Category Archives: feeling sorry for myself

Naked Honesty

Life is very complex, an endless puzzle that never seems to have all the pieces made to fit properly.

My writing life has not been going well of late. A book reviewer from the Pubby book-review exchange recently gave me a review with nothing but very positive words for the book Cissy Moonskipper’s Travels, and yet, he only gave it three stars out of five. It seems dishonest. Four stars mean you liked the book. Three is a tepid response. I would never give a three without explaining why I didn’t like the book. I prefer honest reviews to weaselly wording and tepid responses. I’d rather be told why it is not good enough flat out. I suppose, as someone who dabbles with being a nudist, I would prefer naked honesty.

This picture is naked honesty, not porn. No one is having sex. No one is sexualized. Both of them are nude.

Naked honesty to me is a metaphor. An important metaphor. It stands for not hiding anything, whether it is something embarrassing, something to be ashamed of, something to be proud of, or something you hide because society tells you that you must. Just like when you are standing in front of a crowd of people, some who know you, and some who don’t, and you are completely naked so that they can see everything. Warts, tattoos, scars where you burned yourself on purpose, bulges of fat, birthmarks… everything. That happens in real life in gym dressing rooms, public showers in campgrounds, and other situations like that that people who aren’t me take for granted as being innocent.

I use naked honesty in this blog a lot. Also in my novels, and in my artwork. As a survivor of a sexual assault when I was ten, committed by an older teenage boy, dealing with naked truth is a critical thing to me that I need to talk about. I found comfort and healing in contact and conversation with nudists. I was deprived of the ability to be comfortably naked from the age of ten to the age of 35. That deprivation interfered with being in the shower room with other boys during P.E. classes and after sports practice and competitions. It also interfered with my ability to befriend others and confidently talk to girls. I had to struggle to identify myself as a heterosexual male. I narrowly avoided meltdowns and anxiety attacks in numerous situations like those seemingly innocent ones I was just now describing. It made me a bit of a social outcast. And it definitely interfered with my love life until I was 38 and finally able to marry.

So, basically, I healed myself with explorations of nudity. I thought about it. I found ways to expose myself to it without risking any crimes or mortal sins. I associated to a limited degree with naked people. (I had a nudist roommate for a year in grad school. And a former girlfriend was a big help in that her sister lived in a clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin, Texas. I never was myself naked when she dragged me there. But I learned a lot about nudists from nudists there.) I began drawing nudes.

You may have noticed that my drawings of nudes tend to be either children or child-like young adults. I can assure you that they are never intended to be any sort of child pornography. They are innocent nudes. I never drew a child nude from a live model without clothing. I have done portraits of nude children from photographs, but only with parental consent forms somewhere in the process. Live nude models I have drawn were consenting adults posing in an art class, except for one case when the request was from the boyfriend and the young lady herself while she was doing the posing. That was awkward, but that boyfriend was my efficiency-apartment roommate who had previously explained to me about being a nudist. I never drew him, but he was naked most of the time within the apartment. I also drew nudes from photographs in nudist publications. I don’t draw genitals very often, and never in a way that is inviting the viewer to think “pornography.” I can draw adult nudes, and have done so, but it is less comfortable because of the sexual aspect and how it tugs at that old traumatic fear.

It is psychologically very freeing to be socially nude around other nudists who simply desire that same naked honesty from me that they are presenting me with. Nudists look at each other eye to eye rather than staring in ways that are only appropriate in certain more private situations. It is not about sex. And lewd behavior in public is always against the rules in the places and situations that nudists share together. After a while, seeing naked people around you seems perfectly normal.

This is a copy of the portrait of my roommate’s girlfriend.

There is also a downside. If you spend all your time dealing in naked honesty, you become overexposed… even if you never show off your own penis, and nobody ever seems to be paying attention to anything you write, draw, say, and do. Your deepest, darkest secrets are out there. Everything is exposed. If you read this far in this essay, you already know my darkest secret… being the victim of a sexual assault.

