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

November 06, 2013 - 4:11 p.m.


I'm having tons of anxiety about several things that I can't really ignore but I'm going to ignore it for as long as it takes for me to write this. Welcome to my world.

Can you measure anxiety by the ton? That metaphor always bothers me. Let's switch it to I'm having anxiety attacks about several things

Except for a ridiculous bout self-inflicted unhappiness I had a very good day yesterday and it didn't involve music! It did involve two of my favorite people and that's even better than music. Oh and it involved music. I'm an idiot but you already knew that.

When is the last time I mentioned Renita here? It has to be years, maybe over a decade. The last time I saw her was Falcon Ridge 2001. Starting in August 1999 and for about five years, maybe more, my social life revolved around Frheads, fans of Moxy Frvous, and Frhead dot com, FHDC. This meant I made friends from around the world. The band was from Canada so of course there were many Canadians but also people from England, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. I'm sure I'm missing some others. Renita lived in Vancouver BC. That's a continent away but thanks to the miracle of the internet we became friends. I met her twice in real life, Frcon 2001 and Falcon Ridge 2001. My running joke then was that I'd kiss the hand of women on the Frhead Wall, essentially the chat room. Renita would swoon when I did. When I finally met her n real life I kissed her hand and she swooned, fell right to the floor! You didn't know I had that effect on women did you? Neither do any other women.

The band went on "hiatus" FHDC slowly died and I stopped talking to Renita on a regular basis. We still will occasionally talk on Facebook but not often. She moved to Edmonton. She got married. They just recently moved to Virginia! That's much closer! She came to New York this week, not a great week for me of course, and so of course we got together. Yesterday she and her sister, who came down from Toronto, and I went to The Cloisters the MET's museum of medieval art. As a medievalist it's one of my favorite places in the City. It's a hidden gem up on God's country, Fort Tryon Park. Yes that's on the Island of Manhattan but any New Yorker worthy of the name knows that it's pretty much upstate.

The plan was to meet at 10 AM. Not that easy for me coming from Brooklyn but thanks to Google Maps I could time in perfectly. But thanks to being an idiot I went to the wrong entrance and had to go back around to find the main entrance where they were waiting for me.

When I got there I had to explain why I was late and explain that we were in fjord, that's pretty much compulsory for me when I'm in Fort Tryon Park, and get introduced to her sister and give Retina a hug. Did you catch what was missing? I didn't kiss her hand! That was an enormity that could not stand., When we went inside it hit me and I kissed her hand, she swooned! She said I was disappointed that I didn't kiss her at first. I would have been very disappointed if she had not been disappointed.

Back from class.

If Renita had asked what to see in New York I'd have said the very thing she suggested to me that we do go to The Cloisters to see and hear The Forty Part Motet. The exhibit exceeded my expectations. Did you follow the link to read about it? You should. 40 speakers are set in a chapel, each representing a different person's voice. It starts with the singers speaking among themselves. You aren't even sure it' started when they begin. Then comes the motet and I've rarely been more affected by any music. You are in the midst of the choir. The voices come from all around you. Your attention is drawn to the different speakers and so the different part of the chapel. You can stand in the middle and take it all in or walk around and hear the individual voices. You can close your eyes and be immersed in the music. You need to open them and watch the people around you. Everyone is taken out of this world and into their own personal paradise. It's me so I couldn't help but think that this is religious music but the composers and singers have it all wrong. It isn't the divine that exults people, that they allege is always present. It is the works of mortal men that feel divine. For me it wasn't a religious experience or even a spiritual one, it was simply glorious. I could go there every day and listen to it. I need to return before the installation ends. Who wants to go with me? If no one I will go by myself. I need to hear, no experience it again.

Then I got to experience the rest of the museum with Renita and her sister, her sister whose name I remembered two seconds ago, Gillian! or maybe Jillian. Hey I'm good. They were perfect company at the museum. They didn't go too fast or too slow and they made and got the right jokes and had good insights. They could also answer some of my questions. It was serious museum going with jokes. Pretty much the way I live my life.

I wish I had more time with them. I knew that even though I haven't seen Renita in years and even though we never spent serious time together, that it wouldn't be awkward at all and we'd have comfortable conversation. In the last week I've seen SONiA, Joe Crookston, and Renita and feel the same way about all of them. No matter how long it's been since we've talked, we can always have a real conversation. I'll always feel that they want to be talking to me and I know I want to be talking to them. Vonnegut created the concept of Karass, "A group of people linked in a cosmically significant manner, even when superficial linkages are not evident. Created by Kurt Vonnegut.." They are all in my Karass. No I am not getting mystical, that's a metaphor. It's how it feels. When choosing sides Renita is on my team. Now that she lives in Virginia maybe I can see her sooner than 12 years from now.

I left her because I was meeting Katherine but that got rescheduled. But that wasn't a problem. I just rescheduled my day. I had to do laundry so I did that before seeing her not afterward. I have clean clothes now. Yesterday I had to wear mismatched socks. I don't think Renita noticed. I know Katherine didn't because I told her it was a mark of love that I would let her see me with mismatched socks. Some people dress to impress. With me I dress so as not to impress to impress. That actually makes sense. Well if you are warped it does.

I was going to say I had to see Katherine to return her accordion, but it wasn't her accordion, it was her suitcase that doubles as a kick drum. It's heavy and it brought back muscle memory of carrying my full sized accordion around as an adolescent. I was much smaller then so maybe the suitcase was heavier but it felt the same.

On the subway ride home from the Cloisters I managed to depress myself thinking about an incident that made my therapist go, "Oh No." I was able to snap out of it thinking about Renita and the Motet and totally forgot it talking to Katherine. We had dinner even though she really had not time for it.

So I took care of the things causing me anxiety. I don't have a ride to NERFA. I sent out an all-points bulletin. What was giving me the anxiety was reading the message that told me that I didn't have a ride. I waited far to long to arrange it. But that's what anxiety does. I forced myself today because it has to get done. I have a provisional ride but it isn't the most convenient. It means going out to Jersey but it's something Maybe something else will work out today. I know my therapist will be impressed. Not at me but my friends. She is in awe of how when I need something my friends come through. I could dive off the stage with full confidence they would catch me. Thank you all, you're amazing.

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 November 06, 2013
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