“I want to make it clear we are not a cult. Jerry Garcia was not the messiah. We weren’t gods. We were there every night for the same reason the Deadheads were. We wanted the music to take us to a place of transcendence and elegance. We wanted to reach that group consciousness so we could realize that there was something that was bigger than us– and whatever it was, we all were an equal part of it, from the guys sweating it out onstage to the girls in line for the bathroom. We are all the same and we are all just a bunch of atoms.” ~Bill Kreutzmann
Full lyrics at BobDylan.com.
The “Very Stable Genius” has been arguing with a dead guy for the last three days.
In this excerpt from the short story My Dear Emily ©1962, Joanna Russ describes a vampire waking up at the crack of dusk:
He wakes up slowly, mistily, dizzily, with a vague memory of having fallen asleep on plush. He is intensely miserable, bound down to his bed on hoops of steel, and the memory adds nausea to the misery, solidifying ticklishly around his bare hands and the back of his neck as he drifts towards wakefulness. His stomach turns over with the dry brushy filthiness of it. With the caution of the chronically ill, he opens his eyelids, careful not to move, careful even to keep from focusing his gaze until– he thinks to himself– his bed stops holding him with the force of Hell and this intense miserable sickness goes down, settles… Darkness. No breath. A glimmer of light, a stone wall. He thinks: I’m dead and buried, dead and buried, dead and– With infinite care he attempts to breathe, sure that this time it will be easy; he’ll be patient, discreet, sensible, he won’t do it all at once–
He gags. Spasmodically he gulps, cries out, and gags again, springing convulsively to his knees and throwing himself over the low wall by his bed, laboring as if he were breathing sand. He starts to sweat. His heartbeat comes back, then pulse, then seeing, hearing, swallowing… High in the wall a window glimmers, a star is out, the sky is pale evening blue. Trembling with nausea he rises to his feet, sways a little in the gloom, then puts out one arm and steadies himself against the stone wall. He sees the window, sees the door ahead of him. In his tearing eyes the star suddenly blazes and lengthens like knife; his head is whirling, his heart painful as a man’s; he throws his hands over his face, longing for life and strength to come back, the overwhelming flow of force that will crest at sunrise, leaving him raging at the world and ready to kill anyone, utterly proud and contemptuous, driven to sleep as the last resort of a balked assassin. But it’s difficult to stand, difficult to breathe: I wish I were dead and buried, dead and buried, dead and buried– But there! he whispers to himself like a charm, There, it’s going, it’s going away. He smiles slyly round at his companionable, merciful stone walls. With an involuntarily silent, gliding gait he moves towards the door, opens the iron gate, and goes outside. Life is coming back. The trees are black against the sky, which yet hold some light; far away in the West lie the radiant memories of a vanished sun. An always vanished sun.
‘Alive!’ he cries, in triumph. It is– as usual– his first word of the day.
In 1955 John Wyndham published a novella titled The Chrysalids in the UK and Re-Birth in America. It is not a religious text. It is about post-apocalyptic mutants.
But it’s also one of the best books about change– the inevitability of change and resistance to change– that I’ve read in a long time. It really helped me to understand the times we’re living in.
The book is available online from The Z-Library Project, HERE.
Once in a while
you get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right…
Full lyrics at The Annotated Grateful Dead.
This song is stuck in my head.
I suppose it could be considered a precursor to rap, but I don’t know that it was really influential; just fun. I like the way it opens with a deep breath. 😀
In this excerpt from David Brinkley’s autobiography, titled simple David Brinkley: A Memoir, ©1995, he remembers his first job, at the age of twelve, in the 1930s:
Mr. Swindell explained to me that the A&P sold butter in two forms– “print” butter in quarter-pound sticks wrapped in paper printed with the dairy’s name, and a cheaper butter that came in bulk in wooden tubs and set on the floor open to dust and insects. When bulk butter was sold, it was scooped into pressed cardboard trays and weighed on a scale with a sliding balance out of the customers’ sight. Mr. Swindell explained to me that when I weighed butter for black customers, “You should set the balance about here,” he said, placing the balance weight at thirteen ounces. If the weight was out of sight of the customers, it was also out of sight of the store manager. I always set it for a pound at nineteen ounces.