Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | January 15, 2008

Honest Stripping Every Day

Riverwolf has just posted this comment to the blog and I think it deserves it’s own post. This medium of blogging can help us, I believe, break through the vicious cycle of self-doubt and self-criticism that can get in the way of developing our creativity. Of course we can make mistakes, go off on ego trips, bore readers (or ourselves!) but it’s all about daring – daring to express our thoughts and feelings, and wanting: to communicate, to share, and ultimately to give. Here’s what he says in response to my post ‘Can Streaking Ever Become a Chore?’:

 I think if we do a little “honest” stripping every day, we will be sharing, giving, entertaining. Whether it’s writing or something else, we need the practice. It’s a little like riding a motorcycle, too. Yes, it’s fun, especially when you start, but then the lure fades a bit. Maybe you feel your bike isn’t powerful enough or your skills aren’t good enough. But if you keep riding, suddenly you realize you’ve improved, you feel more in tune with the bike and the road–and suddenly, the love of the ride returns and you realize there doesn’t have to be some great reward. There’s joy in simply doing and being.

His blog can be found here. Its Home Page finishes with this wonderful verse from Rumi: 

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you—don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want—don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill,
where two worlds touch.
The door is round and open—don’t go back to sleep.”

Rumi, 13th century Muslim mystic and poet


Responses

  1. I’ve been reading your blog with interest and have found myself pondering on nakedness and our ability to share intimacy. My thoughts were led back to a dance production I saw many years ago at Brighton Uni. My memory sadly fails me as to what it was called or who choreograped it, but it was a contemporary piece that dealth with the taboo of love between an older woman and a younger man. The female dancer was in her sixties, maybe older. There was a key moment where she appeared alone and naked with a bowl of water and began to simply wash herself. In our culture, the very act of a woman of her age stripping naked in public might sadly for some have been a challenge, particularly in the wider context of the dance piece where the sexual interaction between her and the young man was so powerfully explored. In this one simple moment of her being alone and naked, utterly exposed to the audience with all its potential prejudices and negative preconceptions, her body expressed such moving tenderness, poignancy and power. It was an incredibly intimate moment. There we all were, a theatre full of clothed strangers watching what felt like, to me at least, the unveiling of someone’s soul. It made me feel very tearful and not a little naked myself. I keep thinking of Blake’s notion of the body being an extention of the soul, and it seems to be that in true nakedness, physical and psychological, the soul speaks. It doesn’t matter how much we use our emotional and intellectual defences to cover up or hide ourselves, the body seems reluctant to join in with the lie. We can deny what we feel and yet our bodies are shaped by what we have experienced, sculpted by our emotions, and so to undress is to expose our story. When someone has the courage to stand truly naked before us, the courage to share that story, something deep within us has the potential to be unveiled too. Sorry, going on a bit but it’s got me thinking – thanks :0).

  2. Thank you so much for this comment Maria. It’s so well expressed and moving I’d like to quote from it in a main post and then use that as a catalyst…
    It must have been at the Gardner Arts Centre that you saw that. Such a pity it’s been closed down. Stephanie tried to rustle up support for it to be used as an arts venue but millions were needed…


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