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

May 08, 2014 - 1:51 p.m.


Yesterday was a beautiful day and I was not feeling beautiful so I took a mental health day and went to the Brooklyn Botanic (not Botanical) Garden. It is all of one subway stop from me. I was a member last year but received my membership card. I did not go enough times to make the membership worth the money.

When I lived in Queens I often when to the Queens Botanical Garden or Alley Pond Park or the parks along Little Neck Bay. I need to go someplace to walk and commune with nature and my thoughts. I wish I could just transcribe everything I thought during the day.

I decided to consider the day my trip to Ithilien, the Garden or Gondor. That's from The Lord of the Rings. Its' the area where Frodo met Faramir. It had been only a short time under the dominion of Sauron even though it lies in the shadow of Mordor. The phrase that came to my head was "kept still a disheveled dryad loveliness."

So join me now as I walk through the Garden.

This little girl knows the essence of wisdom

To stop and smell the flowers.

It's had to resist this shot.

My own tree fort.

I went off the path to see what that sign said.

You gotta love the irony.

Who knows what this thing is?

A waterfall does not have to be Niagara to be beautiful.

I wanted Little John to try to cross the bridge the same time I did.


Look at the time! (don't forget to add an hour for DST.

I'm just trying to be koi.

Notice nobody else goes to the sections of the Garden I frequent.

Why do I identify with this bare weeping mulberry?

Weeping Hemlock. This is the sad part of the Garden

360 panorama

Floral Segregation!

Sometimes I watch the people watching the flowers

Japanese Hill and Pond Garden

When I went through one of the less crowded parts of the Garden someone I passed said "hello" to me. I know he was being friendly and I'm usually friendly, but not when I'm out in nature like that. Then I want to be alone, or alone with the friend I'm with. If it was in one of the more cultivated areas I would have responded differently.

I often complain about being lonely but I don't mind being alone, in fact sometimes I crave it. Part of what's wrong with my life now is that I'm too often lonely and too rarely alone. I'm not lonely because I'm by myself but because I'm not in anyone's thoughts. I could spend 20 years on an Odyssey if I knew that Penelope, Telemachos, and Argo were waiting for me.

At the garden I was alone with my thoughts. That means I had good company. And that was one of the many things I thought about. I thought about how the native species section was what Brooklyn looked like before Europeans arrived. Brooklyn too had a disheveled Dryad loveliness. It's a wonder that people had the foresight to build New York's wonderful parks. I love the City. I would never want to live in the country and never ever in the burbs, but I still want to see the natural world. My perfect planet would be one huge city surrounded by wilderness.

I've had school work to do or maybe I'd have done what I wanted to do when I was at the Garden and write Haikus about the parts of the garden I photographed. Put that in the intended edition of Wise Madness. Or to put it in Tolkien language, It's what I'd write in Arda unmarred. I thought about that quite a bit. It's the world of LOTR and the Silmarillion as it would have been if Melkor hadn't tried to impose his will on it. The Garden is part of Arda unmarred and gives me a glimpse of me unmarred.

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 May 08, 2014
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