Khalid Hussain (khalid_hussain) wrote,
Khalid Hussain

Ponedjeljak 25 Safer 1437

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

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

Lunar phase: Last Quarter - Re-orientation (Phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

The Sun is in 14 Sagittarius (in my 4th house): The ground hog looking for its shadow on Ground-Hog Day, February 2. (Symbol for 15 Sagittarius from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

About an hour and a half ago, the Moon transited my natal Mercury (in my 2nd house). Later this evening, the Sun will enter my 4th house (crossing the imum coeli, or IC, the "midnight point" at the bottom of the chart). Less than an hour after zora (fedžr), the Moon will enter Scorpio (in my 2nd house). A few minutes after that, the Moon will enter its Balsamic phase, whose keyword is Release.

Worked at home for most of the previous day. In the late afternoon I went to a choral concert on campus (my 7th consecutive day on campus since we got back from break, but who's counting?). Somewhat relunctantly I sat in the section of the auditorium where faculty normally gather. I was there to show support for the students and faculty, but to be honest, the music wasn't doing much of anything for me. The first half of the concert was an obligatory showcase for the student conductors. During intermission I stepped out to pray akšam (magrib) and to make a few photocopies. When I returned, the first piece on the second half was already in progress. During the applause after it, I grabbed a seat in the back row, on the end. I felt more comfortable in this relatively incognito position within the auditorium. The second half was much better, since the choral faculty member was conducting. The last piece on the program was Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. I hadn't heard it in years, and wasn't sure that I was in the mood to hear it. The treble soloist in the second movement was the son of one of the faculty members. I don't know exactly how old he is, but he is definitely still a small boy. He was so cute, and very good as well.

Recently, in order to try to deal with my intellectual boredom while grading papers, I have been listening to some lectures by Žižek at the Birkbeck Institute in London. Ostensibly he is there to read a two-hour lecture on Hegel, but he ends up talking about current events, telling dirty jokes, and taking questions from the audience, while repeatedly coming back to his nuanced reading of Hegel. Perhaps under the influence of that, I was thinking about Bernstein's music. Of course, his detractors would say that is music is vulgar, and it is. But, rather than to claim that his religiously-themed music succeeds in spite of its vulgarity, I was thinking about how it is good precisely because it is vulgar. Its vulgarity and sentimentality is matched by an actually quite refined musical intelligence, so that it presents a religious music that completely avoids stuffiness and formality and therefore succeeds as a Romantic attempt to merge religious devotion with everyday life. During the second movement, I became quite emotional and was glad that I wasn't sitting near anyone that I knew. Here is a version of that movement with an adult countertenor:



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