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 27, 2014 - 10:57 a.m.
Dateline Southborough MA: This is an on the road edition of Wise Madness as I'm visiting Emily and Joe for Thanksgiving. I'm also visiting their 3 daughters, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 bunny, and Emily's father Steve. Of course Steve is visiting too. That's why he comes after the bunny. Each animal makes me think of a different friend, The dogs are for Heather, the cat for LORi, and the bunny for Allison. Oh there are chickens too but I haven't met them yet though I've eaten their eggs. Those were yummy. There are monsters under my bed but when I look they are replaced by the kids. But I know it's really monsters that I'm feeling moving around as I write this.
I was very good with my time yesterday and got to the far west, 11th Avenue where the bus leaves from with perfect timing. That was the end of the perfection. The seats were too small so I was cramped when I wrote my last entry. There was no outlet so I was afraid the computer's battery would die before I finished. The Wi-Fi was intermittent. Fortunately it worked long enough for me to post yesterday. Did I mention then how cold it was on the bus? After hours of being uncomfortable the driver finally made it warmer. The trip was supposed to take 4 hours. It took 6 hours and 20 minutes. It is not fun taking a bus when it's snowing the day before Thanksgiving. Good thing I had a phone filled with new music to listen to; Mya Byrne, Bumper Jackson, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, Pete Kennedy, and Robby Hecht. There had to be more than that but that's what's showing up on my recently played list. Anyway they made good company.
When I got to Boston I had to navigate South Station. Why doesn't the rest of the country know how to run a commuter railroad? So little information is posted. There are virtually no signs saying where anything is. I got to the ticket machine and thought I was at the wrong one and was for the T as it aid T on it. It calls all tickets Charlie Cards. And when I chose my destination it asked what zone. There was no station listing. If you are not a regular commuter they do NOT want you on their trains. I had to find someone, which wasn't easy, and ask which zone I needed. Even Jersey transit is better which is pretty sad. I expected far better of Boston. It was better than SEPTA in Philly. I am a connoisseur of commuter rail. The cars were OK, similar to NJ transit in the 90s, not the LIRR of the 60s like SEPTA uses. The big problem is nobody tells you what stop you are at. There's no electronic strip to tell you and there is no PA announcement. You have to hope to be able to see the sign on the platform when you pull into the station. I couldn't but I asked another commuter so I got off the right place. Then there are no signs telling you where to go on the platform. There was a parking lot right there but no way to get to it. I followed people to a long ramp that let to the street. Fortunately Joe called me and told me to stay put and he'd pick me up. So ended The Great Trek North.
From here on in it's all good things. I told Joe this would be a well structured entry, starting with conflict and moving to resolution and a happy ending.
Even the ride back to the house with Joe was good. Joe & Emily and their family is my once-a-year family at Falcon Ridge. This year they couldn't go. Don't ask why (glares at Sarah and Drew). But I saw them at New Bedford and now I'm visiting so I'm seeing them more not less often this year.
They fed me bacon and an omelet from their chickens' egg. Most of all we talked and enjoyed each other's company. I played with the kids. I love playing with kids. When I was a kid there were the grownups that I looked forward to seeing. I wanted to be one of those grownups when I grew up. I hope I am.
I gave Joe CDs from NERFA. They run the Steeple Coffeehouse. They book a lot of my people. Not too much of a surprise. I had extras of Burning Bridget Cleary, Mya Byrne, Bumper Jacksons, and Robert Sarazin Blake. So if any of them are booked you know who to blame.
I had more bacon for breakfast. We bond over bacon. I'm writing this as they get the house ready for Thanksgiving. They know to call me when they need unskilled labor.
I might have to write an entire entry on the food they are serving today. I won't jump the gun and write about it in advance. I brought a New York treat, halvah from Russ & Daughters. I have to represent my people.
I see people are writing about how bad things are in the world. They aren't. At least not compared to most times. Yes we are all unhappy about Fergerson, there was a time when that wouldn't even have been major news. Violence has been going down for millennia. We just have TV and the internet so we now see it no matter where in the world it is. In a recent survey over 70% of the people in Afghanistan were happy. That's one of the places we think of as tragic. There's a lot wrong with the world but the reason the bad stuff makes the news is that it's the exception not the rule. You want something to be thankful for? This was at the New Bedford Folk Festival. The Kennedys are always great but watch this and see real magic.
That's two of the kids I've been playing with, the ones under my bed. A world where that can happen is a good one. They aren't my kids and I still kvel. Oh and did you see me?
OK now I better get dressed and see what's going on downstairs.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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