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

April 16, 2014 - 11:31 a.m.

My Vacation Home

I did it! I filed my income tax last night with half a hour to spare. I know that doesn't sound noteworthy but it is. This is the kind of thing it's hard to explain but if you suffer from anxiety you get. Filing my taxes takes a huge effort on my part even though the process itself is simple. I don't know if I could have done it on paper. It isn't a matter of being lazy or hating to pay taxes It is fighting that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have worked 12 hours on my feet with a 102 fever. This was comparable. At least for once I felt better when I finished. I'm getting money back too.

OK let's fill in some gaps in previous entries. I forgot the best story when I saw Rod Picott on Sunday. Someone requested On and On from Rod's first album. Rod hasn't performed it for years. He said, "somebody grab the CD and show me the lyrics if I forget. That was my cue. I didn't do that I got the lyrics online on my phone. I have done that before when there was a danger of the artist forgetting the lyrics. This was the first time they were needed. Rod forgot and I went up to the stage and showed them to him and he finished the song. Sometimes I like being me.

On the way home from the Seder I came into Grand Central Station. It was late not as crowded as Grand Central Station. As I often do I really looked at it in all it's magnificence. Because it wasn't busy I could take the time to take pictures and think about it.

The Vault of the Heavens

How many people have met under that clock?


It's like a cathedral. Grand public buildings, the Parthenon, Notre Dame, The US Capitol, the main branch of the New York Public Library aren't just important, they look important. The key is that they are public buildings. The rich and powerful have their guilded palaces but we have the great public spaces. The fact that they look important reflects on our importance. That's the tragedy of Penn Station. That ugly subterranean warren shows screams at you, you don't count. Grand Central says, "You deserve this!" And we do.

Ready for an idiot story? Yesterday I finished school and went to my PO box. I got lots of mail, a discworld book and things for my health insurance and others. I headed home to do my taxes and prepare tests. I noticed that the Caribbean bakery near me had a sign flashing "hot bread." I asked what it was. They said, "butter bread." I figured I'd try it. I bought a loaf and came home looking forward to nice hot bread. I got to the door, reached for my keys they weren't there. I'm sure I left them at the post office. Perhaps in my box. I hope they are there. I'm going in today to check. I hate being an idiot.

I am currently reading The History of the Hobbit: Part One Mr. Baggins. I read the Hobbit in 1967. That means I've been living in Middle Earth for 47 years. I don't live there full time of course but my mind goes there pretty much every day. I haven't just read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. I've read the complete 12-volume History of Middle Earth, Christopher Tolkien's scholarly work that includes all of Tolkien's unpublished stories of the mythology and an account of how they evolved. I have absorbed this so thoroughly that object to calling it "Middle Earth." That's just the name for the old world. Numenor, and Valinor are not in Middle Earth. This is the history of Arda and that's where I live. I spend much time I the undying realms.

Whenever there's a test to see how nerdy you are I don't get that high a score because they don't include things like this, 12 volumes of densely written prose complete with footnotes. I have Tolkien guides. I have a book on Elvish languages. I even have one on Quenya grammar.

I really do relate almost everything to Tolkien's "subcreation." I have been thinking quite a bit of Faramir lately. My biggest gripe with the LOTR films was getting Faramir wrong. He was not tempted by the ring. He was not imperious. He is the most noble character in the entire book. He said he would refuse the ring even if he found it lying in the road, and he was true to his word. He gave the best expression of patriotism I've heard, the one that should be the center of our foreign policy.

For myself, said Faramir, I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Nmenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may far the dignity of a man, old and wise.
I have been trying to identify with Faramir. I hope that's not too much to hope for.

When the world does not live up to my expectations I can go to ones that do, Arda, Poictesme, the Foundation, Wonderland, Oz, and that totally reasonable world that has the good sense to be a flat disk sitting on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of the great turtle A'Tuin, the only creature in the multiverse that knows exactly where it's going. Eru knows that I dont.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile April 16, 2014
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