This entry was written last night (day 187).
I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately but this period in my life has been pretty stressful. (I risk sounding like a broken record.)
I write tonight because I found resolution. The mini-campaign my team and I are coordinating has been postponed and will now take place in May. All the speakers for the week were set until one withdrew last night and a second one this morning. We did not have a pianist and the guest artists did not confirm. So, the “faithful” team mates held a short teleconference where we decided to postpone it. The matter will go to the church board on Sunday.
I have a good feeling about the experiment I did on Monday (day 185) even though I had trouble adding the right amount of cells to the mixture. (The procedure is too technical so I won’t bore you with the details.) Today (day 187) I analysed the samples I took on Monday.
Yesterday I went to work where I struggled to focus because of the mini-campaign. But I did get some work done.
On the porn front
The wish to be naked in nature, to escape from my circumstances grew during this period, as has my awareness of the existence of sexual images. I came pretty close today to look at porn but by God’s grace I did not. Over the past couple of days there were many times when I told myself, No, I won’t look at that. No, I won’t search for that because my AB (short for abstinence) is important to me. I don’t want to fill my mind with that filth.
Let me honest here and say that I did search for tips on how and where to do the following activities nude: kayaking, canoeing, hiking and skydiving. And I performed group searches on Flickr to see what group names would appear in the results. I did glimpse some frontal nudity pics next to the group names but, while expressing dismay, I closed them with my hand, or fingers depending on the size, because I did not want to see such photos. With kayaking my question was, and still is, how do they get it right to disrobe on top of or inside a kayak without falling into the water? (If anyone knows the answer to this question please inform me.)
I performed Flickr photo searches looking for more pics in the line of those featured in the 10 Flickr Favourites post especially the skinny dipping types. I would really love to skinny dip, hike and kayak nude–alone or with friends (because the gender barrier). But I have resigned myself to the fact that such communal activities won’t happen. I also grew tired of the Flickr searches because it was a fantasy that I was creating and that never solves problems.
Therefore, to prevent myself from jeopardising my AB, I decided to respect Google’s SafeSearch by not searching for anything it won’t allow.
I don’t know whether I broke my porn abstinence during this period. The desire to look at sexually stimulating images (porn) was there but I never acted on that desire. Yet I question my interest in unobtrusive nudity. I understand that non-sexual nudity and the kind of images I collect (landscapes with the following elements: mountains, bodies of water, reflections, and colours of sunsets and sunrises) symbolise freedom, peace, nature, quietness, relaxation, escape, serenity, communion with God, and that they are an expression of my creativity since I strive to photograph such moments. Yet it feels like I’m placing a lot of emphasis on expanding my collection.
Did I pray at all during this whole “ordeal”? Yes, I did. I prayed a lot. I claimed Christ’s promises especially the promise St. Paul records in Romans 10:13. I asked the Lord to help me figure out what’s going with these Flickr searches.
Maybe I should just close that account since it’s causing me such a lot of grief and distress? I don’t need that in my life. So that instead of using my creativity to find beautiful pictures, I will use it to make my own and see in what novel ways it will “manifest” itself. (Some heavy personification there!) I think I will do that.
. . . or maybe not. But what I will do is stop searching for stuff with the words “naked” or “nude” attached to them even though I have questions and they are stuff I would like to do. The practice adds ambiguity and complications to my life which I definitely don’t need. It is now a principle of mine.