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
November 25, 2014 - 12:12 p.m.
This entry can go a few different directions but at least I know where it's going to start. As I usually do on Monday I had therapy. It was an odd session.. Usually I prepare what I'm going to talk about but I was busy with stuff this week and never organized my thoughts. I prepare for therapy very much the way I prepare for writing. They are both about getting a handle on my life. Mark Allen Berube's song Lying in a Box found it's way into my session. That's about as high a praise as I can give, it made me think enough to be worth discussing in therapy. That's substance
After therapy I bought bagels as I was totally out and they are half priced on Mondays after 4 PM. Then I had to race up to my PO Box before 5:30. So till then I didn't have much freedom of action. Then I had to make a decision, Tara O'Grady was playing at the NYLO hotel on W 77th street at 7:30. I had a little over two hours. If I went home I'd have hardly any time there so I decided to walk up to the hotel and stop someplace for dinner. I didn't pass anyplace good to eat on Broadway so after 79th street I decided to try walking down Amsterdam. I saw the Chirping Chicken, I thought there was one near there. I figured it would be OK to get to the hotel at 7:00 and relax till Tara started. I looked at my watch it was 6:45 so the timing was great. I ate, it didn't take long. I go to the hotel at 7:10, just about perfect. I asked Where Tara was playing as she wasn't there yet. I was told by the piano. but that the show was at 8:30 Ugh, I had the time wrong. I didn't feel like wandering. If I had known I'd have gone home and made dinner. But I didn't know, I had written down the wrong time on my calendar.. I decided to sit and read for an hour and a half. I looked at my watchit was now 6:15. what? 6:15? Didn't I get there at 7:10? I guess not. It was so dark and it felt late and I fooled myself into thinking it was an hour later. Why? All together now, because I'm an idiot. I surrendered to the inevitable and went home. Tara plays hotels all the time I'll catch her again.
I didn't have any therapy food so heated up apple pie and had that for dessert when I got home. Later I got really decadent and had one of my specialties. I made a hot chocolate with Trader Joe's mix and then poured rice crispies into it. That's pretty good.
I then got down to NERFA homework and started ripping CDS. I didn't listen though. I am listening now and plan to listen on the ride up to Boston tomorrow. What I did last night was watch the part three of Ken Burns's Jazz. That show is amazing. This was about the rise of the soloists, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw. My head explodes from learning so much and hearing so much great music.
Something that always struck me. Those were the days of segregation, blacks were not allowed into the Cotton Club, the premiere jazz venues where all the performers were black. But despite that, despite the fact that as a practical matter blacks and whites couldn't play in the same bands, black and white musicians sought each other out and listened and played with each other. That's not that unusual thing to happen in the arts. When Artie Shaw sought out Satchmo it wasn't a white man and a black man. That was not the grouping of humanity that mattered. What mattered was that they were both musicians. Not just musicians but great musicians. To put it more broadly they were both magical person, People who don't just see and hear what is there but also see and hear what could be there and then go out to create it.
I don't want to say that I'm a magical person but I feel kinship with them. They are my people. The special people in my life are magical. The women I fall in love with, a rare event, are magical. And sometimes they seem to see the kinship with me.
After watching Jazz I started ripping my room apart. Why? I couldn't find the next album I wanted to listen to, Harpeth Rising's Live at the Dreaming Tree. I know that they gave it to me. I kept on running into Rebecca, Jordana, and Maria, at NERFA. If they lived closer than Nashville they would be one of the bands I'm with. 'They have the combination of my loving their music, loving them, and them being willing to put up with me. I have decided to give them "My girls." status. So I certainly needed to hear their new album. Thing is I couldn't find it. I looked through all the albums I haven't ripped and it wasn't there. I went through all the albums that I have recently ripped and it wasn't among them either. I resigned myself to hoping it would show up or getting a new one. But then while ripping CDS I came across one that was well nigh impossible to read the track list. It was not just written in 6 point font but was hidden in clutter the jacket. I posted about the importance of being able to read the track list on Facebook. Why make people struggle? I contrasted it with one of the first CDS I ripped since NERFA which had this large easy to read font. Then I realized that was Harpeth Rising. I had ripped it. I hadn't lost it, at least not before I ripped it. How could I forget? Once again all together now, I'm an idiot. But I realized it had to be around. I reconstructed my now returning memory. I put it on the table next to my bed. But the thing is it' one of those thin CD packages. I figured it just found its way under something. I was right! I found it. Let me show you the beautiful back of the CD.
That elegant simplicity is better than all the bells and whistles. I wanted to write about the music on it but it's getting late and I have to get moving. I will get to it soon. If my computer doesn't get temperamental I'll blog on my way up to Boston tomorrow.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly