I'll be twenty five years old in one month and eleven days. Twenty five years old doesn't sound like much- until I reframe it as fully a quarter of a hundred years. It's a sobering thought, for me at least. There was a time when the average life-span wasn't much longer than this. I reflect on everything I've lived, seen, done, experienced, failed at. I try and be grateful for it all- it's what brought me to where I am today. Amor Fati. I see the narrative threads that twist and curve and weave together, I see the transitions between different periods of my life as starkly as a black and white photo. The real thing was messier, of course. But any narrative we tell is basically all made up anyway so I might as well make it a better story.
Several months ago I was talking to someone who explained how, a bit more than ten years ago, he left his comfortable corporate job- he was on a fast track to run the company in a few years- he left it to travel the world and follow his bliss. What he said was striking was that, after twenty years working at this company, he almost never thought of it. It was where he spent at least half of his waking hours most days for two decades. He said he thought of his time there maybe twice a year- basically only when someone asked him about it. Could this be called lost time?
I've had plenty of dreams- and still occasionally have them- where I show up to class one day and, surprise, there's a test. I am completely unprepared. The blood drains out of my face, my heart rate accelerates, and my skin flushes. These are not pleasant dreams. Thankfully, I've never been naked in them, despite that being an archetypical nightmare of our overschooled society.
Being caught naked in front of everyone. No clothes to hide behind, everything on display. Everyone can see us for how we really are- corporeally, of course. Terrifying. They see parts of us we'd rather keep private or only reveal in intimate moments. Even the thought of someone walking in on us while we're changing is an unpleasant thought. One has to be very confident with themselves to be comfortable being naked around others. This is irrespective of the aesthetics of that person's body, of course. A beautiful girl can be self-conscious while an ugly girl can be completely accepting and loving of how she looks.
I bring this up not because this is an appeal for public nudity- but rather as a metaphor for conversational nudity. This is an appeal for naked conversations.
...sees much and knows much