I worry that someone will read my work and put together who he was, this person who did a horrible thing to me and made me fear that he would kill me if I told anybody what he did to me. And his life ended a few years ago, and I was finally free to talk about it and begin to make peace with it… and forgive him. (not for him… I forgive him for me… I need to be able to get past it… and be naked without fearing what his ghost will do.) And I hope no one ever learns his name. I have forgiven him. And his family doesn’t deserve to have to know about this thing he did. As far as I know, I am his only victim. He has a good family, that I know don’t deserve to be linked to something he only made the mistake of doing once while he was alive. No matter how terrible that all may seem to you.

I am not a pedophile, even though I am a Democrat because of how I vote (and I won’t believe that Joe Biden is one either, no matter what they say on FOX News.) I am in no danger of becoming one (I was never one when I was a teacher with access to underage people who looked up to me, and I certainly can’t be one now as a retired teacher without even any grandchildren around me.) So, my obsession with nudism and innocent nudity really should not be a problem.

But I know I have been focussing on it too much. Other writers have stopped following me on Facebook and Twitter once they discovered I was associated with nudists and nudism. I have gotten criticism on some of my novels because of nudity in the story and nudist characters. But that doesn’t really represent even half of my books. I do write about many other themes as well. Still, viewership by potential readers is down on WordPress since they removed ads from my blog for too much adult content. I need to focus on other things more to get a healthier balance.

But I still stand before you metaphorically naked. What you see is what I am. I say what I have to say in all honesty, naked honesty. I conceal no secrets from anyone that aren’t secrets that belong to someone else to tell. And it is freeing, this kind of truth. It makes you naked. But it feels right.

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Filed under artwork, drawing, feeling sorry for myself, Liberal ideas, nudes, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Crab Apple Pie

image from https://noshingwiththenolands.com/crabapple-strawberry-tart/

I was spending time with a certain cynical youth who likes to insult me and argue about every one of my faults as a human being, telling me that such treatment is meant to improve me to meet a standard that only he thinks I need to live up to when it occurred to me; Crab Apple has two meanings.

Image borrowed from; http://ediblecapitaldistrict.ediblecommunities.com/recipes/crab-apple-syrup

Crab apples (which ominously come up on Wikipedia as genus Malus) are generally mistrusted as eating apples. Alternatively known as “wild apples”, they are often bitter to the taste. Hence, the association with the chronic complainer, the dyspeptic dude, and the hen-pecky female. Crab apples are the fruits of unpleasant people-trees.

So, how does one deal with crab apples? I always tend to fall back on the homily, “When you are given any kind of fruit, make it into pie.” And yes, the links under the pictures will actually yield recipes. I know it is a metaphorical over-simplification. But, if I do not enjoy being critiqued for the hair in my ears and the werewolf hair sprouting under my eyes, or the way I say, “I’m sorry!” too much, I am going to use those fruits to make a pie of surreal comedy in a WordPress post.

I saw a guy on the highway speeding around me at well-over the speed limit, turning around to give me a look at his middle finger, probably trying to predict how many IQ points he will have left when he crashes into whatever is ahead of him that he can’t see because he’s grinning and glaring at me behind him. There’s an apple for this pie.

The impatient clerk in the tax office gives me the “Are you really that stupid” glare and attendant sigh as she suggests that I step to the side and correct the mistakes in my paperwork so she can mistreat the next person in the incredibly long line that she wants me to return to the back of. There’s another apple.

Image borrowed from this website; https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes/rosy-crab-apple-pie


In today’s world, it really doesn’t take long to have enough apples for your pie. In fact, I am looking at a huge pie now with loads and loads of crab apples in it.

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Crossing Those Bridges

On my daily walk in the greenbelt park there are bridges to get back and forth across the creek. The park is both a place of recreation and a flood-control device that helps keep the city above water. I crossed bridges six times in my walk today (one small bridge twice, the Josey Lane street bridge, the Frankford Road bridge, and the two wooden-plank bridges that help you walk a loop through the park.) With my near-crippling arthritis, I could not navigate the park without those bridges.

And life is getting harder as I get older. My eyesight is becoming cloudy and blurred. My joints all ache. I have problems with bodily functions. I constantly talk about things like that last one in this blog that you really don’t want to know.

Yesterday this blog got fewer views than any single day since 2013. And that includes days when I didn’t publish even one post. Yesterday I published two, one I wrote about God believing science fiction is true, and the other about crying at movies that is a popular old post re-posted.

