My Spiritual Journey by Jesse
Thinking about where Im now, daoist shaman practitioner who goes to church, and how I got here, is a wild story to say the least. It all adds up.
I remember trying to be an altar boy but I failed at that or least received too many dirty looks by the pastor-I grew up catholic in Mendota Heights Minnesota- when I messed up bringing the chalice or water or wine. “no dammit, the wine first!”, he said. I didnt like being in front of all those people either. Looking back now, I know why, I am an empath and really sensitive too, doesnt help being a redhead either. However, I still believed in what they taught me about Jesus Christ, like not judging and not being into material possessions, taking it on the other cheek.
Then I moved to Billings Montana and they made me go to confirmation classes until I was 18. The pastor who taught the class would turn off the lights and we would sit in the dark for awhile before he lit a candle. It never failed, my friend, who suffered through it all as well, and I would start to laugh. I couldnt help it. The pastor would always question our thinking about God, he would say, “well that doesnt prove that God exists.” I thought he was atheist.
During my junior and high school days, what a nightmare, my dad had bought a used set of Encyclopedia Britannicas and I would spend a lot of time reading about different religious philosophies. Zen really interested me. It taught me to be aware of the moment. It wasnt that I wasnt spiritual, I just thought that so many people were hypocrits who were religious. My grandfather would preach on me about God, oh and patience. I did learn patience though, years later, because I have like that stupid disorder that they have labeled attention-deficit.
ADD could have come from many things, probably the violence I watched as a kid didnt help. Man I had a lot of anger inside of me when I was younger. I ended up moving over 30 times and still on the move. Many of my friends, men and women, met me because I seem to have this patience and empathy for people who have been through trauma of some sort. Ive heard many confessions throughout the years, stories that they never had told anyone else. Im glad I could listen because sometimes you just need someone to not judge you for your actions.
One thing that has stuck with me since a child is this instinctive knowledge about Viking mythology. I would listen to thunder at night as a child and see Thor pounding his hammer, before I even knew who that was. Throughout my life, Ive read all the viking stories, and believe that I was a shaman in another life about a thousand years ago. Probably explains why I dont really fit into this life of electronics, damn computers and the media. Thank Oden that I met another person, my woman, who knows all the mythology too and thinks she is from another time too as a viking. By the way, where is my ship with the cool fire breathing dragon.
So I am glad I met this holistic counselor when I moved to San Diego. She helped me to believe in myself and in doing so really met God. It felt like a true loving force had warmed my heart up for the first time. Well everything changed after that. I decided to try to take charge of my life and defy fate. I created a lot of havoc along the way, such as saying to hell with my family who treated me like a red-haired stepchild-oh yeah thats because I am one. Had some real crazy relationships and Im glad I know the difference of having the right one now! But I experienced and heard first hand of all the traumas that women can go through. It doesnt pertain to being a man or woman, both can do a lot of mean things to others.
Then Im back in Montana, who could believe, and I get struck by lightning. Maybe not the full blast, but a streamer had formed up out of my head as I felt the hair on the back of neck and back stand on end. I thought a dragon was going to get me. I jumped into this bus that I was living in, out of instinct, as fast as I could, but the lightning flash had blinded me and I was holding onto the railing in the stairwell for dear life, deafened by the thunder. I shook in fear as I couldnt see anything but the psychedelic lights tripping in front of my eyes. It struck an electric pole, 10 feet away.
Did I mention the Metrodome incident? Ever since being attacked by a mob of people for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I sustained a pretty bad concussion from a kick to the head and my memory is a little sketchy. At least I remember some things. Not to mention that I havent felt the same ever since, such in a way that makes you feel a little disconnected from your spirit, the person who you were before, that leaves you searching. During the incident, I had to make a decision to run or to fight. I didnt think I could get away from this out -of-nowhere mob that was running and screaming at me, for what I couldnt figure out. So I fought. I dont really remember-the concussion remember- the only thing is that I got thrown around like a ragdoll and some asshole ripped my face with his fingernails. But my brother said I was fighting like a beserker and sending people flying. Thank God when I heard him yell ‘cops!’ and the mob stopped. However, they werent through yet and jumped me again. This is where I got the kick from some big dude with old fashioned sneakers. He decided to run at my bro too, but got the best revenge I ever saw when he took a kick to the nuts from my brother. God rest my brothers soul, as he died a few years ago from an overdose on crystal-meth.
I heard that my brother saved me when I was a baby too. I had crawled into the water and was floating face down when he ran and jumped over a dock and rescued me. Thats deep! I wouldnt be here writing this if he… Well makes up for leaving me alone when I was still in the crib and turning the lights off when they-older brothers, like around 10 years, were babysitting me. I crawled under the crib and cried myself asleep. That was the last time they babysat me. I wonder why?
Oh yeah, getting back to the metrodome event. My face looked like I had went through a car windshield and I had to fly back to San Diego. People were staring at me in horror asking what had happened. The bartender lady at the airport in Kansas bought me a drink-how nice that was when I was feeling really low. I have never been a person to get into brawls but it was amazing how many people that I knew thought I started it. Just what I wanted to do-start a fight with a mob!
When I had moved to Montana in 1980 just before Mt St Helens volcano blew and spread ash all over, the teachers there thought I was stupid and put me into this group of kids who caused a lot of problems-strangely they were pretty smart. In Minnesota, I was in the top 3 of my class and they really thought I was the cream of the crop. After that, school was never exciting anymore until I went back to college after my car accident. Thats later. I was getting beat by the teachers and my parents. Makes me think of that Pink Floyd song, “we dont need no education… teacher leave those kids alone.” Also Tom Sawyer, who in a movie presentation as a redhead, also red hair stepchild, is sung about by Aunt Polly about how it didnt matter how many scoldings and whippings she gave him, he just wouldnt learn to be tame. By the way, Mark Twain had red hair too. Yes I know they always show him having white hair, but he had to be young at some age. Ok so in the 12 years of school all I learned was how to read and write-well sort of-oh and wow, add too. Damn could have learned that at home. I learned more from my grandparents who were farmers. They made everything for themselves like food and clothes. Like how to survive.
When you are tired of being beat when you are trying to be good, I gave in. This new kid from out of state, who really was a troublemaker, came along in junior high, we became friends and Oh Lord, did we cause a scene. This leads to one story of being chased by another mob of people. They saw us putting up letters on the board in the middle of the football field. A bus returning with students off on a venture, drove by in the middle of the night just as we were in the middle of our venture. I didnt think they would see us because it was dark, but from out of nowhere they were running through the entrance to the field. I know Im not cut out to be a bad person because when Im doing something that makes me scared, I start to laugh. So we were running being chased by this mob with me laughing all the way. I couldnt jump the fence in my laughter, but luckily my friend yelled at me in the nick of time and I made it over. Gets my heart pumping just thinking about that one. Oh yeah, we wrote “with pride, fuck West!’
Reading this again, I just remember going to this Irish bar named Luckys at the age of 16 before confirmation classes in order to make it through the darkness. Once a priest, who was new, must have smelled the beer, and instead of scolding me, told me about his days when he abused alcohol. Ive never forgot that story. He was a good man.
stay tuned for the rest of the story