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
April 03, 2007 - 11:04 a.m.
Chag Pesach Sameach!
So yesterday is the one day a year I partake in Jewish religious ritual. I made the pilgrimage to Norwalk Connecticut for the seder. Norwalk is the home of Louis and Sylvia, two of my sister Alison's oldest friends. She's known Louis since high school and Sylvia was her college roommate. They started invited my family years ago. Now that my parents are gone and Sue is in Texas it is just Alison and myself. It is still the best seder there is. Most Seders are either too rigorous or have too little content. At this one we go through all the rituals but with a sense of humor. They cut and paste their own Haggadah, the book that guides the seder, from several sources. They even interpolated a Shabbat prayer for peace. We each have our own Haggadah with our name on the front page and everybody is expected to participate. Louis leads the service but we all have a part to read. We do fun things like beat each other with scallions when we sing Dayenu. They represent the flails of the Egyptian slave drivers. Everybody sings all the songs (each in our own key). Chad Gad Yaw ends up being a race to see who can sing each verse the fastest. Once again Elijah did not show up to drink from his cup. Miriam didn't drink from her cup either but I'm not sure she is supposed to.
I actually arrived at the house early. A Pesach miracle occurred and I didn't hit much traffic on the Connecticut Turnpike during rush hour. I apologized for being early but Sylvia told me I was being silly and I joined the socializing. I wasn't the first one there. I also didn't travel anywhere near the furthest. Sylvia's second cousin once removed and her husband came down from the Toronto suburbs. I forgot the town but it is right next to Thornhill. The husband, Tony, is an engineer so I got to talk geeky math stuff. I was surprised that I didn't beat Alison there by much. I'm always early and she's always late but I arrived only 5 minutes before she did.
What is amazing is that I spent the evening doing a religious ritual for the most part with people that I see once a year and still had a great time. I actually look forward to it.
So it just hit me today that I'll be passing the half-century mark the first day of FRFF. If I don't break down and buy it before then you can get me this.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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