Monday, March 6, 2017

Friend of the Devil, Fat Tuesday and Early Departures

Ren Hang ended his life this week.

FAT FRIDAY, New York's most authentic Mardi Gras party, is returning to the Angel Orensanz Foundation in downtown Manhattan on Friday March 3rd, 2017—tickets are on sale NOW! 

One of my favorite songs by the Grateful Dead is "Friend of the Devil." 

I set out running but I take my time
A friend of the Devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight
I just might get some sleep tonight
I ran into the Devil, babe
He loaned me twenty bills
I spent that night in Utah
In a cave up in the hills

I ran down to the levee
But the Devil caught me there
He took my twenty-dollar bill
And he vanished in the air

Got two reasons why I cry
away each lonely night
First one's named sweet Ann Marie
and she's my heart's delight
Second one is prison, baby
the sheriff's on my trail
And if he catches up with me
I'll spend my life in jail
Got a wife in Cheno, babe
And one in Cherokee
First one says she's got my child
But it don't look like me

The song conveys our fragility in compelling ways.

Sunday at Judson, Micah followed up on the theme, talking about the devil's three temptations of Christ in Matthew 4:1-11. 

The Faustian bargains are everywhere in this life.  It seems like everyone is subject to them. 
As Billy Joel confessed:
"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints...
The sinners are much more fun."

So we danced all Friday night at Wylie's Fat Friday Party,
"With the return of musical legend Charles Neville on stage, joining Circus MindHigh & Mighty Brass Band, and the ever-divine Reverend Billy And The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir we are in for an evening you will not forget!"

Neville seemed to channel Jerry Garcia when he performed Showdown Street, the old Grateful Dead dance jam.  Those old notes moved through everyone.

The band kept playing, the whole room, dancing, the instruments communicated with each other, jam by jam from guitar to the famous Strauss Sprach Zarathustra  "2001 Theme".   And the band ushered the Saints to Come Marching in.

Somewhere between Strauss and the Saints coming in I was very very moved with the old angels.

Dancing one feels in between this world and another.
 I found myself thinking of old Dad who shuffled off in Lent three years ago.
We left his ashes in NOLA.

Number two and I read John Lewis' amazing graphic novel, March.  In November 1964, Lewis recalls running into Malcolm X in Africa.  It was the last time, he's see him.
They talked about organizing for freedom of all people.
Why are you choking up Dad, asked number two.
Because I know what happens next, I replied.
I guess we're all running from that.

Fat Friday NYC 2017 - with Benjamin Heim Shepard,Paul BartlettSandra Glazer and Urania Mylonas. Photo  Erik McGregor

somewhere between Strauss and the Saints coming in I was very very moved with the old angels on fat friday

My public art installation.
Subliminal suggestion...

After all, there's only one life to...

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