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

September 13, 2014 - 1:11 p.m.

A Chance Meeting as They Say in Middle Earth

I did a better job at being proactive fighting the depression/anxiety yesterday than I've been doing. I got a text saying I had mail in my PO box so I headed up to Columbus Circle. That's right next to Central Park so my plan was take a walk I the park. I haven't done that in ages. Heather called me before I left and she was feeling down so I told her to join me. We met right in Columbus Circle, under Christopher himself. We went to the post office, no exciting mail, then into the park. We did a walk I've taken many times. We entered at the southwest corner and headed north. We went past the carousel to the Bethesda Fountain. In the tunnel leading to the fountain you often see interesting people and performers. Yesterday was this Asian guy that played bullroarer and sang wordlessly in this amazing voice. I'm not actually sure if it was a man or a woman. The face looked unambiguously male but the voice was an ethereal mezzo-soprano. OK I don't really know that. It sounded like the same range as my mezzo friends. Then he made sounds, I wouldn't even call it a chant, in indescribable gutturals. It had quite an effect.

We emerged from the tunnel to the fountain. It was late afternoon and I was taken by the sun on the water. I didn't take many pictures but I videoed that.

We walked around the pond then rambled through the ramble There were too many people there for my taste. There were people taking wedding photographs. To me the ramble is to commune with nature. I want it quiet and not be reminded of people. Now I love people but everything in its place. As we walked deeper in the crowd thinned out. We saw one person who I immediately felt was a kindred spirit.

I bet he discovered that natural chair and goes there to read often. I should do that.

We exited the park at 81st street and ate at Ray's Pizza on Columbus Ave. Heather's plan for the evening was a play at Theater 54, guess what street that is on. So we walked down Columbus Ave. I suggested stopping at Housing Works. Some books interested me, Heather bought boots. She's not my girlfriend but I said, {'m the best boyfriend ever." She said, "Yes you are." Hear that? In case you didn't notice I'm available. Karen said I was a sexy beast! This is not a limited time offer.

As we were crossing the street I heard someone say "Gordon!" It was Cindy! I know her from when she worked at WfUV. It's been some time since I have seen her. Kudos to her for spotting me out of context. I introduced her to Heather and we caught up with each other. I love running into friends like that.

If we walked straight to the theater we'd have about 45 minutes to kill. Then we passed the Museum of American Folk Art and I realized that it was Friday night so they'd have Free Music Fridays. We walked in and I said hi to Lara who runs the series. I had no idea who was playing. I looked at the CDs for sale and didn't know her name. Then I saw someone who looked familiar. I'm not as good as Cindy and out of context it wasn't clicking. I just knew it was the guy that reminds me of Robby Hecht. Then I saw the woman he was with. Her back to me. I thought her hair might look familiar. Then she turned and I saw it was Sara Bouchard! the second friend I ran into by accident in an hour. I was disappointed to hear that she has already played. The guy is her friend Alan. We stayed to the end of the singer's set then headed out again

I walked Heather to the theater then hopped on the subway. That was a pretty nice walk. If it were a straight line it would have been a bit over two miles but it wasn't so I'm sure it was closer to three.

My destination was The House of Love. No that's not a brothel, it's a house concert series. You really need to grow up. I was there to Mike + Ruthy. It's in Red Hook, not the easiest place to get to, from anywhere. It was about the same time from Midtown Manhattan than Crown Heights Brooklyn. the reason is that there's no subway near it. Most of the time is on the bus. I took the to the to the B61.

My timing was great on the transfers and I got there half an hour before doors so I decided to take a walk. I walked down Van Brunt street to the end by the Fairway. I got to the corner and who do I see sitting there? Alex Mallett. To make things more cosmic, Alex is Sara's bandmate and I met them the same time. Not only that but the first time I saw him Alex reminded me of Mike Merenda. It is a tiny world.

I talked to him for about 20 minutes. He just got married! It sounds like he had a great wedding. I was near Ashokan. That's where Mike + Ruthy have their festival, the Summer Hoot. If this was in a story I'd think there were too many coincidences so it's bad writing. But it isn't this stuff hardly ever happens but I live a lot of days. So the rare things happen.

I got back right before doors but they were open and lots of people there already. People must have come early and they party started. My first reaction was "I should have just gone in." But then I realized I wouldn't have talked to Alex so everything worked out perfectly.

OK this is what's not right. Mike + Ruthy are great. They play music that fits in with my usual musical crowd. But somehow they are not in my usual crowd. It's a tribal thing. As much as it's about the music there are also social aspects to what music people listen to. I flit between different social sets and I actively try and bring them together. So next time Mike + Ruthy play you should come. The only person in the audience there that I knew was Amy the host. I should know more.

People think I love everything. I don't. I was thinking about an act friends of mine like and my reaction that I can't say in context is, "relentlessly mediocre." I don't want to listen to pleasant or nice. I want musicians of substance. Guess what Mike + Ruthy have substance. They are also tons of fun. They are married and have a great chemistry. They complement each other. Mike has these great orchestrated introductions to songs. they are set pieces of Americana. Ruthy just says what's on her mind. She feels totally spontaneous. They consciously follow the tradition of Woody and Pete.

They do a cover of 1951 Vincent Black Lightning. You know that's my favorite song. I always cry when I hear it. I have heard it done by Richard Thompson, Jim Henry and Tracy Grammer, Del McCoury, Red Molly, and Mike +Ruthy's old band, the Mammals. Last night they set the record for making me cry the earliest.

Now I'm 21 years, I might make 22
And I don't mind dying, but for the love of you
.They did almost all new songs and I didn't mind at all. They can write. They have something to say. They say it well. They can play the guitar, banjo, fiddle, and banjolele, well enough that it just doesn't support the singing but is a big part of the pleasure. They can do it all.

As I didn't know anyone there I managed to do what I never do, I made an early exit. Too bad I had a long wait or the bus. I got home after midnight. Was it close to one? I think so.

Now I have to run. I don't even have time to make breakfast. I'm off to see Miss Tess at Madison Square Park then Joe Crookston, Spuyten Duyvil, and Pesky J. Nixon at First Acoustics.

This is a special show a fund raiser for First Acoustics. You should be there.

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 September 13, 2014
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