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
April 21, 2014 - 9:57 a.m.
Wow I'm starting to write before nine. Give me a cookie. Or give me anti-anxiety meds. Interesting writing is triggering an anxiety attack. It's because I'm back in existential angst mode and writing is making me face it. So I guess that means I'm going to be honest today and not ignore my primary experience. I'm not going to dwell on it but it was casting a cloud over all the happy things I'm going to write about. This is going to be shorter than it otherwise would and once again I'm not going to post my pictures. the backlog is growing. And yes that gives me anxiety and makes it harder to face.
I spent a lot but not enough of yesterday grading tests. I have to finish today What a shock they aren't doing well. Of course I'm not dealing with numbers and they always do better than it feels when I actually tally up the grades. Part of it is that I spend more time on the people that get things wrong than right. I'll write more about this tomorrow. I'd have to get up and get something if I wrote it now and I'm too lazy.
Last night I went to the Brooklyn Folk Festival. It's Brooklyn. It's folk. You'd think I'd know everybody there. I knew exactly two people that weren't performing, both musicians. I was there by myself.
It started with a square dance. I didn't know that. And I didn't know that the caller was going to be another friend, Kristin Andreassen. Hey Kristin did you see me?
I love this kind of thing. I found a partner, Jamie. yes I remember her name. she was with two other friends so we made a small square for the first dance. Later we made a larger square with four couples. It's a scary thought when I'm the most experienced square dancer in a group. That made us couple number 1. So things were a bit chaotic but lots of fun. The last song was a waltz and I lost my partner but found another, Molly. Yes I remember her name too. I suck at waltzing. I need another lesson.
The first band up was Spuyten Duyvil. I talked to them before the square dance. I really need to keep track of these things. Are they the band I see the most often? They did an odd set, mainly maybe entirely older songs. I can't remember them doing anything off Temptation but I could be wrong. I mean I am an idiot. Of course I love all there stuff and thought it was great. Just realized that I never got introduced to the new fiddler. What kind of groupie am I? I don't even know her name.
Next up was Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton. I hope you know how much I love Jerron. He's one of he super special talents. In his short set he fiddled, played blues, crooned, did funny songs, and played banjo. He also plays piano but didn't get to that. He needs to be on your must check out list. He's as good as it gets.
The last act was Dubl Handi. They can't spell worth a damn but they play great bluegrass music. I love that Brooklyn is a center for that kind of music. They rocked.
I stood and I danced so I checked my jacket and bag. I had my tests in the bag. I graded on the train. I raced out to beat the line to claim them. Imagine my dismay when I saw that coat check was closed. there was a sign that I had trouble reading and it said to go to the front bar to claim your coat. I did. there was nobody at the bar. But then the bartender got back with the coats of someone who beat me there and he got mine. I looked for one of my friends and couldn't find her so I headed home. I was good and graded on the train.
When I changed trains at Atlantic Terminal I spotted one of my students. he lives a few blocks from me. funny we never ran into each other before. I graded on that train too. I wonder if he saw me grading his test.
I texted Brianne on Budgiedome business. She's my assistant and I have to keep her in the loop. Actually I took her advice about something and let her know. And we got to talking and talked about my existential angst. When I got home she was on Facebook and we quite a bit more. She helped so much. I have therapy today and that helps too but not as much as talking to a friend. As Charlie Brown said, "Sometimes you just need somebody to say, 'poor sweet baby.'" She helped me get a good night's sleep. Too bad I woke up early this morning and was freezing which made it hard to get back to sleep. I put on another blanket and turned on the space heater but I was already awake and having to go to the bathroom was the clincher. But that's why I'm finishing this before 10 AM.
Now for a day of grading, making up a test, and therapy. I am going to have to get some chocolate too. That does wonders for existential angst.
As bad and as I feel now I'm still better off than a lot of people. I know I'm never suicidal but I thought perhaps that I wouldn't feel that bad about dying. But it's not true. That's why I'm excited about getting insurance. In the end I am a cheerful hobbit and I know that eventually I'll get back to equilibrium. I always have hope for tomorrow, it's the undiscovered country. The essence of being human is feeling that there is nothing more desirable than what lies beyond that next hill. I only get to see it if I live. And who knows maybe the horse will learn to sing.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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