Saturday, November 19, 2016

Welcome to “Prodigal Mystic”

Welcome to “Prodigal Mystic” 

This post contains the Big Disclaimer. Everything before 2014 was written when I identified as a Born Again Christian. Although I was openly gay for the last six years of my Christian path, I still held on to a lot of bible-based beliefs. If you read my earlier posts, you might also see how my views begin to change over the years. BEWARE: everything posted after 2014 is written from a Post-Christian perspective. If you’re wondering what I am now, I identify as Devout Unaffiliated. I’m currently devoted to being unaffiliated to any particular faith. It sucks sometimes, and it’s awesome, and it’s also very me!

So if you’re a follower of my blog for the first six years, please forgive me for talking about sex, cussing, being weird, getting stoned and writing at 5AM like I do often; and I’m making peace with myself about some of my bad behaviors and personality traits that some people can’t handle including what I call “rapid speech”, or what many would call just plain ranting, therefore I am demonstrating this trait in one of my super-long sentences that I like to do sometimes as a “literary effect” which is a fun way for me to justify filling the air with tons of words.

Basically, I’m trying to show as much of the real me as I can, within reason. I’ve actually been writing about mysticism for nearly three years now, after taking a twenty year break. That’s why I call myself a "prodigal”. A “prodigal son” is a common church term used to call someone who has left the church for a long time and comes back. I’m back to being a bohemian. 

Columbia Slough, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

Check this out:

From the perspective of a west coast, progressive lefty, I “backslid” away from my liberal family values, closed my mind, and sinned against logic and tolerance. Then, after two long decades of indulging in bibles, churches, hymns, and all those potlucks, I’ve finally came to myself, repented of my “sins”, and came back to the father’s house. With my story, everything is turned around. The “father’s house” for me is being true to myself, relying more on fact than faith, taking care of myself better, and avoiding things that are proven to be harmful. When it comes to sin, I gradually spent ten years reintroducing things back into my life that I didn’t allow myself when I was a Christian. 

If I do talk about God, I don’t use some of that weird-fundy-grammar anymore capitalizing words like “Him” and “The” just to make God seem more important. I like my old writings. Those beliefs were a big part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of my background, nor am I shutting out entirely anything from that world. Christians rock. Especially the hard-core one’s like I was. They are a badass group of intense people who changed my life. They accepted me when nobody else would. It was the best and worst thing in my life.

Columbia Slough Trail and Sewage Plant, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

For over a year, people have told me I need to publish a personal blog, and that it needs a good name. I tried naming it, “Both Sides Now” after that Joni Mitchell song (that I’ve loved since I was a kid) but that title is used by other political moderates. I have a few popular non-personal blogs already, including several Facebook pages. One of them has about 5K followers, but it has enough NSFW stuff that it kinda doesn’t count. I did a Live Journal blog and got harassed and fatly accused. It was horrible, and I hope it does’t happen again. I found that gays can be just about as mean to Christians as Christians can be to gays. So here it is - my weird life. Downloading my racing mind into words. Putting my ever changing opinions and strange experiences out there for the world to judge. If you read enough of my writing, you will find contradictions, un-facts, and outright nonsense. Read with caution.

If you ever wondered what it’s like to be a mentally ill stoned insomniac, this will be a lot of fun for you! I always hope to bring perspectives on topics that maybe you haven’t considered. I love “Progressives.” I also love Born Again Christians. I doubt any of them will read my stuff. It will probably sadden them. That’s one of the reasons why I have years of blog entries that I never published. Well, here goes. Yeah, I’m freaking out. A lot of people are offended about who and what I am and what I represent. On the other hand, I bet you’ll find a few things to relate to. You’ll find things that can help you understand some very misunderstood kinds of people. If nobody reads this, at least this blogging is therapeutic for me, and part of my healing process. This is an act of saying, “I’m not ashamed to be who I am.” Maybe this also is a symbolic gesture of me breaking out of lives I’ve lived giving my power away to anyone that made me feel accepted? I hope this is empowering for me. I hope nothing written here won’t get someone to twist it around, quote me out of context, and be used to humiliate me. I’m not famous anyway.

