Wish We Had a Picture for This

She said look outside, step outside, feel the desperate warm gold of the sun right now and know nothing else matters if you see beyond what you think.

She said go out at night and let the primeval stars light your way and know that euphoria doesn’t stem from a mirror or a magazine.

She said go out and search for the soul of the earth and find yourself.

So I’m going to model for a drawing class. Nude. Soon.

A plethora of questions circle through my mind about what the experience will bring to me. Of course one tends to fear the unknown…and this will certainly be a new experience. Many eager artistic eyes replicating what they experience when looking at my naked body reclining before them, in the spotlight. Pale curves and angles, blemishes and shadowed crevices.

I wonder also, what the experience will bring to them. To these artists who will each portray my nakedness differently; longer or shorter or bluer or happier. Will they see me how I see me? Will they envision themselves in my position? I almost imagine (beyond my trepidation) it will be a peaceful experience. For those two hours I will be an object of art. The blushing, heart-beating body that I live in will come back out to the world on many sheets of paper. And I will be honored enough to witness this creation.

I can’t understand why nakedness has such stigmas as being scary, ugly, something to be covered and hidden… Why, when it is 96 degrees and sweat creeps in rivulets down our flushed cheekbones and into our toes, do we wear any clothing at all? I’m sure there is no one who has never desired to be naked in public, at one time, for some reason.

Nakedness is beauty. It is freedom. It is truth. There is no beauty based on what you wear, how long your skirt flows, or the shade of pink your shirt is radiating. There is no constriction of breasts or waistlines, no uniforms, no veils. There is no hiding behind what you wear, no conformity, only the truth of your body, the way it is.

Yet I don’t walk naked down University Place under the peaceful but sweltering green sunlight filtering through the trees in early September. You would be offended. But have you never looked at or enjoyed your body? Have you never seen, touched, or been in awe of another’s body? Sometimes I feel my clothes and my shoes disconnect me from the world I live in and I crave the reality of earth between my toes and the softness of bare skin.

So I’m going to model for a drawing class. I’m going to sit on the other side of the pencil, the paintbrush. I’m going to expose my body and learn to feel at peace in its unclothed state. I’m going to become art.

And I hope the experience will bring the peace I need to erase the uncertainty lurking within me.