TALKING TO GOD, BUTT NAKED IN THE FOREST

(this piece was inspired by a spoken word piece that i shared to instagram. to view the piece, click here).

i like to think i am a writer but i’m not. because most of the stories i tell, the poems i write do not come from me. they are whispered into my ear by the gods and the ancestors. that may sound crazy but i believe it with all my heart.

this piece here and the way it was, ahem, presented. was not my idea. i guess i could have said no. but i wanted to say thank you, to add my voice to the chorus of people who shared their gratitude in churches and synagogues and mosques and temples. but i don’t believe that god lives in a place. i believe god is like the force in star wars — she (my god is a woman) lives in us and with us and through us. and if your god doesn’t believe we are all equal and worthy of god’s love, compassion, and mercy — then there is something wrong with your god.

i have been interrogating my thoughts on god my whole life, almost compleltely inside my head because its almost impossible to have a rational, interfaith conversation about spirituality — anything really. we can’t debate the backup quarterback without being called everything BUT a child of god. recently, though, i have been having these wonderful chats with friends and strangers alike — carlos, naomi, heather, my friend at the punjabi diner — that have me thinking that we can’t have rational conversations about faith because we allow the irrational folks have the loudest voices. that nuance is available, that consensus (not agreement) is possible if we are listening with our hearts, not just our ears. but i’m tired of letting the lunatics run the asylum, aren’t you?

in my very humble opinion, there is only one way to have a relationship with god — quietly and intimately. my conversations with god are unique to me and i talk to her constantly — and never once on my knees (unless i’ve fallen down and ask for a solid) and rarely in a church. but that’s me — whatever works for you, works for you. we simply have to agree on one thing — i will in no way judge you’re even comment on however you choose to commune with the spirits — and i will do the same.

i think if we adopted that libertarian view on everything (vaccines, anyone), life would be better.

now excuse me while i go put some clothes on…

but before i do so, a word about being naked. i grew up pretty skinny — but i woke up at 30 and was 270 pounds. then i became a gym rat — i mean i was sexy as fuck. then o got the dad bod.

through all of those stages i absolutely hated my body.

until now. at 51.

body positivity ain’t just for women.

so kiss my ass. it’s hot and toasted from the fire. it’s hot and toasted from the fire (unpictured).

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RALPH BRYANT is writer and content creator living in Canada. He is the author of Shackles Lost and the host of the podcast Black Fathers Matter.

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Ralph Bryant Writer

RALPH BRYANT is writer and content creator living in Canada. He is the author of Shackles Lost and the host of the podcast Black Fathers Matter.