Our dreams fascinate us – sometimes they are realistic, sometimes outlandish, and most often somewhere in between. An acquaintance from “real life” who shows up in a dream, can effortlessly become someone else within the dream. We might dream we are in our home or our old school or some other structure recognizable from our everyday life, but suddenly the building is at once something else altogether in the dream. This is how dreams push us, stimulate us – they show us a reality we know, and then show us how it can change.
Beyond the common dream of being naked in a public setting–which for many is, unfortunately, a nightmare–there are many kinds of dreams in which nudity signifies empowerment. My friend and cover artist Bernard Perroud dreamed that when we was naked, he was able to fly – here is his illustration of a memory from that dream.
However, dreaming of nudity is not always empowering, even for naturists. Another friend of mine, who has been a practicing naturist for many years, had a nightmare in which he was at a naturist gathering! The nightmarish part was that everyone around him was smiling and engaging with him, but then he realized it was all superficial and hypocritical – they were all just waiting for him to leave in order to get the real party started.
Naturism is no panacea, but those of us who dream of a more naturist world recognize that nudity in nature, and nudity with like-minded others, is simply a matter of health, in the same way that eating natural food and getting enough exercise and sleep are healthy things to do. We look around at our naturist gatherings, and we no longer have to pinch ourselves to realize we are not dreaming: naturism is the kind of social change that we know is possible, not just from our dreams, but also from our experience.
I don’t often remember my dreams, but if I could control them or induce them, I would dream of vast nudescapes such as those captured by Spencer Tunick. I would dream of the characters in the next novel I’m working on, to let them show me their stories. Writing a novel is indeed something like trying to control a dream, often somewhere in between realistic and outlandish.