It is about 9:50 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

I got back from northern California and have been very busy during past two days and will be tomorrow, before I can even think about doing much other than what is immediately necessary.

I just wanted any who might care to know, that I am still alive and kicking.

I got some of my first sleep in weeks last night and the night before.

I actually was able to lay down on my stomach for awhile, most suprisingly, last night, as I found out upon awakening out of a deep sleep and finding myself on my stomach without so much pain as to be unable to do so, as it has been.

I cannot begin to tell how sweet it was to get even just a little bit of real sleep.

Oh, the things we all take for granted.

Like walking, thinking, breathing, seeing, etc.

Take one of these away even for a few moments and your life outlook is liable to change so suddenly as to astonish even your innermost self.

I can speak from experience regarding every single one of those.

So, during the excitement of almost getting permanently wiped out, I almost forgot to tell about my several adventures on my quest for the Byzantine nuemes.

Parts of the areas which I was visiting were in the lands of Byzantium.

They were portions of the Byzantine empire.

Of course, that means that I am on the boundaries of the land of the Byzantine nuemes.

So, I made a point of searching and watching and looking for anything which might take me on my next leg of adventures as I search for the nuemes in modern notation and in their original notations, and as I search for recordings of performance of same.

I went, not expecting to find much.

Next thing I know, I am returning with about 25 different albums of Byantine chant and a catalog of one of the main recording companies which is doing work in this area.

Not bad, for less than a week of work.

The first catch was at the ruins of the crusader castle overlooking the ancient site of Sparta and the Spartan plains surrounding it.

The site on which the castle sits, just outside of Sparta, is Mystra.

It is known as the "outpost of the Byzantine Empire".

That is to say, it is on the borderlands between them and "the other".

What better place to search for lost recordings, I thought to myself, as I climbed up, and up and up and up and wondered when it would ever end.

Remember, I already have plenty of broken bones and bone ends grating on one another, so that each step is very painful.

But as I looked out onto the fabled Spartan plains, whatever pain there had been, simply didn't warrant being taken much notice of.

What an honor it is and was to stand upon that ground in the very heart of the once great and mighty land of Spartan rigor and warrior ethos.

As I finally got up high enough I ran into a little kiosk with a lady sitting behind the counter selling tickets.

Out on the counter in front of her was a rack of CD's which looked as if it had been there for a very long time.

As I looked through the ten or so discs on the stand I noticed that there was only one copy of each.

I asked whether there were any others.

The woman seemed astonished at the question.

No, she told me.

Then I will take all you have, I told her as she rolled her eyes in astonishment and disbelief.

I am a student of chant, I explained to her, and these are very important to me.

I can see that they have been here for a very long time.

I want to thank you and whoever else helped to preserve these for me until I could get here.

She seemed deeply moved at what I was telling her, but also could not understand why anyone would be crazy enough to want all of those chant albums.

So, in just a few minutes I go from wondering how in the world I am ever going to find recordings of Byzantine chant (as opposed to Gregorian chant or Western plainchant), to realizing that I have just hit the "mother lode" of recordings and recording companies involved with the recording and distribution of this type of ancient music.

How strange it is, I thought to myself, that those albums have patiently sat waiting all of this time for me day in and day out with person after person looking at them with little or no interest.

Just sitting and waiting until the day that the one with a great interest for and love for and thirst for everything which it is will come along and take possession of it and cherish it from that moment forward and forever.

That is the type of madness which musicians and composers and great painters and other fine artists are renowned.

It is known as Divine Madness.

Whether divine or not, I do not really know.

But as far as being madness?

Well ----- we shall see about that, I suppose, shan't we?

If that sounds a little bit cynical and like a bunch of self-pity,
then ---- oh me, oh my ------.

It's been fun.

w/love to all.

As usual, have much more to say, but am just flat out of energy.

Has been a very long several days with several that promise to be even longer and harder coming right up.

Hope for best and ----

You should know the drill by now.

Yes, get ready for the worst.

Because the two seem to accompany one another wherever they go, when it is me who is concerned.

Just cover your head, and close your eyes.

Who knows, maybe it will just all go away.

If not, then hope to see you sooner, rather than later



Ventura, California, USA

at 10:22 p.m.