I do this blog because I am nominally supposed to be promoting my published books. I was set on this path by the marketing advisor for I-Universe Publishing. It was not intended as a way to have fun writing and using it as a way to prove to myself that I am somehow a successful writer.

The bridge I have to cross is believing in myself. I need to stop having doubts. Good days and bad days happen to all writers. Stephen King , getting run over by a passing car, had a worse bad day than I have ever experienced. And because I continue to struggle and write, getting words down on paper, and putting together publishable paragraphs, I am proving that I am a writer every day. No one can take that away from me. And I truly believe I am a good writer. I know a lot about how to write that even successful writers don’t really know. And even though some who read my books have hated them, and a majority of those who have read them don’t leave a review, I have good reasons to cross the bridge into the bright green park of believing in my own writing..

Writing every day is the exercise that keeps my mind alive just as walking in the park every day keeps my body and especially my heart alive.

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Filed under Paffooney, humor, photos, autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, novel writing

Stranger Dings

Yes, Singing Bare has no message on his chalkboard. He is clearly nonplussed by the dozens of strange small things that have been happening for which he can find no cause… rhyme or reason.

One of the reasons he is nonplussed (here meaning confused and disoriented, not the new, controversial definition of nonchalance) is that Mickey is having trouble actually getting writing done. And yet, Mickey is definitely not suffering from writer’s block. The ideas still come in a flood that, if anything, drowns out older ideas that didn’t get written down before the brainstorms increased. There are currently three complete novels in my head waiting to get written down, and I added to none of them yesterday.

Poppensparkle is threatening to do to her novella what her sister, Derfentwinkle, did to her novella, turning it into the novel The Necromancer’s Apprentice.

The barrier is, of course, 30,000 words. More than that is a novel. Less than that is a novella. So, how do you do necessary world-building with a world of three-inch-tall fairies and keep it spare enough to fit into the shorter novella length? One can’t let such conundrums paralyze your writing. And yet, one can’t rely on the details in the previous book not needing to be repeated in this one to build a consistent fantasy world.

The problem with the primary WIP (Work in Progress for non-writers) is completely different. I left off in the middle of a Canto, as I often do to keep the flow going from one writing session to the next. And that normally is something I can just pick up and write the next time I sit down to it. Three weeks later I still haven’t finished the scene where Valerie is in the hospital and has to explain why her cousin Tim did something stupid to land him in the hospital in a coma… to Tim’s father, Uncle Rance. It is already written in my head. Just not in the perfect words. And I know it is stupid to wait for perfect words to magically appear. But I did… and they haven’t.

But the strange little thing that has Singing Bare nonplussed is actually a nudist thing. Both he and I share the problem of wanting to be a nudist, but not quite being able to cross that barrier. For him, as an imaginary turn-of-the-century Native American boy it is the inability to cast aside the loincloth, not because he’s shy, but because that sort of nakedness can get your ads canceled on WordPress. (Not that Mickey has ads.) For Mickey it is a matter of not being able to join a local nudist club because, although they allow single men to join, and married men with supporting wives can also join, but men with objecting wives are barred from applying. My wife is okay with me being a nudist as long as she doesn’t have to get naked herself. But she is unwilling to give any kind of written or verbal consent that will be observed by anyone besides Mickey himself. She would be embarrassed for anyone else in her religion to know that it was true that she was okay with her husband spending time naked socially.

So, I am not ashamed that I like the naturist-nudist way of life. I am sad that it took me so long to embrace it as a fact in life. And my wife has known about my belief in nudism since before we got married. She has only ever been opposed to nudism because she believes her religion tells her it is a sinful act. Yer, the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Adam and Eve were perfect when they were in the Garden of Eden. and the Bible says they were naked when they were perfect. So, since Witnesses believe they will all become perfect after Armageddon, they must also believe they will be naked after Armageddon. Right? Ah, well, that’s just one of those little dings life puts in the enamel of my being. One of those Stranger Dings.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, foolishness, goofy thoughts, humor, irony, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, writing

Scientifical Dog-Poop Theories

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I have been taking note of the Republican approach to science as displayed repeatedly in Congress.  I decided that this is the kind of science that can best explain the dog-poop phenomena, since it is, ultimately, about how the data feels more than measuring and quantifying and dealing with, you know, those fact thingies.

