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
October 24, 2017 - 11:19 a.m.
I'm going to finally catch up with my blogging today. I didn't do anything interesting yesterday and my plan is to not leave the house today. That means I'll be able to get to one of my ideas entries tomorrow. Maybe not. I might be writing about NERFA and anxiety. That's tomorrow, today's topic is Emily Elbert.
I don't often write about Emily because she rarely gets to New York. That's unfortunate as she's on my never miss list. Emily is a Musician with a capital M. She is very much not a nice woman with a guitar singing nice songs. For those new to Wise Madness that's a compliment not an insult. Emily is extraordinarily nice; nice woman with a guitar singing nice songs is a genre, the musical equivalent of being your told that your blind date has a good personality. Even when she's solo Emily rocks out, or should I say jazzes out? For years she played acoustic guitar but last time through she switched to electric. It works, because as I said, she's a Musician. She plays to the strengths of an electric. She doesn't do instrumentals, but I'd listen if she did, she's that good. She doesn't because she's an even better singer, on my short list with Madeleine Peyroux and Rhiannon Giddens. She has the technical skills to sing like Ella and the soul to sing like Billie. She's good enough that I'd go to hear her do covers but she also writes. The winner of the evening was a "love song" to Donald Trump. That brought the house down. I hope someone got a video of it, it's not recorded. She has a video and you can buy the song!
Fred and I were the exception, the rest of the audience was half our age or less. Emily plays jazz, but she started doing folk and it comes out in her music. Years ago, she was in the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase and played the Budgiedome multiple times that year. She stayed with Camp Steeple right next to us. That was a year it rained heavy and scheduled artists didn't show. When that happened, we'd get Emily and her friend Ali. Didn't bother me, I could listen to her all night. Hey Fred, one of the people she subbed for was Vienna Teng.
Emily was joined on some song by two other artists, a singer who I was introduced to and whose name I'm blanking on, and Hailey Niswanger (pronounced “NICE–wonger”) on tenor sax. Hailey just blew us away. I just got on her mailing list. She went to Berklee with Emily as did this other young woman that gave Hailey flowers and was quite a vocal fan.
After the show I did my usual post Rockwood walk to 99¢ Fresh Pizza then hopped on the subway home. I once again failed at commuting. I got so involved looking at people interacting with my Instagram of Emily that I missed my stop and went to the far end of City Island. Good thing there isn't a lot of Island and that's just 0.6 miles from where I should have gotten off. It gave me another very pleasant nighttime walk. I find myself enjoying that more and more.
Yesterday I just ran errands. I went to the post office to find that all the mail in my box was addressed to other people. I left a note last time this happened, but they are still delivering mail that isn't mine. Then I went to Trader Joe's an Aldi. Now I have coffee, peanut butter, milk, bacon, and ham. That's enough to survive on. Don't worry I got other things too.
Now I must overcome my anxiety and make a phone call. I can do this. I read difficult Facebook messages this morning. My therapist says I should pat myself on the back for my successes. I'll post this. Do a short meditation, then make the phone call. It's to a good friend, this shouldn't be scary My frontal cortex says she's going to tell me something good but it's hard to hear over my limbic system's shouting. I had hoped that medications would take this feeling away. It works great on the depression but doesn't do much to blunt the anxiety. It makes the recovery from it a bit easier.
Wise Madness must seem very strange to new readers. Not many bloggers combine music reporting with airing their mental health issues. It's all the same to me, it's all teaching; helping the world to discover and understand.
Heather Start Matt Finish. - October 29, 2017
Follow on Feedly