Inquiry: Naked, nude and the geography of the heart, rev., by LJ Frank

Credit: Jean Philippe-Cypres, photographer

It’s somewhere north of Charleston along the coast and heading to an appointment on the Outer Banks. Driving is movement and movement is a form of liberty even when the human mind is trekking across another desert – where one might lose or regain their soul.

Naked or nude. It’s not that I previously unthought about it. Nor is it a matter of being transparent to oneself.

I’ve found the real and surreal are woven together – like getting up in the middle of the night in a hotel on some southern beach, that feels like a 1950’s film location, and then looking in the mirror realizing a change happened overnight – forgetting that one shaved one’s beard the night before or looking back in the room at your partner who yawns and mentions something about getting a wax and you realize she dyed her hair while you were asleep.

Within the context of geography a naked face or body is not a liability unless we only see what we look like through the eyes another or if the skin is transparent and then everybody’s ugly. And, no one knows what the geography of the human heart will look like next week. We have the “free will” to start growing hair again if so desired unless the body suggests otherwise.

On the other hand the concept of free will is another philosophical discussion altogether; volumes are still being written. Things appear at times as  a matter of choice among the small decisions in life at least; the larger choices might just be an illusion.

There are acts in life that overlap, like irresistible impulse and intent – such as taking a nude bicycle jaunt in the early part of June in Montpelier, Vermont where one can achieve a Zen-like awareness in discerning the difference between naked and nude even if it’s merely a philosophical and emotive state of a brain reshaping its  perceptions in what might be described as neuroplasticity.

Naked and nude are different in the discerning mind that allows for that discernment. On the other hand when one shaves a part of the body it might be viewed philosophically as becoming naked as opposed to nude within the context of their respective etymologies and ancient roots.

Depending on context, naked is dissected and  shunned as being too invasive, especially if we are straightforward with our thoughts and find that the commentary sections of the Internet of existence display ample ignorance and abuse.

Nude on the other hand is understandably quite acceptable in our perceptions of life as our neurons send and receive messages as an aspect of cultural learning and acceptance to parts of our and others’ bodies and expressions. Experience affects definition.

The pliability and plasticity of the brain is a provocative area of study. Will such studies become an opportunity for knowledge navigators of the future to design and adapt learning navigational systems to expand the brain’s ability to think and become more aware of its own potential with interactive tools for learning and gaining knowledge while solving problems of memory?

Adaptation and learning though becomes the most formidable through participation, nurturing and empathy of the human heart. So with that in mind my partner and I got dressed with a different point of view realizing our thoughts affect the fabric of the world as we breathe in the argon molecules that still exist from centuries past.

The rooster was late in crowing that morning or perhaps neither of us heard it. Not sure what time it was even though my wrist was wearing a watch. I wore it out of habit. The summer sun was peeking above the ocean’s horizon millions of miles away and my partner decided to remain natural as we packed up and headed out.

A young driver with old eyes in a freshly minted pickup truck hurried by us revving the engine as he switched gears and headed for a coffee shop line up behind other custom designed machines to order a morning blend the names of which are getting longer which each season like a word that becomes a sentence and that sentence becomes a paragraph without a period at the end to signify a new thought.

We ordered two cups of coffee; after a morning smile and a thanks headed back to the highway. As I touched a button on the radio we started to listen to the news to discern, if indeed it was the news or a sponsored advertisement. So at a loss decided to change the channel and catch the wisp of a tune from the past or perhaps it might be the future.

It’s not the change or the pace itself as time folds over and what happened years ago was just yesterday in the heart. Our neurons transmit messages to the heart and it appears to me that heart understands first and the mind takes note as the mind can imagine things that never really happened though the heart knows better if one is able to listen carefully to its geographical insights and rhythms. Understanding the geography of one’s heart is core to reaching one’s destination.

As we approached the Outer Banks and watched the ocean’s waves crash on the sandy shores we paused. Awareness may arrive like waves with the sand squishing between one’s toes while the rhythms of the heart sends messages to the brain.