Khalid Hussain (khalid_hussain) wrote,
Khalid Hussain

Nedjelja 19 Muharrem 1437

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Sun

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Idris (Enoch)

Lunar phase: Disseminating - Demonstration (Phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

The Sun is in 8 Scorpio (in my 2nd house): A dentist at work. (Symbol for 9 Scorpio from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

In about 2 hours, the Sun will transit my natal Sun (in my 2nd house), thus bringing about my solar return. In the afternoon, the Moon will enter my 11th house.

I attended several presentations during the past day. I also ducked out for meals at Bosnian restaurants. I had some great ćevapi at a family-run cafe. As usual, some men were seated at the bar, talking loudly in Bosnian. There was a woman behind the counter who was serving the tables. I sat in a corner near where there were several photos on the wall. The chef, evidently her husband, came out into the restaurant, greeted a couple of his friends, and then went outside to smoke with them. A teenage boy, presumably their son, came out of the back and started washing some dishes behind the counter. When she brought the check to me, the woman asked if I had had ćevapi before. I told her that I had, elsewhere in St. Louis, but that these were much better. She pointed to the oldest photo on the wall. It was a somewhat difficult-to-discern black and white photo of a middle-aged-to-elderly man wearing something that looked like a Bektashi cap. The man was her husband's father or grandfather (I don't remember which) who had passed on the recipe to her husband. Wow.

I came back to hear a memorial tribute to the founder of the music theory society, someone who had been one of my professors and mentors. As I left that, I ran into a Yale grad student who is currently doing some teaching at my university. I rarely see him, since he is on campus TuTh and I am on campus MWF. We chatted over coffee for a couple of hours. In addition to the kinds of teaching experience that is typical of grad students, he has also done some teaching in the prison system. If I recall correctly, he has worked in high-security, perhaps even maximum-security prisons. He's a tall, good-looking English guy who's in his early 30s and whose 1st wedding anniversary is tomorrow. In addition to teaching for us he does some teaching at Yale and also has a church gig. It turns out that one of his grandfathers is from India. He was a German-Indian Christian from Allahabad whose family fled during the Partition. He said that he was raised atheist, but has been learning about religions by taking courses (including what sounds to have been a very good, partially experiential, course on Buddhism that he took in England) and by being a church musician. He seems to have a gift for being present with people who are hurting. This has come out in the approach he has taken with some of our students who may have learning disabilities, and I noticed that layers of normally guarded feeling were peeling off of me as I talked with him. This came to the fore for me when I was explaining to him what it felt like when I am praying in a Bosnian mosque, where some of the people seem to have a sense of real gratitude to be able to worship in peace, knowing well what the alternative might be. He had some friends from Kuwait and other Islamic countries when he was in England, and said that he found it to be very grounding to spend time talking and smoking houka with them, after which he felt much more productive academically. He also talked about some of the communal meals he had enjoyed with his family in India. So I think he understood what my side trips in St. Louis were about. It seemed to be in part a soul-level conversation, so I was happy to have had an opportunity to participate in it.

For dinner I checked out a restaurant that had been recommended on Yelp. It turned out to be a small, very down-home cafe with a small menu. The only other people there were the old couple who ran it. It smelled like smoke and they had the TV on. This time the programming began with an infomercial about jeans that supposedly make middle-aged women look slimmer and sexier than they otherwise might. The man then switched the channel to a broadcast of the original Rocky, which in retrospect is bizarre and hilarious, cartoonish almost, and not-so-subtly racist. In between, there were ads for life insurance and step-in bathtubs and such. It felt like hanging out with somebody's grandparents from the old country. I had a dish of grilled chicken inside bread, since they didn't have any stuffed cabbage.

I'm hanging out for a bit before the Yale party, which starts in about an hour.



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