Angels Landing Zion National Park
activism, personal essay

Aesthetic Arrest

Zion National Park in May of last year. We set up camp in the shadow of one of those glorious red rock monoliths with the rushing waters from a nearby (but unseen) river as our only soundtrack. That night the moon turned the whole valley silver and the sounds of the river seemed to amplify in the still night air, enveloping us in this white-noise cocoon. After dinner I went off on my own, determined to put a visual to what now seemed to come from everywhere at once, and as I pushed through the brush, the more it consumed and bewildered me, until finally, I reached the river’s edge and stood there on the banks, for how long I really don’t remember. 

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Pagan Otherworlds Tarot
mythic perspectives, tarot

Paying Attention

I’ve been reading the cards for more and more folks lately and every session has been its own kind of wild, weird and wonderful. Tarot has been a near-daily study and meditation for me for over three years now and while my understanding of it is always evolving, here’s what I currently know: I am not a fortune-teller. And while I do think we’re all “psychic” in our own ways, I’m not a huge fan of that word either. It just feels exclusionary and ego-based.

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activism, personal essay

Freedom Now

I grew up closeted in the backwoods of South Carolina in the 80’s and became interested in storytelling around 9 years old when my father would drive me into the sticks and drop me alone on the side of a dirt road with a rifle. From there I’d hike into the woods to find a marked tree with a small plank hanging from it, about 15 feet up in the air. I’d climb the tree and I’d sit on the plank and I’d wait quietly. And wait. And wait, for some unsuspecting deer to stroll by; a deer I’d never have the heart to shoot; a deer that would graze the baited corn my dad had spread out on the ground below while I silently watched, spellbound, boring all of my secrets into him telepathically, before firing in the air to spook him back to freedom. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at the time, I just knew, on some level, that it was safer to be the boy with lousy aim than the boy who didn’t like to hunt.

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Francis O'Connor set design for Waiting for Godot
mythic perspectives, personal essay

Letting in the Mess

Samuel Beckett and Tom F. Driver on the function of art in a world in crisis

There is so much about my work as an artist that is changing. Much of what interested me just three years ago feels frivolous now. I stopped writing a romantic comedy just before Trump was elected and I’m not sure I could summon the drive to finish it now regardless of what someone offered to pay me.

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Letter to a Young Activist
activism, reminders

Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times

Grumpy Sneezy Dopey

I was home sick with a cold today. On the couch for hours watching movies, scrolling through the socials, in a grumpy, sneezy, dopey malaise. (Where is Doc and Happy when you need them?) There’s something about being sick that amplifies my insecurities. The shadow swoops in when I am weak, whispering – Poor you, So frail, So small, You will never accomplish the things you desire, Why bother, The world is on fire, No one cares… Nothing you do matters.

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Cosmic Tides
mythic perspectives

Cosmic Tides

A man’s soul is like a lagoon connected with the sea by a submerged channel; although to all outward seeming it is land-locked, nevertheless its water level rises and falls with the tides of the sea because of the hidden connection. So it is with human consciousness, there is a subconscious connection between each individual soul and the World-soul deep hidden in the most primitive depths of subconsciousness, and in consequence we share in the rise and fall of the cosmic tides. 

Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
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common sense crash test dummies gun reform
activism

Common Sense

You can still learn a lot from a dummy.

Growing up in South Carolina in the mid-80’s, I remember the adults around me grumbling about new legislation that was gaining momentum in Congress. Legislation that, if passed, would require the driver and front-seat passenger of a car to wear seat belts, or else be subject to a fine. The grown-ups were pissed. How dare the government tell us what we can and can’t do in our cars. Civil liberties! and personal freedom! became all the rage. I distinctly remember an aunt avowing she’d never wear a seat belt because she’d read somewhere that they were just a hoax, that they were highly dangerous and what if the car went off a bridge and into the water, huh?!

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How much time did you spend creating?
How much time did you spend consuming?
reminders

At the end of the day…

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exercises + experiments, personal essay, tarot

Intuition

Intuition is having a moment. Search the hashtag on Instagram and you’ll get over 2 million hits. It’s super trendy with the witches and the healers and all the new, new-agey folk (hi me!). Considering we’re living in deeply unsettling times, it’s natural that so many of us are seeking guidance and a stronger inner compass. But I often see intuition getting lumped in with things like psychic visions or other exclusionary skillsets which is disheartening and completely misguided.

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fiction

Animal Space

Oh muse,
how you fix at me with sleepy eyes
your tail a pendulum, back and forth
cleaving bloated minutes on the brink
(always on the brink)
of the next idea.

Oh muse,
how your whiskers twitch ‘gainst hurried hands
feeding hands that nag now, stop and start
pounding, locked in some human rhythm
(desperate, choked rhythm)
of the next idea.

Oh muse,
how you warm my side
how you moan and purr
how you sleep a tiger’s sleep of stoic peace
beyond ideas
in the animal space
dreaming of blackbirds and tattered socks
and little plastic milk tops that tap and crinkle cross the floor.

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