Monday, June 04, 2007

Naked

Speaking of "swimming naked" (see Inertia)...

Dan has taught me to enjoy being naked. Before I got married, I was afraid of it. Seriously. I felt self-conscious getting into the shower -- which was really the only time I allowed myself to be nude. I slept fully clothed, only went skinny-dipping once (only to see what I was missing, and ended up decided it wasn't for me), and dreaded the day when my future husband would have to see me undressed. I hoped that we could keep the lights out whenever possible. Perhaps this was the purpose of lingerie? To be "undressed" without having to be quite so naked? I don't have a perfect body -- quite far from it, in fact. Yet I told myself that women the world over -- the majority anyway -- feel the same about their bodies, and manage to be naked sometimes.

Where is the Marci who as a child could barely keep her clothes on? I was scolded frequently for casting off my clothes willy-nilly and running about the neighborhood. Or streaking through church.

From infancy to when I was about 8 years old, it continued. It doesn't take a lot of effort to find pictures of me partially-clothed. Simply flip through one of our family albums prior to 1984, and before long, you'll stumble upon a tenacious girl clad only in pigtails, tights, and shoes. Turn a few more pages and you might find me in jeans with my hair loose and long in a stream of golden brown hair cascading over my naked back. I felt like a hippie-indian-princess, whatever that is. Something wild and untamed and unconcerned with the "rules for young women".

Where is she? Gone for many years, but now she is blissfully asleep in her turquoise bed, or awake and scrubbing the toilet wrapped in a towel, or perhaps clad in a slip and cooking breakfast. I've spent the last hour lounging around in a swath of orange cloth. The fabric is sheer and soft, but not like silk -- not smooth. It's like old skin and nylon. It tucks and holds easily -- making me feel clothed, but not clothed. Vibrant as a sunset, patterned like the shell of a tortoise or the hide of a giraffe, I feel wild, like Africa.

Is this inappropriate? Is it risque? I hope not - for that is not what I feel. I feel that something has awakened in me -- a freedom that has been dormant in me since childhood. She is not dead, this free little girl. She was hiding, and my husband has found her and through his tenderness and acceptance, has given her life, and it feels like a gift to me. To be at home in my own skin is to be at home in myself. He nurtures this in me, and I feel it will not be long before the fears and insecurities that have dominated my adulthood will fade, like the night to the dawn.

7 Comments:

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Kris said...

Isn't it a liberating feeling when we accept and love our bodies and they move beyond being "sexual" to "functional" and a miracle really. I am really liking all you are writing about and learning about in the next phase of life.

 
At 5:18 AM, Anonymous phee said...

I had the same thing, kind of. I began feeling like clothes were holding me back. It kind of began at camp, when me and my friends would go skinny dipping, or "squidding" (ask Rob).

The last year or two of high school I used to go back in the Hollow by myself, head to a secret spot of mine, and sun bathe or just walk around au naturel. I loved that. But I don't think I've been comfortable naked (or even shirtless) with other people since I was a lithe 15-year-old. I haven't gotten to the point that I can love my gut or my pale skin...

The one thing that I do enjoy, though, is lying in bed with Chrissa. I do enjoy the intimacy of it and I do enjoy that I don't have to feel shame: the reversal of what happened to Adam and Eve.

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Marci said...

"The reversal of what happened to Adam and Eve." I like that. That's what I mean. Once I married Dan, being naked became something innocent and good - almost the opposite of what I'd felt before.

By the way, Dan hasn't turned me into an exhibitionist -- I just enjoy being naked with him around -- it's not for anyone else.

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous phee said...

I'm not an exhibitionist! I was a naturalist!! Jeesh...people are going to think I wore a trenchcoat or something...

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger Marci said...

I wasn't referring to you! :)

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger jill4prez said...

x Marci - that was VERY beautiful. I miss you! I enjoy reading to keep up. I have a blog now myself: jill4prez@blogspot.com. Keep in touch!

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous chrissa said...

Don't make me say it....

 

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