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You see, the problem comes in with the fact that my dog, Jade, is producing dog poop at record levels, and it is all becoming rather a burden.   Now the dog-poop literature, (yes it does exist, since dog lovers write about anything and everything to do with dogs), says that it is not uncommon for a healthy young dog to poop as much as 5 times a day.  But my dog seems to poop exactly one time more per day than the number of times you take her for a walk.  If we go out five times, she poops six.  If I take her out in the middle of the night for a sixth time, she poops seven.  What the heck?

My wife really hates the dog because she poops on the carpet so much.  (The dog, not my wife.  My wife is satisfactorily house-broken.)  There are places on the living room carpet she marked as a puppy five years ago where she insists on re-pooping practically every night.  No matter how often we scrub the carpet and box her ears, still, brown spots and poop lumps to greet us almost every morning.  Maybe she does it because my wife tells her how much she hates her and the dog wants to get even.  But that is the opposite of what the dog says.  She loves Mommy because Mommy gives the dog soup bones.  Somehow, it seems the dog believes she is giving us all a gift by pooping on the carpet and filling the house with her personal scent.  She poops for us because she loves us.

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Here Jade Beyer is busy using Henry’s computer. She has her own Facebook page and everything.

I drew the diagram at the start of this article to better explain my Republicanized theories of dog poop and dog love.  You will notice that, based on observations of total output, I have theorized that dogs must be almost completely hollow.  They don’t apparently store poop in their legs, but the rest of their dog bodies appear to be hollow poop-tubes that store nearly infinite amounts of poo.  Dogs also apparently have some kind of instant-poop-maker at the base of the throat so that anything they eat, dog food, my missing left socks, my son’s retainer, dead rats, whatever was growing behind the rice bag in the pantry, and whatever people food they can steal, is instantly transformed into poop.  Need to poop on the floor because dad didn’t give you any of the bacon at breakfast?  Eat a sock.  Fill up with instant poop ammo.  The poop on the floor will prove how much you love dad and why he should give you bacon more.

So, now that I have studied the poop problem, what solutions could there be?

Well, I have threatened the dog to use corks and other sorts of plugs, but that wouldn’t solve the problem so much as merely delay it.  And I dread the impending explosion in the living room that such a plan suggests to a vivid imagination like mine.  I have thought about feeding her less, but it seems she can still use the puppy beg-eye to such good effect that she could subsist entirely on people food conned out of my son and daughter.  So, I will use a Republican congressional solution.  Since their response to poverty is to give more money to rich people, and the solution to climate change is to cut pollution restrictions, then obviously I need to feed my dog MORE!  I need to cram it down her greedy little throat if necessary.  That will fix it.  Or bring about fat, exploding dogs all the sooner.

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Filed under family dog, feeling sorry for myself, goofiness, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney

From an Alternative Point of View

These are not my two sons. The picture was drawn fifteen and ninteen years before they were born. Yet they were my two sons in the cartoon story this picture was lifted from.

Am I literally able to fortell the future? Of course not. But as an overly-sensitive artistical type one could argue that there is evidence in my art and writings that my reality now was at least partially embedded in my consciousness many years ago.

Estellia the Demoness

And truthfully, looking at the truth of things based on empirical evidence is what this point-of-view post is all about. We cannot always rely on the traditional concepts of good and evil as they have been taught to us. Sometimes you have to look at how the evidence stacks up properly, and just plain intuit a new way of seeing the whole picture. Yes, this is a portrait of a fifteen-year-old former student of mine. And she was definitely evil and difficult to deal with. But she went into nursing after high school. She works in the ER where her decisive ways and ferocious insistence on having things work out in her favor because that’s the way the established rules say it must be done turn into positive qualities that are probably saving lives in a Texas hospital as we speak. It is all in how you perceive the truth of a situation and then apply it.

Comedy, of course, depends greatly on rearranging your point of view. If you are going to make a joke about something, you have to re-mix and un-match the details in ways that still make a sort of sense to the reader or the hearer of the joke. I have taught at schools like Dudwhittler’s. If you are a teacher, you recognize that that school bus carries not only that which is funny, but also that which is very true. The teacher driving the bus is a tin man who easily rusts and cries too much, thus rusting further, but you can see he has earned his heart, even if he has to drive the bus on top of teaching so he will have enough money to buy food.

