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

August 19, 2014 - 11:21 a.m.

A Ninth of LOTR

Yesterday was Monday and that means I went to therapy. I of course had a lot to talk about but one thing concerns you, My Gentle Readers. Thanks to my issues I had tremendous difficulties writing yesterday's entry. I felt I couldn't write about the things most on my mind. So we talked about what I could have written about and I'm going to use that today! Well once I get through the day's routine because I know you all can't wait to hear what I ate and what subway lines I took.

I was late for therapy. I hate being late for anything. I can time that trip well and generally cut it pretty close but there's room for things to happen. It takes two things to make me late or one really bad thing. Yesterday it was train delays plus something TMI. Let's just say Crohn's disease.

Oh I am jumping the gun. I forgot to mention that I used my cast iron skillet for breakfast! I made eggs and Taylor ham on it! They came out yummy. I think today I'll go for a late steak. It has to be after my music.

I've been having a tough time so I needed good post-therapy food but Max Brenner is too pricy. I went up to Big Daddy's for a milkshake and discovered that if I get there before 5 they are half priced! I had a chocolate malt. It was fantastic. As long as the weather is warm that's where I'm going.

Then I went to Fairway for decaf coffee. Why decaf? I want it or my iced coffee which I'll often drink late. I haven't made any this year. Tonight I'll have cold brew with ice cream in it. It's brewing now.

So what did my shrink and I decide I should write about? The happiest thing in the world, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. I had this all planned last week after I saw it but then got the bad news and didn't feel up to writing. Now I'll catch up and add LOTR for symmetry

The Ninth is my favorite work of art. Not my favorite piece of classical music, not my favorite my favorite musical work, my favorite work of art. I will take it over any book, movie, painting, or sculpture. Jf aliens came to earth and threatened to destroy it to put up an interstellar bypass unless humanity could justify its existence I'd play the Ninth with full confidence the planet would be here the next day.

Bach is in perfect harmony with the universe. Beethoven is about conflict, nowhere more than the Ninth. You have to pay attention to the Ninth. It is more than beautiful sounds, it's a story. The first three movements set up the action. The first always feels to me like it's building the universe. It starts with that lone note that gives a feeling of empty space which is then filled. The movement is the stage where the drama unfolds. The second movement, the scherzo is filled with energy. It's action and violence. The third movement, the adagio is slow and peaceful It has the harmony with the universe of Bach which contrasts with the second and fourth movements.

In the fourth movement is conflict. Jubilant passages begin but get interrupted by dissonance. Every time things get rapturous darkness comes in to disrupt it. Good and evil, happiness and foreboding make war on each other. Then the choral leader comes in and tries to bring calm.

Oh friends, not these sounds!
Let us instead strike up more pleasing
and more joyful ones!
Joy!
Things become harmonious for a while but the darkness tries to fight back. Over and over the battle rages. But in the end Joy triumphs. Happy ending. It is the world not as it is but as I should be. When it's over you feel like you've witnessed a great victory against overwhelming odds. You haven't witnessed it. you took part in it. Nothing cleanses the psyche as well

I'm up to Farewell to Lorien in The Fellowship of the Rings. Tolkien is a master of moods. Beethoven tells a story through music Tolkien composes music with prose. In The Fellowship less so in the rest of LOTR the story is alternating dissonance and resolution with each episode at greater volume.

When the Hobbits leave the Shire they have their first adventure, the darkness of the Old Forest and Old Man Willow. This resolves with the appearance of Bombadil. This is repeated with the Barrowights and their second rescue by Tom. The Hobbits are just getting their feet wet.

Then comes the horrors of the attack on Weathertop where Frodo is wounded with the Morgal knife. the rest of the chapter is filled with dread till the flood at the crossing of the Bruinen . Then comes the resolution at Rivendell where everything is beautiful and happy. The Black Riders are a graver threat than old man willow and Rivendell grander than the House of Tom Bombadil.

The next pairing is Moria where they face the greatest evil other than Sauron, a Balrog and the Fellowship suffers its greatest loss, the death of Gandalf. This is resolved in Lothlrien which is even grander than Rivendell. It is the heart of Elvendom in Middle Earth. Galadriel is the greatest of Elves. Dissonance and resolution is the template of the book.

I'm feeling a lot better now. Maybe the shrink actually knows something Maybe it was the malt. Maybe it's that Katrina told me something that made me laugh out loud last night. Sorry can't tell you what it was, like the Giant Rat of Sumatra it's a tale for which the world is not yet ready. And like Sumatra it involves a jungle.

I often reference the Giant Rat of Sumatra. If you don't know what it is you should look it up. I'm not telling. I'm leaving that as assignment for the reader.

My emotional well-being is still fragile. I just read something, something not at all bad, and it triggered anxiety as it made me think of something. Let me think again o the Ninth. That will help.

Now to breakfast. It looks like poached eggs and sausage is on the menu. I think I'm going to try some cheese with that.

Tonight I'm seeing Kristin Andreassen do a full band show at Barbs. You should join me.





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 August 19, 2014
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