Columbia Slough Trail, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

I started digging around some of my writings. This particular unpublished post was written November 12th, 2015 and edited a year later. This was my first draft to come up with a description of my new blog that I wanted to publish. I had no intention of using my old prayer blog as the same web page. I actually wanted to start over and hide my identity. The following paragraphs time traveled a year into the future:

The Prodigal Mystic

The spiritual re-re-awakening of a middle aged, gay, mentally ill, pot smoking, creative, chubby chaser. Personal journals of wellness, healing, and totally freaking out. I should also mention that I went through a "straight camp."

If you can even relate four out of six things listed here, consider following this blog. Five, read this blog. If you can relate to all six, you are (probably) literally me, and in fact you are writing this description.

Hidden within these writings are tidbits of wisdom and insight. Sometimes I'm just full of shit, and playing pranks on you that make me sound like I'm a total idiot. For instance: I'm glad my cat is a girl, because all cats are females. LOL. Other times I just amuse myself, because heck, who reads blogs anyway?

I was talking to a couple of people, around my age, who I tried to summarize my life. I told them I like to consider myself a "prodigal mystic." I then said that it sounded like a good idea for a blog. But who ever reads blogs? This particular woman looked at me as if everyone reads people's blogs. I wonder if some bloggers are totally full of shit. For me to prove that my stories are true, I might have to reveal my identity. I just don't want to. I'm sharing some spiritual stuff that I don't think I exhibit the kind of character that matches with my spiritual experiences. I think I can be such a jerk, and the last thing I want to do is to be another hypocrite. Sometimes I feel like I could slip back into the very same arrogant impostors that I try to stay from.

Columbia Slough Trail, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

There was a long season in my life, that when I learned that a particular person was a practicing Christian, I felt trust and safety. Now, quite the contrary. I am grateful though, that I've gotten deep into the minds and hearts of people from polar opposites of the spectrum. I've gotten to see the sincerity, the love and the logic of both sides. I've believed them. I've tried to see the best in them. Yet, when I was one of them, I too wanted to subtly, and even bluntly, dehumanize others. Now that I am a liberal again, I see my camp doing the same thing.

Raised in the holistic community of west coast 1980's far leftist culture, I took refuge in bible based Christianity. Identifying as a Born Again Christian for nearly two decades of my adult life, I find I am somehow returning to who I was as a teenager. Well, except for the fact that I'm almost exclusively into dudes. And, oh yeah, I've been getting pretty consistent mental health care since I was 33. Back then, I had the emotional intelligence of a six year old, one of the many reasons why I'm glad I could completely stayed away from pot for nearly twenty years. 

Those are not all the reasons why my life is probably much weirder than yours. I dig fat guys. Seriously. Twice my size is nice, from my perspective. I've eroticized chubby men since I was in middle school. When it came time for me to explore my sexuality, I had every reason to, and the opportunities, yet never took them. Not until my 30's. I was raised around gay men. Waiters, hairdressers. Gay, gay, stereotypical gay. Even though I later in my teens, I met a few gay men that were hippie dudes like I was. But never any gay men that had a Santa fetish. The only chubby chaser I knew was a guy that I played some live acoustic music with who had a very large girlfriend. I still saw him as less a man for some reason. Coming out would have been easy. But being ashamed of what and who I loved? I couldn't even accept that about myself, so being seen with a big man would be something I would have never faced in my life.

