. Hiking. Swimming.
So…swimming. Now my resort’s private beach was clothing-optional. Um…yes. So upon arrival, I walked down to the beach, sat on a beached log, and soaked up the sun and the ocean. Then I noticed the people….only handful of them, emerging from the water completely nude. I also noticed people coming to the beach, just up and throwing off their clothes and strolling, taking their own sweet time, into the ocean.
I couldn’t wait to take a dip in the ocean, so I ran to the cabin and started to toss out items from my luggage to find my bikini. I froze. I could only find my bikini bottom. My bikini top was nowhere to be found. Gulp. I couldn’t believe it! This was a test from the universe about my inhibitions, obviously. Okay, bring it, I said. Then I sat there on the bed for a good 15 minutes contemplating my next move. Well, it is a clothing optional beach. No, I just can’t. But I want to swim, so you have to suck it up and just do it. Sigh. I compromised. I put on my bikini bottoms, and put on my yoga bra.
I valiantly strode down to the beach, found a beached log, starred out to sea. There were only about three people there — all nude. Okay, Tamiko, you can do this, you can do this, and in fact you’d look more silly wearing your bikini bottom and yoga bra than being full on naked…and who do you think you are? No one’s looking at you!
After some considerable time, I realized time was a-wasting, so I closed my eyes, took a deep sigh, resigned myself to taking this leap, and disrobed, peeled off the yoga bra….but kept on the bikini bottom. I just couldn’t go there just yet. Instead of striding out into the ocean, I full-on scurried, a bit self-conscious, only because I’m not used to being exposed like that in public, you know? It wasn’t about confidence in body conscious, because in private I’ve pranced around au naturel while getting dressed. Come on, everyone’s done that! Although truth be told, I prefer clothes on, thank you very much.
As the days wore on, I slowly started to gather enough courage to walk purposefully (as opposed to scurrying) into the water…whilst keeping my bottoms on. Then my last two days, I just decided it was time to do away with the bottoms too. I noticed no one was at the beach, and I just did it! The best feeling ever. I felt so brave…and the water feels so much more amazing! It’s almost as though you’re in tune with nature. All liberated and everything. I was so, so very proud of myself. I was truly beaming. Jumpy claps beaming, okay? Granted, there were no other people on the beach at this point, but hey I’ll take it.
The best was swimming bare-skinned amongst the bioluminescence at midnight…the waters are still warm, and you just float on the water, surrounded by bright sparks while staring at the beautiful clear stars up above, with the moon competing with the planet Jupiter so clearly imprinted in the sky. The energy of the ocean at this time, in the dark, is quite different as well…it’s almost magnetic with the waves pulsing and lulling in a different way than in the daylight. I can’t describe it — it was still yet moving.
I’m not sure there’ll be a third exposure…
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