[For the sake of full disclosure, this post was handwritten on a night when I lacked access to cell or internet service. I am transcribing it exactly as it was originally written. Somewhat painfully, I did no editing.]

Any day that involves skinny dipping and nude sunbathing in the middle of a national forest is a good day. Today was a good day. It was full of relaxed and quiet moments. I was naked under the sun and in the cold water of a creek for parts of it. I felt close to God, close to the earth, close to the friend beside me, and close to me.

Yet there was some nugget of something that I carried with me through all my still, relaxed and joyful moments that was akin to worry, nervousness, or anxiety. I felt it as a weight in my belly. I felt it as a tightness banded across my chest. I experienced it as a tether preventing me from fully sinking in. I tried to ignore it. I tried to wash it off of me. I tried stepping into it. Basically, all day long, I tried getting rid of it, without even knowing what it was other than a tiny seed of discomfort in the background of my awareness.

I have ideas in my head of how things are supposed to be, and then I set out organizing myself and those ideas rather than just seeing what greets me in any given moment of any given day. (Which suddenly seems like such an easier and less exhausting way to live.) As much as I say I yearn for freedom, I think I am deathly afraid of it too. I try to control my experience because it seems so much safer that way. I think the cost though is that I don’t get to have much in the way of real, authentic experience when I am so caught up in control everything, down to my own reactions to the experience.

I wanted to feel only good things today. I wanted ultimately to experience bliss. I was skinny dipping and nude sunbathing in a national forest, after all. The truth is, I had lots of moments of good, even exquisite feelings. I had moments of bliss. All of which came and passed, like the water of the creek swirling around me. My experience is transient in a way I am still struggling to accept. It is moments that come and go. It is feelings that rise and fall and rise again. It is not particularly steady. It is certainly not permanent. I know it isn’t. I am glad it isn’t. And, I wish it was.