Fast forward to 2006. After graduating from an actual “straight camp,” I fell in love with an enormous southern gentleman. Fast forward several weeks after that. We went out one night, to a gay cowboy bar. There were a lot of hot, rugged men in charming suits and ten gallon hats. My clumsy old bear of a man, stumbled out on the dance floor with me, looking quite embarrassed, yet he was just as much in love with me as I was with him. He grew a snowy white beard for me. He measured as tall as six foot six. He said he weighed about 365 pounds. He was over twenty years older than me. He was stunning. The chemistry was red hot. We passed by all of these studs, with my hand proudly holding onto his. It was an honor and a great privilege to find a man like this. He was quite close to perfect for me. His smoking habit made him age another ten years. I didn't care. Funny, I looked half his age. In fact, it didn't even dawn on me that anyone would think this was unusual.

This is the way I see things, and there's nothing wrong with my perspective. The way I am wired, is to see weight as erotic, powerful, different, charming, mysterious, adorable, lovable, cuddly, caring, empathetic, sensitive, intense, indulgent, passionate and just downright sexy. I also relate to them in a few areas. Past abuse is typically common. Rejection is always common in fat people. There, I said it. Sorry if I offended anyone, or maybe the contrary. I've idolized them. Another thing to add to this is the fact that I've been as heavy as 250 pounds in my 30's. I was quite overweight twice in my childhood. I loose weight very easily, and it makes some people upset. I've got a set of machine parts that make up who I am that don't operate together well. Also, the kinds of things I like to do with men, are rare that men of the age and bodily girth that I prefer, can't and even refuse to do certain things in bed. TMI. My bad. It's my life. My sex life included.

With all that being said, I feel like my sex life didn't really start until my forties. Technically my thirties if you don't count a few girlfriends in my late teens. So far, I've been fortunate to not catch anything deadly from my romps. I'm starting to really enjoy sex. 

Columbia Slough, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

I used to watch America's Got Talent for a few seasons. The more I watched, I would wonder what I would do if I had to sum up all of my talents in under just a few minutes. The thing was, I couldn't think of one thing I do that's talented enough to win a major competition. I'm so spread out. I don't have any particular discipline, genre, medium or even style to define me as anything. I happen to like labels. The younger generation seems to really hate labels, and honestly, I don't blame them. Yet, I've been around just enough, that when I spend nearly two bucks on a tin can full of food, I want to know what's in it. That's why I like labels. I want to know how people identify themselves. I want to make labels in my head for certain people in my life that might be safe or that might be toxic. I want to label myself so I can bring visibility to every weird thing that I am. That's the only way I know how to make weird things normal. But why am I anonymous? Some readers know me personally. That's cool. I hope some people who don't like me will read this. That also would be cool. Not sure why though…

Cartlandia, 2015
(Actually, I decided to not keep my identity a secret. Who gives a fuck. I’m not a preacher anymore. I’m not even a professional writer. I’m afraid that some things will come back to bite me later - like when famous people tweet stupid sounding things without getting them proofread or reviewed. I’m afraid, I admit it. Yet, writing these with the intention of being anonymous should bring a brutal honesty to my writing. I’ll try to edit out any parts where I rant about other people. That could really hurt others and that’s the last thing I want to do.)

It's after 5:30 AM and I basically have a lifetime of experiences to write down. I don't think I can summarize them by 6AM. There's something knocking on the side of my house. Sounds like someone's living in my wall. That's also pretty cool. I'm glad it probably is just the windy rain we are getting on this dark, cold November morning. Those freight trains in the distant remind me of the house I grew up in across town. I love the Pacific Northwest. 

(Another journal entry I wrote that morning was when I had recently started my meditation practice)

Things in my life that have improved since practicing mindfulness meditation:

Mood swings, less
More productive
Less severe anxiety attacks
No major panic attacks for weeks
Less back pain, and able to do a lot more physically
Able to take deep breaths

Columbia Slough, Portland, Oregon (c) 2015 Jason T. Ingram

So, there you have it! My introduction in just 2,555 words… 

Hugs From Oregon
Jason at the nude beach, October, 2015

No comments: