Noticing our parent’s dismay displayed by any number of reactions adding up to “bad, icky” referring our newborn ability and assumed freedom to shit anywhere causes us to develop socially acceptable sphincter control able to hold it through a sufficient number of poopy checks to now enroll in Where To Let It Go 101. Even though we have graduated from the leg bowing diaper wad our parents, usually mom, strapped on us like a gasket on a valve to prevent the soiling of their sterile world, we get the dubious reward of having to, er, ah, getting to wear big kids clothes.
I let that slip of “having to” wear big kids clothes because I realize that, while the child feels a sense of accomplishment in the new found freedom of replacing the crap catcher, with which they were literally saddled, by two or three thinner layers of kids clothing, there is also the collateral damage, traumatic experience of accepting, just to secure parent’s fragile, fickle, fake good graces, the fact that wandering back out in public after an excellent demonstration of your “where to let it go” skills as naked as the day you were born is as “bad, icky” to the adult eyeball as getting baby poop on them was to their tactile and olfactory sensations.
Kids are into belonging to everything their parents are into, which is a kind of ethic for a fragile, still gestating self esteem; easily controlled by the punishment of withheld affection, never mind screaming, slapping or worse. Just as one is becoming aware of emerging into a world full of artificial prohibition against acting naturally we must also deal with the embarrassment we are supposed feel (or cause, I’ve never figured it out) whenever we are seen naked in public. It has always been too damned abstracted and reassembled by the puritans to matter to me. Embarrassed for what — for living in a society where your unclothed body shocks the robots with the naked truth; for ballsy confrontation of their prudery; for those prudes’ embarrassment; for something innately repulsive about my body? WTF.
Anyway, I have almost always worn clothes in public, and get naked when alone or with friends who aren’t the public, just to keep the peace and so have some experience of the use to which this artificial embarrassment has been put.
The weirdest of my theories is that clothing is partially responsible for overpopulation just by the artificial sexual arousal the embarrassment is mistaken for in this world of hidden bodies in the same way a running faucet can make me want to pee. I realize that a shorter life expectancy is one factor in indigenous culture’s maintaining a relatively stable population and civilization’s excessive food production is the primary contributor to its overpopulation, but the incentive to engage in the old in-out by the merest glimpse of anything near that dear forbidden fruit is exponentially intensified for clothed societies. Couple this titillating enticement with the Pope and all the other prudes forbidding sex education beyond abstinence only to children pumped up on the sexy new style for twelve year olds and you have another considerable factor in overpopulation and unwanted children.
I’m kinda’ like the natives of North America about clothing, keeping a warm body in the winter and grass out of my ass in the spring is all I require. If I ever move again it will be to warmer climate because, to me, cold is the only natural pain both genders may suffer through no fault or super delicacy of the afflicted unless one may be considered clumsy for getting caught in a snowstorm. Not only do hot and cold air mixes stir up some bizarre variations on the normally pleasant climate of Gaia, I have another theory about the mixing of the thawing Neanderthals and the equatorial baskers after the last ice age being the natural motivation for the conflicts across the planet of artificial, industrial, capitalistic western civilization exploiting the parts of the world where the people have always been content to live in it pretty much as it has always been.
I have five pairs of shorts as my only clothing for nine months of Texas weather and a closet full of shirts, pants, sweats and coats which I pile on as the temperature falls off. Like the people already here when western civilization stumbled upon them while prospecting for moolah, if I must wear clothes I make them unique symbols of their owner. Although I don’t wear hides of food I’ve hunted or shirts I’ve crafted for myself, the few shirts I do wear into civilization or in the winter would be returned to me by anyone who knew me for one season; beautiful abstract Hawaiian motif colors or my new favorite t-shirt with a picture of four rifle armed Native Americans captioned “HOMELAND SECURITY Fighting Terrorism since 1492,” given me by my dear friend and embedded NYC correspondent, Babyldorkgalactinerd.
That t-shirt has involved me in the most meaningful conversations on the subject of the present administration and the eroding of the Disney version of American history with complete strangers from “illegal” immigrants here to do Whitey’s icky chores for more money than the mayor back home and Evangelicals handing out screeds on the true meaning of fourth of July and Jesus. It doesn’t go unnoticed. So, in addition to the necessity of preserving warmth and sanitary sitting, I must also include the artistic celebration of one’s spirit as beneficial results of wearing clothing.
On the other cheek, I can testify to the experience of becoming 80% more aware of my environment when living naked for a year and a half in two different tipis and 60% more sensitive in the past four years living here at the Dawgranch in only shorts. Without having to report, “You are wearing clothes,” being the day long message from my now shuttered, environmentally sensitive cells, I have experienced their stopping me in my tracks on a stroll, turning, and looking straight into the eyes of an otherwise invisible rabbit with no idea what I was doing until we met. Clothing's effect on the nature of the body is a pretty good metaphor for civilization’s effect on the nature of Gaia.
This post was initiated by my dawn celebration of the horizon’s undressing of the sun a couple of mornings ago, when my neighbor came out to tend to her garden to the east of me in her white linen night gown.
Excuse me; I think I hear some water running.