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 14, 2013 - 10:43 a.m.
This is going to be tough to write. I had a very hard day yesterday and instead of keeping a stiff upper lip and writing glibly about John Platt's On Your Radar I'm going to share my darkness. I am unusually skilled at hiding my inner turmoil and I'm not sure that's a good thing. It makes me more pleasant company, which I guess is why I do it but keeps people from giving me help that I need.
I was miserable. I told Lori that I felt like George Bailey again but on further reflection that's not right. It wasn't desperation it was sadness. I've been desperate so long it wore me down. I was on the subway going to On Your Radar and found myself crying. Not bawling. I doubt anyone else noticed, I didn't make a sound, but tears were running down my face. I pulled myself together when I got to Rockwood Music Hall and joked as I saw my friends on the line to get in. I don't have to wait on the line and I was glad. needed more time alone. I couldn't hold the smile on my face.
When they opened the door I was joined by Rona, Bob, Lori, Joe, and Fred and I didn't try to hide it. I was not the best company. I kept crying during the first two acts, Tall Heights, and Tina Shafer. Even when I'm miserable I can't help but notice that Tina Shafer's name is a combination of two stars of Gilligan's Island, Tina Louise and Natalie Schafer. When I went to the bathroom and tried to hit the black toilet in the dark I said it was a crap shoot. Didn't mean it as a joke but it is.
OK back to being miserable. About the only time I got out of it was when Fred said, "Is that Emily Elbert?" It was a total surprise seeing her and she is a ray of sunshine and gives really good hugs so she perked me up. One of the things that made me meta-sad was that I was sitting with dear friends and favorite people and good huggers and that didn't make me happy. I was at On Your Radar, home turf and wasn't happy. That just isn't fair.
I felt a bit better for the last set, Jesse Terry. Maybe it's because I got a hi from the stage and that was also unexpected. It's so dark I am shocked he recognized me. It wasn't like he sees me all the time. We only met a few times. His music helped to, it was upbeat and he had my friends Craig Akins and Jeremiah Birnbaum in his band.
I'm not going to do my usual analysis of the music because I was in no condition to make it. I couldn't decide my central question about Tall Heights. They have an amazing and unique sound, but I don't know if there is more than that. I love the sound of the Indigo Girls but in long doses they bore me. There is no there there. I like Tim and Paul so I am betting on their music having content but I am not sure. I still have never given them a proper hearing.
As I was feeling so bad I was irritable. There was a woman there who kept taking flash pictures and blinding me. She bothered everybody. I asked if they would give me an alibi while I killed her and they all said yes. Here's a hint if you are in a very dark room don't keep taking flash photographs and hurting people's eyes. Someone in a bad mood might put a shiv in you.
To keep things going bad I didn't get to hang out with Katherine after the show like I usually do. She had to go back to Brooklyn to work and I of course am now uptown. Oh and it was raining. I had planned on eating after the show but I needed to talk so someone more than I needed food. I went straight home and called LORi. I knew she'd expect it. I left her a text, "I'm crying on the subway." Of course it wasn't sent till I got out of the subway. She called me during the show but I couldn't answer. Talking to her did help. Talking to a group of people when I'm like this is not good but one on one is what I need.
When I got home before I called LORi I ate a chocolate peanut butter cupcake from Trader Joe's. I used more food therapy after I talked to her. For dinner I had a peanut butter and chocolate pudding sandwich. I then finished the chocolate pudding for dessert. Between dinner and dessert I watched Dollhouse. The show drives me nuts. There is no security at top secret installations except when it is needed for a plot point. Joss also fell into one of his weaknesses, totally changing a character's character.
I'm a little better today but still not right. I have to find a place to live in two weeks. I'm scared I won't. I don't want to keep being a nomad. Clearwater is this weekend and even that is causing angst. All my festival gear is in storage. I don't have my festival blanket or my stadium chair. I might actually buy a chair today. And then as I'm feeling down I'm not excited about the Clearwater lineup. None of the headlines excite me at all. I'm going to be flitting among the smaller stages mainly seeing people that I see out of the festival. Maybe I'll discover somebody new. I'll check the program. Anyone have a recommendation. Don't say a headliner. I know them. I am excited about seeing Elizabeth Mitchell for the first time. I'll make sure to catch her on the family stage and maybe the Sloop Stage too,
Still most of the people I like are my friends. I obviously love my friends but at Festivals I would like to see the stars that I don't normally catch. This year the headliners seemed to be chosen on being big stars that don't excite me or I dislike, Judy Collins, Toshi Reagon, Acoustic Hot Tuna, Mavis Staples, Buffy St. Marie, Kris Kristoffeson, and Son Volt. The two main stage acts I like are on at the same time, David Bromberg and Susan Werner. And of course I love Pete Seeger but he's a given at Clearwater. No fair, Magpie is doing a family stage set the same time Jill Sobule is playing. I love when adult acts play the family stage. I bet they are going to be totally adorable.
There are plenty of acts I don't know and some of them might be great. I will try and go in with a positive attitude. I have to find out what friends are going. I have a feeling most of the people I know will be seeing the main stage people I don't care for.
Now I'm going to make the bacon and eggs I bought yesterday afternoon. I'm feeing better but I still have that hollow feeling inside.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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