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
June 05, 2016 - 2:26 p.m.
This is something I haven't done in years, a written while watching the Met game edition of Wise Madness This was supposed to be a written while watching the Met game after doing yoga edition but I slept very late today, 11 AM. I have been running around a lot and I think I just needed the rest. Today's agenda does not involve leaving City Island. That wasn't true yesterday so you get to read about what I did. I went to see Horse County at the Jenkins House Concerts on the upper west side. Horse County is Jordan Tice's new band. There is no website so I can't see the names of the other members; one played mandolin and the other a dobro and slide guitar. Jordan plays guitar. He's the one I know, originally from playing with Brittany Haas and Paul Kowert in Haas Kowert Tice. I was thinking of going to Trader Joe's first but the Mets were on TV so I stayed and watch the start of the game. Before I left changed out of shorts but that was preparing for the trip home. I took my umbrella out of my bag and put on my sunglasses. That's foreshadowing. It's not easy getting anyplace from City Island. I took a bus to the subway to a bus. The first bus was an adventure. It was electric with an electrical problem. Whenever it stopped the engine shut down and had to be reset. I was lucky, I was picked up, it made one more stop then started skipping stops if nobody had to get off there. There was another bus right behind us. I had good timing with the train and with the connecting bus. That's not a coincidence, Google maps plans these things out. It's why it sent me across 96th street not 86th street even though 86th was closer. That's more foreshadowing.
When I got out of the subway I no longer needed sunglasses, it was very cloudy, ominous. Shortly after getting on the bus it started to drizzle. It was drizzling when I got off at Central Park West. I walked half a block and it started to rain then pour. I ducked under an awning and put on my emergency WFUV poncho. Too bad I didn't have an umbrella. I started walking and the rain came down harder. In one block my pants below the poncho were soaked. I waited under another awning and had a very nice conversation with as young woman who was there to see A Midsummer's Night Dream in Central Park. We both waited for the rain to let up and went it did we braved the weather again. I had five more blocks to walk. In that time the skies opened again. When I got to the house I was very happy to accept Sandy's offer of a towel. I was also happy that they don't stand on ceremony and let people in before the announced doors time.
This is one of my favorite house concert series and I don't get there nearly enough. I never seem to see the emails. I knew about this one from Jordan on Facebook. My life has been in such flux that I couldn't make a reservation until Friday. Sandy told me that there would be a stool in the back for me. The seats are reserved.
I made sure to not eat first as there's usually a good spread there. I was not disappointment; the ham was delicious. Before the music started the only ones I knew there were Jordan and Sandy and Richard, the hosts. Lily and Sam arrived after I was seated. Not knowing anyone didn't stop me from socializing of course. One woman, can't remember her name, should be Jordana Greenberg's, from Harpeth Rising, sister. Her speaking voice was what struck me first, I heard it before I saw her. She also looks like Jordana with darker hair.
The opening act was Cassandra Jenkins, Sandy and Rich's daughter. This is not nepotism; last time I saw her was at the Bowery Ballroom opening for Aoife O'Donovan. She's great. I know her sister Stephanie, well. I've written about her many times. I really need to introduce myself to Cassie next time I see her. Every time I started to yesterday she got involved in something.
Horse Country is a chamber folk band, my sweet spot. They are classically trained musicians playing Americana. I don't actually know their training, perhaps I'm wrong, but that's how it sounds. It is music that stimulates my mind and soothes my soul. The effect is similar to Mozart and Bach. Mindfulness is a hot buzzword. We talk about it a lot in program. I realized that I've always been mindful. So much of what I write here is me expressing the intensity of my experiences whether it is eating or music. This kind of music particularly lends itself to it and I'm consciously trying to be mindful more now. I'm being mindful of being mindful. I listened to much of the music with my eyes closed. That helps me block other things out and I can pick out the four lines, mandolin, guitar, vocals, and slide/dobro. They do a dance around each other, a dance that's easier to see with my eyes closed. What makes this music so wonderful is that invites total involvement. The more you put into listening the more you'll get out of it. When I try to do that with generic singer/songwriters I lose interest quickly. There is only a surface, no depth. This music is like a fractal, details at all levels.
The running joke all night was constantly repeating the band's name, Horse County. It is also the name of the album and one of the songs. Jordan said he spends all his time thinking about branding, not music. There was a great we're all friends here feel to the show.
Some people left early so I saw the second half of the show from the first row. That was nice, I could actually see the band.
There was post-concert socializing which I wish I could have stayed for but Google Maps told me that if I wanted to make the last bus back to City Island I had to leave at 10:48. I left at 10:43. Google was good, I had to wait 5 minutes for the bus to the subway. I made the last bus to the Island by three whole minutes.
This morning I made bacon and eggs and coffee. I'm watching the Met game. This is what I'm trying to get my life back to. The last three days and today are very much the way I like to live my life. I saw the Richard Barone's panel on singer/songwriters in Greenwich Village in the 1960s on Thursday and House concerts with the Kennedys and Horse Country on Friday and Saturday. Today it's me, food, writing, and the Mets. Yesterday I prepared; the Facebook event for the next John Platt's On Your Radar. That's on June 14.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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