Thursday, August 23, 2007

Naked Skin

(I'll bet that title caught your attention!!)

Do we become less modest as we grow older, or just more comfortable with our bodies? I still need to change behind a curtain at the pool, and take my shower behind a wall.

But there are older women in much different shape than I am who stand buck naked in the open shower with their eyes closed shampooing their hair. There are older women who walk naked into the sauna where I am sitting and proceed to talk to me and apply lotion to their limbs. Still buck naked. How do you talk to someone like that? I tell you how--with your eyes to the ground or on your own feet. Or I suddenly feel the need to get busy applying lotion to myself so I have something else to focus on.

So why does that nakedness bother me? I can place a pillow between the knees of a frail man with terminal illness wasting away in his bed. He can be naked from the waste down and have a catheter in place. He can mumble a request to position the pillow a bit differently for comfort and I gladly assist. And that nakedness doesn't bother me. Somehow in that setting his personhood transcends his wasting shell.

Is there a certain point in life where the perspective changes, or is it a gradual process?--Where what we look like isn't so much a part of who we are any longer?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It helps to have some Bohemian in your blood.