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
May 12, 2018 - 12:46 p.m.
I didn't blog yesterday and I'm OK with that. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Is it my difficulty starting things spreading to writing? Or not being anxious over not writing? Maybe I'll bring it up next therapy session. As yesterday was Friday I had therapy. We dealt with some big things; to ease the pressure on me I spent the rest of the time on narrative. Somewhere in there I forgot something big so now before I give you narrative I'll let you be my therapist. I'm getting frustrated as despite years of therapy and meds doing some essential things still causes so much pain. It's like trying to walk on a sprained ankle. At least I'm at the point where I can see that's what's going on.
Enough difficult things now on to the fun narratives, a teaser, there's an idiot story in there. I won't spoil it by telling you when it's coming. When did me being an idiot become entertainment? At least it helps somebody and that helps me.
On most Fridays in May and June, not 5/25 or 5/22 Terre Roche leads the Sunset Singing Circle at Robert Wagner Jr. Park by Battery Park City. It is one of my sanity rituals; I need a reason to not go; otherwise I'll be there. Fred does the same; you should too. Songbooks and yoga mats are provided, we sit around and sing whatever songs are requested by the singers. People are often shy to shout out at first so if there's hesitation I jump in. Later the problem is competing with all the people making requests. Making music with a group, not just listening, has a magic all its own. Be there next week. I'm upset that I can't.
I have to go to the lower tip of Manhattan from Harrison in Westchester. That's upstate by some definitions. It's not that difficult, I take the MetroNorth to Grand Central Terminal and then the 4 or 5 to Bowling Green, that's right by Wagner Park. Easy as pie; most days. Yesterday when I go to the 4 platform they were making announcements; that's never a good thing. Debris had fallen in the tunnel to Brooklyn. Some of the 4 trains were going ending at Brooklyn Bridge and others at Bowling Green. I dodged the bullet. They told people who wanted to go to Brooklyn to take the shuttle to Times Square and take the 2, 3, N, Q, or R Trains. The Bowling Green train came in 4 minutes. That's great. It was packed but I just squeezed on it. It sat there for a bit. Then came the announcement, all downtown trains terminate at Brooklyn Bridge. Gah! Now I had to take he shuttle to Times Square and take the R to Rector or White Hall Street. I raced off the train and towards the shuttle. In the passage to the Shuttle I realized that they gave terrible directions. I could have stayed on the train and switched to the N, Q, or R trains at Brooklyn Bridge. I's a clumsy transfer but doable. Too late, and as there was chaos on the 4 platform forged ahead. I ended up taking the Q to Brooklyn and taking the R from there. The Q is express. There went all my time to grab dinner before the singing circle. I had to leave the circle early as I was seeing Everything Turned to Color at Rockwood at 8:30 and as I was doing merch wanted to be there by 8:05.
I got to the park at 6:02, The odds are I hadn't missed a song, I'd grab a mat and book and join Fred. I hoped he saved a spot for me next to him. I walked through the archway to the lawn where the circle is and the singing hadn't started. That would be good, but the place was empty. To yoga mats, no singers, and no Terre. I knew this wasn't one of the days with no Circle. Fred had posted that he was going. Then things started to click. On my calendar I had both the Circle and the concert. I had decided that I couldn't do both and deleted the Circle. Then when Fred posted I said, "What was I thinking? I'll just miss the last half hour." That would be great if the Circle was from 6 to 8. It's not, it's from 7 to 8:30. I'm an idiot. I wasted all that time and travel hell.
On the bright side it gave me time to go to Trader Joe's, I needed eggs, and eat dinner. So, I went back up to Union Square, went shopping, then back down to Houston and ate at Lucky Burger. I would have eaten someplace nicer if I had more time, like I would have if I hadn't been an idiot. I hope my idiocy amused you and you didn't see it coming.
Now on the music. Everything Turned to Color is a band that I doubt any of my friends have seen other than Emily and I am not sure about her. I met Neha, the lead singer when she did a co-bill with Emily. Did you guys meet at Miles of Music Camp? I'd like that as that would make Kristin Andreassen the matchmaker. Everything Turned to Color is Neha's collaboration with the Weber brothers, Bryan and Kyle. Neha's background is jazz, The Webers' is folk and rock. Don't worry, what comes out is not Fusion. It's wonderful. Neha's singing reminds me of Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux. That should be enough for you to want to see them. Notice, I said singing, not voice. It's about musicianship, not the shape of her vocal track. The songwriting and arrangements are intricate and adventurous. They perform the music they want to hear, not what they think the casual listener wants to hear. Their indifference to being popular makes them popular. They have a once a month residency at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 and every show was a sellout. City Winery is next. Catch them when you can.
Each show in the residency was dedicated to an influence on them. I went to the first and third and Neha picked the artist for both; the first was Ella, and last night it was Feist. Very much not the same thing. I liked the songs better from them than from Feist.
After the show the subways were running normally, and I made it home without a hitch. It was a beautiful night and I enjoyed my walk from Rockwood to Broadway Lafayette. It's nicer than taking the F one stop.
Tonight, I'm off to hear Marblehead's finest, Pesky J. Nixon and Kat Quinn, at the Common Ground Coffeehouse in Hastings. You should come. Most of you know PJN; Kat is marvelous too. I need my fix of both.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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