Some excitement on 12/14/96

Yesterday was just an insane day at work. Morever I agreed this morning to (after getting home at 10 PM) drive my friend Karen to the airport to make a 7 AM flight. So I set my alarm for 5 and pretty much decided that sleep would be for wimps.

When I get an hour or two of sleep at night, the world seems more intense. I drove to the airport and had a few hours to kill before work. I was listening to a tape that I had gotten the day before of the Westlake Peter Himmelman show. Peter Himmelman, for those of you who haven't heard me go on about him, is a mystical Jewish singer songwriter. He played a free show in Seattle on what was a near perfect day for me back in August, a day where the entire universe seemed to conspire to let me see a life affirming show. I'm listening to this tape and driving up to the Larry's Market on Aurora Ave to get my Saturday knish, when I go around the curve and see Mt Rainier.

For those of you who have never been to Seattle in the winter, we have two kinds of weather here then. Grey, rainy, and reasonably warm and clear and cold. For the first time in a while, today was the latter. Not only was the mountain out, but its outline was crisp. This wasn't some glimpse through the fog; a newcomer might think that it was just out there in the suburbs. Anyway, as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have a change of plans and took the ZZYZXmobile over the 520 Floating Bridge.

The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is a traffic disaster. The mantra of the traffic reporters is "520 is a mess; use I-90 as an alternate. However I never did because this bridge has to be the nicest place in the world to be stuck in traffic. As the name implies, the bridge sits on Lake Washington with barely a guardrail between you and the water. When it's clear, and you can see out to Rainier... well you root for there to be a traffic jam.

I drove to the Larry's on the eastside. This was a bit of a nostalgia trip, as I was only a block or so away from the building where I used to work at Microsoft. After amusing myself at the food selection (The only bagel selections were the yuppie ones) I got back in the car. Popping the tape in, I heard the introduction to Raina, a song written for his daughter:

"This is a song that some would say would be foolish to undertake in large crowd in a noisy venue, but for you (pointing to someone) who have a baby you can relate to this song, it's called Raina. It's the song about the birth of a baby. But more than that it's about seeing the miracle of existence behind the mundane.

What we think of as a normal afternoon in Seattle is more than that. And the fact that we're all here together is not just some coincidence. There's some reason that we're here and it's definitely not to sell records... or Chryslers (the show was sponsored by Chrysler). It's something else. I'm not sure what it is. I know you already know what it is (pointing to a very expressive dancer) but you have trouble expressing it so you have to dance like this. This is my attempt at it."

What the heck, I'm going to put in the lyrics to Raina here:
(lyrics from Daf Gematria's lyrics page)

Some say the world has gone insane,
And some say that G-d just got up and walked away.
Some say dreams have frozen,
Like a river that will not thaw.
But not me since I've seen Raina

Some say that all is lost,
And that innocence can't be restored at any cost.
Some say you lose your spirit if you lose a sense of awe,
But not me since I've touched Raina.

There's so little in this world that's true.
I have boundless dreams for you.

Some say that love is destined to fail,
And some say that what's pure must wither and pale.
And some say the dignity of man can be broken like a piece of straw.
But not me since I've held Raina.

There's so little in this world that's true.
I have boundless dreams for you.

Some say there's no end to the night,
And some say the reward just isn't worth the fight.
But I'm no stranger to the allure of despair,
I've spent a lifetime inside his jaws.
But not since I've seen Raina.

I arrived at work and found a parking space a block away instead of the usual 7 blocks. Right now the sun is finally peaking over the Cascades and the fog is drifting over the ship canal. I think I can make it one more day.

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