It’s been a month since the last post. Inspiration has been sparse, but it came by way of a perfectly dated hotel room in palm springs last night and my unerring acumen for finding surviving segments of unspoiled mid-century allure; the patina of decades past warming my soul and fueling the creative fire. The first thing that came to mind when I stepped inside was the album cover photograph of The Cure’s 1979 UK debut “Three Imaginary Boys.” Album cover imagery was my introduction to art and photography. I’m sure that I didn’t fully comprehend the power of aesthetic attraction at the time, but I was, nonetheless, developing my own sense of taste and style through my steadily growing habit of collecting vinyl. I loved the bright pink on the cover of Three Imaginary Boys. Its starkness begged me to recognize it as a primary color. I loved the simplicity. I loved the lines and how the inanimate objects were awkwardly forced into an unnaturally arranged matrimony of three. It was sort of disturbing to me because it didn’t really make sense, but it was tragically compelling at the same time. It was probably around this time when I discovered that that which made the least sense in life would always be the most satisfying to me. I’ve gone searching for that feeling everywhere. I’ve become that feeling. It’s a personal and daily reckoning I’ve learned to live with.
Enjoy Three Imaginary Boys Here
I spent the remainder of my evening attempting to mimic the aforementioned cover art stylings with the props I had available to me. I had purchased a brand new car literally two hours prior to my arrival in Palm Springs. I laughed at the fact that I wasn’t moved to take any photos it. I poured myself a glass of wine that I was too tired to sip, and I woke up a few hours later under the blaring overhead light that I was too tired to switch off. Morning came with the roaring of a wind storm, the likes of which I’ve never seen out here, and a soundtrack of ragtime standards crooning through the speakers of my portable record player. I drank some coffee and watched the sunny, yellow curtains billow listlessly above the Formica tabletop. Inspiration had decided to carry over to the a.m. hours and for that, I was grateful.
The desert wind is still blowing this morning. I imagine there’s a newly inherited raspiness in its voice, as it’s been screaming to be heard (and quite well received) for the better part of the past two days. It’s calmer today because of it. I’m sitting naked in a mineral pool under the majesty of the old Kismet Lodge sign that forces the guests here to remember the beginnings of this desert oasis. The owner of the property has just walked by and congratulated me on my choice to absorb my waking hours in this way. Again, and thankfully, inspiration has chosen to remain a loyal bedfellow and traveling companion for another day. The sky is clear and the mountains continue to hold their high court over the valley. A flawless backdrop seems to be painted on the earth no matter which direction I choose to look.
I’ve learned to relish in these small slices of unexpected bliss because I’m well aware that they are not always there for the taking. It’s been weeks since my pen has touched paper. I’ve felt dry and empty and in fear of despair that this book will never come out of me. Last night I was joined in this very pool by a couple who spoke openly of their personal struggles, especially of the husband’s battle with depression. I interjected, where appropriate, as did another young traveler from the Pacific Northwest. We communed and commiserated and were fortunate to benefit from an open communication among strangers. As nudists, we already know that we have a common desire for a deeper exploration and understanding of life that the outside world fails to offer us. I’ve been on both sides of this, socially. I’ve publicly expressed my naturalist lifestyle to an unsympathetic audience in the past. I’ve been verbally shamed by one of my own brothers for embracing it. He recoiled from even reading my writing as it’s attached to these views and images. These reactions do hurt. But fuck it, right? It’s not so simple as it sounds…but I survive. Today, the sun will soak my skin and I’ll write stories in my head and compose pictures that I haven’t yet made. Tonight, I’ll climb into a car that I didn’t really want to buy, and I’ll return to a place where I have to work and tolerate life just like everyone else. That’s probably what will consume my thoughts the most on the way home…how we all do exactly the same things to get by, yet we still refuse to see one another as equals.