Storm Arcana

Relationship Coach & Master Tarot Teacher.

Category: Writing

The Earth Day I Almost Died

ca. 1976-1977, Carolina Beach State Park, North Carolina, USA — Grove of Long Needle Pine Trees — Image by © David Muench/CORBIS

On Earth Day during my Senior year of High School, I was in a car accident and almost died. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. I was one of three guys in the car and we’d had a tangle with a drunk stranger in a parking lot where we’d been driving in circles and knocking over stray shopping carts. We drove away, but the man followed us, revved up to our bumper, threatening to hit us. I was in the back seat and remember his face, red and livid. I’m ashamed to say that I further antagonized the guy by flipping him off. My friend who was driving tried to ditch him, but the guy matched our acceleration every time. We were way above and beyond the speed limit.

We turned a corner on a sharp mountain curve and flew off the road. The car sailed through the air, clipped some pine trees, flipped over and landed on the rear window. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt and I kept somersaulting in the back, my long necklace wrapped around my neck, cutting into my skin and choking me. My life played out in a series of vignettes from birth to the present. I could see everything I had ever done from a higher perspective. Sadness and regret welled up inside me as I realized that this could be the end.

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Beltane Beginnings

Artwork by Peruvian Visionary, Luis Tamani Amasifuen.

Today I begin my diet to prepare my body for my trip to Peru to engage in ayahuasca ceremony in the Shipibo peoples tradition. I will be undergoing six ceremonies in ten days. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular plant medicine, retreat center Caya Shobo provides this explanation:

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Back to School

Nana

My grandmother, Lena Faye Bridges Cockrell, or Nana as I called her, was the most influential adult in my formative years. She and I were close, possessing an altogether uncanny understanding of one another. She taught me to make biscuits from scratch when I was six, how to use a typewriter when I was nine, and gave me safe haven when I came out as gay at sixteen. She made time to attend my theater performances, bought me school clothes every year and always professed her belief in me. To others, her opinions were intractable, her pursuit of perfection was inflexible, and her judgments were implacable. To me, her love was unmistakable.

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, my grandmother passed away at age 87. It was also her birthday. Last year I shared two short Nana-inspired writings to honor her memory. On the recent anniversary of her birth and crossing over, I’d like to share another:

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Letting Go of What Others Think About You

Strength

This summer I found a way to love my family without needing their acceptance.

A year ago this week, my grandmother died on her birthday. In the weeks following her funeral, I had recurring moments in which I heard her voice, telling me to reach out to my relatives on my father’s side of the family. “I’m gone,” she said, “but you have people who love you and want to see you. Let them.” I heard her words, but I didn’t act on them.

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Isotope University Presents: The Guidance of Grayson

isotope university

Today I attended a Writing for Comics class taught by the amazing writer Devin Grayson. The class was offered by The Isotope Comic Book Lounge as part of its Isotope University project which offers curriculum that “focuses on practical, real world comics industry knowledge to equip students for success in creating and selling comics.” Grayson’s work includes writing for titles such as Gotham KnightsCatwoman, The Titans, and Black Widow. Her five year run on Nightwing is especially well regarded and is often credited for creating the fan base for the popular character. She is also a novelist, video game scripter, short story and essay writer.

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Coffee, Biscuits & A Yellow Pickup Truck

Nana

My grandmother, Lena Faye Bridges Cockrell, or Nana as I called her, was the most important and influential adult in my formative years. She and I became quite close, possessing an altogether uncanny understanding of one another. She taught me to make biscuits from scratch when I was six, how to use a typewriter when I was nine, and gave me safe haven when I came out as gay at sixteen. She made time to attend my theater performances, bought me school clothes every year and consistently professed her belief in me. To others, her opinions were intractable, her pursuit of perfection was inflexible, and her judgments were implacable. To me, her love was unmistakable.

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, my grandmother passed away at age 87. It was also her birthday. Below I have shared two Nana-inspired writings to honor her memory.

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