I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
December 28, 2013 - 1:38 p.m.
I need to break out of the pattern I've been in since school ended. I wake up, so my morning computer routine then write my blog. So far so good. I even count writing Wise Madness as constructive. I do it well and it does me good. But then I start wasting time. I eventually make breakfast, often as late at 2 PM and waste more time. Ii isn't just wasting time it's moping. I can't get out of the house in time to do thing, or perhaps I make it just in time. This is not going to make me happier. I slept late today so the timing might not be that much better but I'll try and cut out the moping.
So yesterday after my daily dose of moping I went up to my PO Box by school. I have been expecting one package for a week and it hadn't arrived. I got there and found a Festivus card and hand written note asking me when I was picking up my package. Apparently it arrived some time ago. I never got the card telling me I had a package. Maybe it got stuck in some junk mail. It's odd as I was looking for it. In any event it was there. It's a dress shirt I got from Woot.com. It was real cheap so I decided to try it. If it is made poorly it's no great loss. It looks fine. A bit of an unusual color for me, a deep green. That's what I wanted, something unusual for me. I have been wearing too much grey.
After that I headed downtown for the evening's fun, seeing Dan Bern and Anthony da Costa. I met Chris for dinner for. We met by Links but it was still closed. It doesn't look like it's out of business. Maybe it's just closed for the holidays. They finally figured out how to run the place I'd hate think it is now out of business. Our consolation prize was Georgia Barbecue. Chris has my favorite the fried chicken plate while I tried the rib sandwich. Good thing was warned by Ashley, the waitress I had last time I was there that the sandwich comes with the ribs still on the bone. If you take a bite out of that you can lose a tooth. The bones are supposed to slip out but they didn't. So I just had an order of ribs served on bread. They were still great.
Georgia Barbecue is right across the street from Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 but the door was closed so we went around the corner to see if we could get in through stage 2. But that was closed too till 7:00. We had a few minutes so we went to Russ & Daughters and I bought halvah! I really need to do that more often. They have the best and I'm always down there. Of course usually I'm there after business hours.
We went back to 3 and were allowed to wait in the backroom but not go down to the stage. We were joined in a bit by Mark and Beth and then Gene and Isabel. And then Lauraly came up from the stage. Then Eliot joined the throng. It was nice getting together with my peeps.
They let us down and we grabbed tables. I have never been in Rockwood 3 before. I meant to take pictures of the layout but never did. John Platt's On Your Radar is going to be there in January. It's a nice space. It only holds about 60 people but it is a lot more comfortable than Stage 2. There's more seating.
The thought back to the first time I saw Anthony when he was 16. This is what I wrote here;
I bonded with him as soon as I found out that he is a huge Dan Bern fan. We have actually been to the same Dan Bern shows at the Turning Point. Some of his songs have a real Dan Bern feel. Others are totally different. He has a command of many different styles and an encyclopedic knowledge of music. He has a song about Pluto no longer being a planet that was very reminiscent of Jonathan Coulton.
Seeing him with Dan is special. It was also special that his family was there. I haven't seen them in ages.
He did a great new song about taking a year off after college to figure things out. I meant to tell him that's exactly what Einstein did after he got his PhD. Einstein tramped around Northern Italy, Anthony around America. Actually I think I already told him this and heard the song before but I'm an idiot so I can't be sure.
Gene and Isabel have seen Dan a zillion times as have I. But Chris has only seen him once and Beth and Mark were totally unfamiliar with him. I loved hearing their reaction to his genius. He's a total contrast to Dar. They only think they have in common is the quality of their songwriting. The greatest proof of Dar's greatness is that I adore her even though she's the archetype of the confessional singer/songwriter that I so often complain about. Dan on the other hand is exactly the kind of songwriter I'm supposed to love. He's quirky and sarcastic and filled with symbolism. He is the master of using specific people and things like Van Gogh or Tiger Woods as archetypes. He'll switch course in the middle of a phrase to make a parenthetical remark. I am killing myself right now because I could not think of how to do that in the last sentence. He defies convention and challenges conventional thinking. If he doesn't get your mind racing your brain needs a tune-up.
After the show we went upstairs to the back room. I talked to my friends and then to Dan. Strangely he is not one of the people I've gotten friendly with over the years despite seeing him so often. I think this is only the third time we've talked and one of the others was after he played with Anthony at the PostCrypt.
I said goodbye to "Anthony. He is leaving our fair City for Austin. I might see him one more time before he goes. I'm going to miss him.
And then I headed home.
I had an impromptu therapy session yesterday. Not just impromptu but virtual. My therapist wasn't there. I just imagined what she's say. As most of the time she doesn't say much and just listens that's not too hard. And the thing is it helped as much as most of my sessions. I was free from the existential angst for a while afterward. Unfortunately it's still my default state. I have to work to keep out of it. Some odd things just having an anxiety attack is a relief in comparison. I'm used to being anxious. The other is how I can feel the emotional precipice. The trick is to not look down but still avoid walking off it. That's in imperfect metaphor as staring down a precipice doesn't bother me in the least. I enjoy it. Being up on a ladder generates closer to the emotions but that won't evoke them in you and you're the target audience, not myself.
I decided that next real therapy session I'm going to make her work for her money. I usually recount all the positive things this time I'm going to walk off the precipice and see if she can pick up the pieces. Not sure that's actually wise. I know it's the common wisdom of what to do but that doesn't make it right. People love the idea that the key to making things better is to do something unpleasant. Europe's economy is being destroyed by that notion and the Republicans want to do that here. Medicine doesn't work better because it tastes bad or because the procedures hurt. Those are unfortunate side effects, bugs not features.
Wise Madness often goes in directions I don't plan. This was supposed to be all about Dan Bern not about my psyche. OK one more weird thing with my psyche. The time when I was closest to the precipice was when describing Rockwood 3. When I felt the best is talking about Dan and Anthony which is not odd. But also writing about existential angst which is. But this isn't like my anxieties that seem to come at random. I actually know why each of these things happen.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly