Death and the Storm

June 28, 2009

When I was in high school I had this amazing English teacher who had a pretty serious impact on my world view. Although she was a bit out there (she was known for being a bit of a “feminazi” and loved this barter system our town co-op worked out) I thought she was so wonderful. She just had such a different world view and didn’t seem to care what anyone thought. I often wish I had as much balls as she did.

I was her teaching assistant for awhile and graded papers and whatnot and got to spend a lot of time talking to her by myself. She introduced me to music I still listen to and told me stories that really affected me spiritually, which is rare considering I’m pretty much an atheist.

Several years ago, there was a significant death in my family, and then within weeks a student I had class with passed. It was a difficult spring, and guidance was really what I needed . This teacher was incredibly supportive, quietly, and in this moment of grief shared something that stuck with me to this day: the significance of a thunderstorm.

Now I realize that in New York thunderstorms happen a little more often. Where I grew up, they were fairly rare and the talk of the town when they did happen; It was like watching fireworks. That spring, a fairly large storm swept through our tiny town and of course everyone was so thrilled by it’s presence. I was fascinated and to this day still stop to open my windows (yep) and watch a storm. The past few weeks have had RAGING storms – ones that came hard and fast and knock you on your ass and soak you to the skin if you’re not paying attention.

My high school teacher told me that thunderstorms were spirits being born into the next world. Sure, it’s a bit out there, but storms always seem to coincide with some sort of death/rebirth in my realm. David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, Millvina Dean, Jack Nimitz, Sky Saxon, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays have all passed within the month of June (alright Millvina passed on the 31st of May…) This is probably the most storm-filled month I’ve seen in New York City. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

I also don’t think the clouds are a coincidence. The clouds after Friday’s storm seemed to catch everyone’s attention… they were really quite beautiful. After so much twitter chatter about them, I did a little light reading and found out that these are not exactly prevalent formations. Coincidence that these are rare? Coincidence they happened the day after rare talent passed?

I think this once, instead of being the Negative Nancy I usually am about something spiritual, I’ll suspend my disbelief, and hope that these giant storms (and these “phenomenon” clouds) are really significant spirits passing on to a better place.


One Response to “Death and the Storm”

  1. Matt said

    Very nice blog. I will enjoy reading it! It is very sad to hear about his death. He will be missed.

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