So it rings very false when they tell us that when they want to impose technology stopping you and me from copying a song from a CD to our own computer or other devices, it is to protect the artist.
Apart from the ethics of it, I think it is not even good business. They have tried to stop every new technology that came around, from radio to casette tapes, and it all turned out to be good for business for them in the end. I think it is just a matter of they not being able to let go of the tiniest amount of control.
We at DOMAI are not like that, but visitors can't easily know that, which is why I have written a page explaining our position. I have already gotten very positive reactions to it. I just think it is common sense.
Eolake Stobblehouse contact
Letter of the week, from Don:
About three hours southwest of Los Angeles, there is a small village in the San Jacinto Mountains called Idyllwild. Some years ago, I borrowed a friend's cabin there for the weekend. Setting out for a day hike, I walked to the edge of the village and headed up a stream bed that led into the mountains.
It was a sunny summer morning. The stream bed was mostly dry and rocky. Winding my way past some large boulders, I came to sandy stretch where a middle-aged couple in low folding lawn chairs were sunning themselves. Only after I'd nodded hello did I realize that they wore no bathing suits - or anything else. The wife must have noticed my surprise because she asked, "You know this is a nude stream, don't you?" The husband nodded, adding, "Clothing optional, to be exact." I admitted I hadn't known, thanked them for the warning, and continued on my way.
After hiking another 20 minutes or so, I happened upon a young woman who had spread a towel on some flat rocks. She wore cutoff jeans and a bathing suit top and seemed to be late teens. Her long, brown hair hung down over a book she was reading. She looked up and when she heard my footsteps and sort of nodded to me. I gave a polite "Hi" and was about to keep walking when I noticed she was reading Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. "Great book, isn't it?" I asked. She said she was enjoying it very much and we got into a discussion about it.
At a certain point, I asked if she had known this was a nude stream. "Oh yes. I live around here. Most people know about it," she replied. "I've actually been trying to work up the courage to do some sunbathing." Wondering if this was a hint to give her privacy, I offered to continue hiking. "To be honest, I wouldn't mind if you stayed," she said. "Now that I'm here, the idea of being alone and naked in the woods isn't as relaxing as I thought it would be."
I sat with her and we talked a little more. Then she announced, "I'm going to take the plunge." She reached behind her back and undid a knot. Her bathing suit top (which she had filled rather nicely) swung forward and lost its shape as her breasts slipped out of it and into view. I tried to act non-chalant as she pulled the top over her head. She fanned her hands, as if blowing air toward her chest. "There. Now they can breathe," she joked. That broke the ice for both of us. I pulled off my own shirt and took a moment to enjoy the sight of her. This was clearly her first time nude sunbathing. Unlike the rest of her tanned body, her breasts were bright white and tipped beautifully with pink.
Then we did a wonderful thing. We had lunch.
She had some bread and cheese. I contributed deli sandwiches and fruit. I tried not to stare as we ate, but she was so beautiful. And if I gazed a little longer than I should have, she didn't seem to mind.
Two men walked by wearing only hiking boots. We exchanged looks and giggles after they had gone, we weren't used to such sights. Then she looked at me in mock seriousness and said, "We have to follow Stream Rules." Knowing what this meant, I stood with her as we unzipped and slid out of our shorts.
She was still a little shy, I think, because she immediately lay down on her stomach. That was fine with me because it gave me a wonderful view of the gently rolling topography of her back. As time passed and we kept talking, she grew more comfortable. She rolled onto her side to face me as we talked. This allowed me to behold her beautiful geometry - two white triangles where the bathing suit top had covered her breasts, the curve of her stomach into the larger white triangle, and the smaller dark triangle below.
I felt no need to "take things further" and become physically involved. It was enough to enjoy the clear mountain air, the forest sounds, and my spectacular view of this young woman in full bloom. "What a shame," I thought, "that we spend so much time and energy covering something so pure and beautiful."
The sun dropped behind the mountains and hikers were returning from upstream. We got dressed and hiked back together. As we went our separate ways, me to the cabin, her to the village, she squeezed my hand and whispered, "Thanks for being such good company." I thank her to this day for such wonderful experience.
Fine art nudes © Petter Hegre, Victor Melnik, and Andrey Slastyonoff