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

July 13, 2014 - 12:15 p.m.

The Hereafter is Here!

One of these days I'll be able to start writing before wasting hours. One of these days I'll be able to do lots of things. I can't way for one of these days.

Last night's adventure was going up to the wilds of Dobb's Ferry to see John Elliott. I have pictures of the commute, at least the above ground part. It's actually pretty easy to get there. I took the to the Metro North. The ride up is beautiful. If you are riding on the Hudson Line make sure to always sit on the left side of the train when leaving Grand Central or Harlem. Then you are facing the River and the view is all you need to entertain you.

I took the panorama shots by just holding the phone steady against the window while the train moved. I love how the sun gets multiplied by the process. That dense forest in the first picture is the northern tip of Manhattan. That's what the island used to look like. I love that part still does.

The show was in a new province of Carter's Westchester Folk Empire, Curious-on-Hudson. It's called the Rooftop Underground Music Series because it was originally going to be held on the rooftop. Then the building got sold and the new owners won't allow that. This week was in sort of classroom, next one will be out on a patio.

I had to find my way to the venue, Carter told me I could walk. My phone said it was a half mile 10 minute walk. But it showed a roundabout route while I could just walk through a park. So I opted for the park. But when I walked to the north end of the station where the park was I saw that it was fenced off. it's under construction. I thought I'd have to walk back and cross over the tracks to get there but then saw there was a narrow path along the fence.

There was a chance it would peter out. There was a chance that I'd get a deer tick bite. But I decided to go for it. I won't hold you in suspense I survived. I was attacked by a tiger along the way but I fought it off. Sorry I couldn't get pics of that. At the north end there was a bridge across the tracks and I found myself in front of this beautiful building that seemed in the middle of the woods. I didn't know if I was in the right place but then I saw John. He was on the same train as me and had walked the other way around. John was supposed to get there earlier but he couldn't get on the train because somebody died on it. Life in the big City.

John and I went in together and tracked down the concert space on the second floor then I tracked down Carter to tell him that we were there. He knew why John was late. How did we live without cell phones?

When we got there he opener Margaret Glaspy was sound checking. Margaret is someone totally in my social circles but I've never seen or heard her. And she lives in New York. I don't know how those things happen.

I was technically the merch guy but there were not a lot of volunteers so I became the lighting guy too. Carter and I did that together. I've done that before but usually under the supervision of someone that knows what he is doing. We've apparently absorbed enough to be able to do it.

John is on a bicycle tour. That doesn't mean he bikes from city to city, He lives in San Fran so that would be some trip. What he does is take a train or a plane or an occasional car and uses the bike once he gets to the destination. He started biking for the first time since high school six months ago and didn't want to give it up to tour. So he made a choice, the bike or the guitar, he chose the bike ad borrows guitar wherever he plays. Last night he played a purple one that matched his shirt.

Oh what John didn't have was merch, which made my marching job simple. I did sell Margaret's CDs and handed out John's stickers.

Margaret was great as advertized. Her voice and some of her style reminds me of Anas Mitchell. That's clear and John heard it too but I hesitate to say so because there's something totally unique about her singing or perhaps it's her songwriting that's hard to pin down. I think it's that she breaks everything down into small phrases that are then stitched together. It's a quilting approach to song. But I could be wrong. I didn't come up with that till she was finished. I know for sure that it makes me feel different than other singers. That is of course a good things. There's a definite reason to see Margaret.

Then there is John. I would have to be as good a writer as he is to convey what he does. He's as good a singer/songwriter as there is. I compared Margaret's songs to something visual, I will compare John to a visual artist, Van Gogh. His work has such power and he conveys it I a way different than anyone else. He has a beautiful voice. Is it a tenor? Someone who knows as much about music as I do should not have to question that but I do. But it's crystal clear and he has mellifluous melodies. So far it sounds like it could be easy listening but that's as far from the truth as you can get. It's not just the use of language. It's in the music too. There are changes in mood that you'll never see coming. He can simultaneously comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable

I started to take a video fo Feet to the Fire an amazing song. But I had to stop because if I recorded I couldn't sing along and I had to sing along. The song is just inspiring. Good thing I can show you a video of another performance better than anything I could have done.

How can you sit quiet to that? He ended with a medley where he switched from the piano to the guitar and back to the piano. It combined many of his best songs plus This Land. Without him saying to people started to sing along to Woody's Words. I of course did it first. The medley was greater than the sum of the parts. It was Mozartian in construction. It was not medley but a suite. All the songs moved to a common purpose, each affecting the others. I wish somebody had recorded that. It's what music is all about.

When the show was over and I finished my merch duties I checked my phone and saw that the next train was in 15 minutes and the next an hour later Remember it takes 10 minutes to walk there. So I told John and we left in three minutes. I told him that we'd make the train with two minutes to spare. That's exactly what happened. I gained travel guru points with him. As he was going to stay with a friend right on the way to my house things worked out perfectly. He just came with him till his stop. Second time in a row I've traveled home from one of Carter's shows with a performer. I'm seeing John again tonight at Rockwood at 9:30. I somehow didnt know about the show till yesterday.

Oh one more thing. This doesn't fit anywhere but I have to get it in sometime. Katrina called me Spiny Yoda. Spiny because I'm a spiny anteater and Yoda either because she comes to me for wisdom or because my syntax nonstandard is. Either way I love it.

OK now for breakfast. I was thinking pancakes but it's too late. I'll have to settle for bacon and eggs.





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 July 13, 2014
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