friday off

This pic just reminds me of morning snow in the dark, it's not one I took this morning.

At 4AM this morning I looked out my window and saw my first snow of the season. I have to admit I smiled. I have been missing it.

Despite the lack of snow, I have been enjoying walking to work in the morning and seeing some pretty gorgeous sights. I noticed steam pouring from a home on my way to work. It was back lit by a rising sun creating a different and brighter color from the darkened home. I also keep seeing birds now that the leaves are gone. It seems like crows and other large black birds enjoy sitting at the top of tree bare of leaves.

I am relieved that I don’t have to do the last day of class Students are encouraged to take a special session offered this morning in the swimming pool with one of the therapists. Otherwise (if they don’t want to swim) they offer a class session which doesn’t involve much dancing or at least doesn’t need this accompanist. Cool.

I broke my usual pattern this morning. After reading a bit of poetry, instead of my usual non-fiction, I read Stephen King’s new novel, 11/23/11. I have to take it back to the library in the next few days. I’m on page 300 or so. It of course has over 800 pages. I alternated between King’s easy prose and playing Mozart and Mendelssohn on the electric piano.

Another great morning!

I have decided to delay performing the two Messiaen organ meditations I am preparing from his Nativity suite. These are his movement on “The Word” and on “The Shepherds.” Amazing stuff really. I am thinking of scheduling them as preludes after Christmas sometime with some solid explanation in bulletin notes. This music is beautiful but it might require a bit different sensibility than the one people in my congregation have around Christmas (which seems to go from anxiety to sentimentality then back to anxiety with doses of depression/melancholy….. you know like most of America… ahem).

I don’t want to sound too smug, but Messiaen’s beautiful challenging music is sort of an antidote for me personally to the banal and desperate consumer season that passes for Christmas in our churches and society. I figure this antidote is appropriate in the Episcopal church. But I have decided not to challenge people around the last Sunday of Advent and Christmas eve, though. These were the two times that I thought the Messiaen might be most appropriate.

I have interlibrary loaned Jon Gillock’s book, Performing Messiaen’s Organ Music. It is very useful. He studied with Messiaen and has a chapter on each of Messiaen’s organ pieces (66 in all). When my music allowance is renewed in 2012 I plan to purchase this excellent book.  I am planning to use it write my bulletin explanations (which I’m sure I will share here, another ahem).


The Age of Man Is Not a Disaster –

A group of scientists wrote this thought provoking essay on the current age of the earth they have dubbed the Anthropocene.


Joining a Dinner in a Muslim Brotherhood Home –

Nicholas Kristof shares his insights and hesitations about the Muslim Brotherhood via personal conversations and experiences.


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