But probably the most anticipated thing from a new perspective that you were expecting since reading the title is a new perspective on the Coronavirus shut-down and economic depression. That alternative take is simply this… the pandemic, though extremely hard and painful, is a good thing that happened at the right time.

I am willing to say this, even though the way the virus has been mishandled in this country is going to very likely be the death of me, because there are benefits that we simply don’t recognize without a thorough punch to the gut and another to loose teeth.

It is a good thing because it will make it harder for Herr Fuhrer Pumpkinhead to win the next election, and he will probably take a number of corrupt Republicans down to the bottom of the sea with him.

It is a good thing because it is proving to us that we can survive on less and still make our way out of the bad situation.

It is a good thing because kids get extra time off from school, and probably also the chance to spend more time with the people who really teach them things we need them to know… like parents, grandparents on Zoom, teachers who don’t fear distance-learning technology, and trolls on the internet (Yes, I know that last one is risky and mainly learning the hard way, but it is also true from before the virus hit).

It is a good thing because the air is cleaner. And we have proven that we can make radical adjustments when it is a matter of life and death. And the environmental crisis is actually a matter of life and death.

So, now I’ve had my twisted say about my pretzel-minded perspective. And so you can now trash it, or possibly learn to like pretzels.

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Filed under angry rant, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, grumpiness, humor, Paffooney, satire

Down the Rabbithole

Sometimes life goes well.

And sometimes it goes really rotten.

And it seems that it goes badly three or maybe four times as often as it goes well.

This has been a bad week for me.

I got a booster shot two days ago to protect against further Covid problems. But I am still ill today just from the injection.

And yet I am still supposed to be funny on Fridays.

So, today, I am going to explain why rabbits’ feet are not going to help.

They are not lucky for me.

I have been a rabbit for forty years, since I was 25 and starting a career as a teacher.

Rabbits are always alert, always ready to face whatever predators may come our way, foxes, weasels, bears, tigers, bankers, health-insurance salesmen, lawyers, and politicians.

Rabbits have a field of vision that stretches for well more than the human 180 degrees of view.

They have to put together sensory input quickly, thump loudly with a hind leg, and bolt down the rabbit hole.

Critics would say that a rabbit doesn’t act assertively enough, standing up for himself in the face of what is unjust, life-threatening, and wrong. But it is not easy to be a rabbit in a dangerous world where bad luck is more common than good.

And think about it carefully, in a harsh and unjust world-environment. a rabbit’s foot is never lucky to the rabbit it came from.

So, feeling rotten, surrounded by crumbling pipes and leaky plumbing in this old house, and getting nothing but spam calls on the phone from scammers, this fat old rabbit, going blind and laid up with arthritis pain, is still happy to count all four rabbit’s feet still attached.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, humor, illness, metaphor, Paffooney, rabbit people

424 Days in a Row and Counting…

Days like today make me wonder about how long I can keep going. It has been so many years since I last had a day in which I felt no arthritis pain anywhere in my whole body, that I can’t actually remember what that felt like. With my movements and activities curtailed, I spend most of my retired life now sitting on my bed with my laptop, drawing paper, and colored pencils. I have been watching Green Eggs and Ham on Netflix, the Duck Tales reboot on Disney+, and numerous history videos on YouTube. And I have been writing a novel about teen depression and trauma, and, at the same time, a novella about a Fairy named Poppensparkle being taught magic by a master wizard who is a selfish idiot.

My bankruptcy is paid off, and my taxes have been paid for more than a month. I still have to get my second booster shot of Covid vaccine, but there is nothing else on my calendar for this month.

My writing has been increasingly going harder. The Pubby review exchange continues to get worse. The reviewing of others’ works is becoming harder, while the quality of reviews I get in return continues to get worse. Others don’t even read the books, just cobbling together reviews based on the comments in other reviews.

On WordPress I lost my ability to have ads on my site. Too many nude figures. No matter how innocent they might be. That is a loss of only pennies. But I may have gotten labeled an adults-only site even though there is not even remotely a hint of pornography.

And my views have drastically dropped from a year ago when my “Nudist Notions” post blew the number up to the highest I ever got.

