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
-Bertrand Russell

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

June 20, 2017 - 11:49 a.m.

Clearwater and Burning Sun

Thank me, I just deleted the introductory excuse to today's Wise Madness. An introductory self-congratulation is better, right?

Now back to Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival. Fred and I got lucky and scored front row center seats at the Rainbow Stage on Saturday. We decided to leave less to chance and get there half an hour earlier on Sunday. Who needs sleep? We weren't the first on the line but we were close. Then we got luckier. Richard and Viki saw us and offered to lay our tarp down before the gates opened. Once again, we sat front row center, one tarp from where we were on Sunday. I love going with a friend that feels the same way about prime real estate as I do. I usually don't spend that much time on the tarp till near the end, my tastes are not main stage tastes. Here's who I saw. I'm going to list the stages today too.

  • Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton - Hudson Stage. – Jerron is one of "my people;" Not that we are friends, just that he's someone that's not a big name and that I've seen in intimate venues. His genre is, whatever the hell he feels like playing at the moment. He plays fiddle like Mark O'Conner, hillbilly music, banjo, slide guitar, blues, Celtic music, stride piano, Cajun, harmonica, African American work songs, and god knows what else. His ancestry is as diverse as his music, his great grandparents were a red-headed Jewish Frenchman and 6'2" Cherokee woman. When the Indians were kicked off their land in Oklahoma is grandfather moved to Louisiana and pretended to be black. He is a black orthodox Jewish man from Central Los Angeles. He's incredibly talented and as funny as all hell.
  • Jay Unger & Molly Mason - Dance Stage – it's not Clearwater if I don't see Jay and Molly. I was too tired to dance but I listened and watched the dancers.
  • Tom Paxton - Hudson Stage – Tom was supposed to be backed by the DonJuans but one of them got sick so they were replaced by The Kennedys. I'm not complaining. Tom is someone else I always see at Clearwater. I should have watched him on the Family Stage. I like him even more there.
  • Black Banjo Music - Workshop Stage - Blind Boy Paxton – He didn't stick to banjo or African American music.
  • Songs of Hope and Fury - Workshop Stage - Kim & Reggie Harris and Betty & the Boomers – Kim & Reggie aren't together anymore. I don't know if this is a one-off or if they are back as a duo, at least musically. Whatever it is I wasn't going to miss it. Not many people can make me feel as good as Kim and Reggie. Their voices radiate love, hope, and inspiration. Unfortunately, I was not feeling very good then. I watched most of the shows with my eyes closed and couldn't sing along. Sorry Kim and Reggie, I wasn't sleeping and I was loving your performance.
  • Richard Thompson - Rainbow Stage – I don't have to tell My Gentle Readers how much I love RT, he's my favorite of favorite. My favorite performance by him was at Falcon Ridge but now I prefer him at concerts. He did a festival set, all very well-known songs but one. I love his hits but want to hear things I don't hear as often too. I was very disappointed that he didn't do Fergus Lang. It's a song that mocks Donald Trump that he wrote before Trump ran for president. He's added new verses. The hippie Clearwater crowd would have gone wild.
  • Cry Cry Cry - Rainbow Stage - Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, and Richard Shindell – Cry Cry Cry hasn't played together for 18 years. I still think of the three of them as the Cry Cry Cry artists even though I knew them all well before they joined forces. This is the first time I've seen them since I started blogging. They are magic. Fred caught the complete set on video. Someone with "insider" information told Fred that they were going to recreate the entire album. We both thought that unlikely, what would be the point? They are not a legacy act. They didn't come back together to rehash old material. They did some old but more new songs. They are making a new album. They are touring. Catch them while you can. Last time they toured for about a year and followed it with an 18-year hiatus.

I'm not sure about what made me sick. It might have been too much sun and perhaps dehydration though I kept drinking. I got a pretty bad sunburn. It might have been the Crohn's disease striking me in a strange way. After I went to the bathroom I started to feel better. I was only sick for a short time. But I was still weakened and tired. Fred lives a long way off and wanted to get home. That led to us leaving early and missing Arlo. That hurts. It isn't Clearwater without Arlo. But I'd have paid for it if I stayed so we left. I had invited Jeremy to join us for Arlo. I was looking forward so much to watching Arlo with Jeremy, he's such a classic folk fan. He grew up on Pete and Arlo. I also missed Marti and Daniel. I had texted them where we were sitting but they didn't come over till right after we left. I somehow missed Gene & Isabel. I saw Chris and Shelley and all those other people I'm forgetting. It's hard not having a brain.

This was one of the best Clearwaters ever. Fantastic job, Steve Lurie. That one-year hiatus was hard to bear. It better be back next year.

I took it easy yesterday. My only expedition was to Aldi. I knew that thunderstorms were forecast and I took a WFUV poncho with me. I no longer have the case and it can't fold as small as it originally did but I put it in a zip lock bag for times I want to carry protection that is light and doesn't take up that much room. I have to walk between 10 and 15 minutes from Aldi to the bus. That is of course when the cloud burst. There is no place to take cover on the way. It came so sudden that I got quite wet in the time it took me to get the poncho out of my bag and put it on. I was rewarded with a gorgeous sunset and rainbow when I got home. There's nothing like a sunset rainbow. All rainbows are complete circles of exactly the same size. Most of it is usually below the horizon so you don't see it. At sunset, you see half of it. I couldn't catch it but some of my friends caught it horizon to horizon, the full semi-circle. Is "full semi-circle" an oxymoron? It isn't but it sounds like one.

Getting a sunburn at Clearwater inspired a political/scientific blog idea. It's not coming today; I'm saving it for a rainy day. Farewell wherever you may fare till your eyries receive you at your journey's end.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile June 20, 2017
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