Monday, April 10, 2017

Standing Naked on a Hill



Have you ever thought of standing naked on a hill? Where you can be the king or queen of the world and not have any cares in that moment?  It would be a moment unto itself, with just you and nature as one, feeling the cool breeze against your body, being able to see for miles and feel the soft grass between your toes.  What if, for one moment of complete solitude you could have this experience, would you take it?

I am thinking these thoughts, sitting here typing on a laptop, pre-dawn, relying on the lights in my kitchen, having just finished cooking my breakfast.  I look over to the electronic clock to see what time it is, so that I can plan the time to go upstairs and get dressed, then hop into my hybrid car to drive to the bus stop, which will take me to an underground conveyance (subway) leading me to the high rise building that I work in.  I will most likely read on my portable reader on the way and maybe check emails on one of the two mobile devices I carry (one for work, one personal).  I am a modern man, surrounded by all of the conveniences that make up my daily routine.  I could not have a lifestyle be further from existing naked standing on a hill!  The only breeze I feel is when I turn on the air and it hits my exposed arms and face…

Have we lost complete touch with the basics of life that our ancestors contended with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?  Today, I can type a message using WhatsApp and communicate with friends anywhere in the world where there is a WiFi connection.  It is almost inconceivable to think that about 100 years ago, when my Grandfather was in Austria and his father was already in New York City, that the only means of communicating was via letter.  And that letter, once sent, could take weeks to reach its destination, depending on the ships that traveled across the Atlantic and the weather conditions. 

Take a look at any of our daily routines:

  • We wake up (alarm clock),
  • We eat breakfast (coffee machine)
  • We commute (car, bus, etc.)
  • We work / get educated (computers, etc.)
  • We communicate (IM, texting, phone, email)
  • We eat dinner (prepared, refrigerated, etc.)
  • We relax (TV)

There is a certain allure to the prospect of convening with nature, to have that moment where I can be one with the surrounds – standing there enjoying the view and meditating on life.  Of course, it would have to be a place of solitude – no one needs to get arrested for public nudity.  The weather condition, of course, would have to be just right – not too hot and not too cold (I am thinking of a reference to a Seinfeld episode).  I am not big on bugs and critters, because once they appear, things could get less comfortable – the thought of a mosquito bite in a usually covered area would be “uncomfortable.”  OK, standing naked on a hill would end up being more about getting out of my comfort zone than trying to impress anyone, and this morning, I am happy sipping my hot tea, hearing the breeze of the heat blowing, and typing on my computer.

Remember, it was Bob Dylan that sang the truism, “But even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.”  …though probably not upon a hill…