Book sales are driven by Pubby reviews, so those have dropped off too.

So, the best thing that I can truly say at this point is that life is good and I enjoy being alive…with the complaints I registered duly noted. And today is about self-reflection, so I followed my overall plan for one day. And I have posted something 424 days in a row.

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Filed under autobiography, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, self pity, self portrait

Dreariness

Today the day is seeming drear…

The dreariness is coming near…

But the time is not to fear, my dear…

It’s merely dreariness almost here.

So dry those eyes and shed no tear…

The sun comes back real soon, I hear…

And it comes no sooner with lots of beer…

For only time cures looming drear.

But as we try to spy and peer…

And see through gloomy dark so drear…

Hoping we will hear the cheer…

For darkness ending, the dark lords sneer.

And sunlight fades beneath the fear…

That now there’s only darkness near…

And gloomy faces frown and leer…

For now the dreariness is truly here.

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Filed under Depression, feeling sorry for myself, Paffooney, poem, poetry

Caravaggio’s Dark Angel

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio [1571 – 1610] Amor Vincit Omnia 

I don’t often choose to write about works of art that creep me out in a bad way. Or works of art that I harbor some mild hatred for. But this is one that bothers me, and I feel compelled to explain why.

I first saw this painting in a freshman-level Art History Course taught by a female Art-Nazi. I was repelled by it, completely unable to explain why. Even then, before I psychologically overcame the mental barriers that kept me from allowing myself to remember my own sexual assault when I was ten, I had a fondness for idealized nudes, even nude boys. None of the other paintings disturbed me in the way this one did.

It was explained in the textbook that Caravaggio was famous for his chiaroscuro style using strong light in a dark background to paint figures and faces. His work would inspire later greats like Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens. And his work would evolve into the works of the Baroque movement in painting.

So, what could it possibly be that turned me against this artist and this particular painting? It would take me years to figure out.

I believe if you look carefully at all of Caravaggio’s faces, you can see why I view them all as self-portraits. Compare the eyes, face-shapes, and brows of these faces with Caravaggio’s own (depicted here by another artist to lend veracity.)

He was, in fact, noted for his brutal realism in his paintings. So, did he use only relatives as models? As near as historians can tell, he did not.

But, the Cupid or Eros in the painting that annoys me is bothersome because I am the one being painted in the middle of the darkness.

Cupid, even a nude Cupid, was a common thing for painters to paint in the late 1500’s. But other painters would paint him as an idealized, beautiful nude boy. Caravaggio’s Cupid may be a beautiful nude boy, but is in no way idealized. His teeth are crooked. His smile is devilishly smirky. Even his body is awkwardly posed and plumpish in places that are not what you would call a perfect “10” model. Yes, this boy is trapped in a pose that reminds me of being pinned down and helpless, told that I shouldn’t scream or things would hurt more.

And Cupid is supposed to be wielding weapons that will make you fall in love. But these wicked bronze arrows will pierce the heart and cause death. The bow looks like a mere stage prop, as do the instruments and armor strewn about as if left by someone fleeing this deadly child. The painting is not about love, but violence in matters of life and death. I hated it because it brought to mind my own personal trauma.

The actual model for this painting was a boy named Cecco (a nickname for Francesco,) and is identified later by historians as a young art student named Cecco del Caravaggio (Caravaggio’s Cecco.) Much of Caravaggio’s life is a mystery. He never wrote an autobiography, and no biography was written about him when the people who knew him were still alive to tell on him. Only police reports and the gossip that surrounded the Greatest Painter in Rome of his time are available to speculate from. But he was definitely a brawler, drunk, and eventually a murderer. He had the bad sense to murder a gangster from a wealthy family which probably caused his own possible poisoning and death in 1610. He was rumored to be a homosexual, and was accused of molesting models, even, likely, Cecco from the painting. It is easy to see why I came to detest this man and his work, simply because I was a victim of sexual assault.

But being a student of art, I never gave up on learning about this painter and his work.

And just as I forgave the man who molested me, I have come to forgive Caravaggio for his brutish ways and painting such a nude picture of me. I may never actually like his work, but I do see his skill and what makes him a celebrated artist.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, education, feeling sorry for myself, healing, insight, monsters, nudes, strange and wonderful ideas about life