An Insight

Quarter of eleven at night.

Saturday’s Child

Through a process of desultory reading and writing I’ve arrived at a few insights about astrology mostly lost to people today. It started with an end note to Verlaine’s Saturnian Poems, saying he chose the title because of the work he had to put into them, as if ordained by Saturn. Then a week or so later, I rifled through Baudelaire and chanced on his poem addressing Sisyphus, whose punishment in hell was the pointless labor of pushing a round boulder up a hill eternally. Baudelaire also prayed for the term of his suffering to be short. I gathered from this the idea that for him, life is pain and suffering. The image of Sisyphus was taken up by Camus in one of his essays. The last thing came to me like an inspiration. Stephen Stills wrote a song, “Everydays,” he gave to Yes to record in 1970. The first verse goes,

Look at the sad goodbyes

Every day’s a killing time

Sun coming up outside

No men are born this time

Saturday’s Child stays home

Nothing to say, so long

In turn, the meaning of Saturday’s Child is revealed by an old nursery rhyme.

Monday’s Child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s Child is full of grace,

Wednesday’s Child is full of woe,

Thursday’s Child has far to go,

Friday’s Child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s Child works hard for his living…

Finally, you only need to make the connection between Saturday and Saturn to make complete sense of the role of hard work in the essence of Saturday’s Child. Saturn in astrological tradition is the tester and taskmaster for those it rules.




I slept three hours. Dreamt about my little edition of Sandburg that’s gone through two or three copies because I give them away. This reminds me to finish reading the Whitman selection and make my comparison study of both poets. The birthday yesterday is finally over and the holidays completed. Each season feels different, perhaps a bit weirder than the last since I quit drinking… In the middle of the night there isn’t much to see, so I must use my imagination if I can. Short of that, I can putz with my journal and hope for a revelation of some kind: be the subject of my experiment like Dr Jekyll.

Two o’clock morning.

I had a little insight regarding my brother and the nature of his alcoholism, but it’s his business so I won’t go into it here. I’ll just say generally that everything people do is motivated by a sense of duty or what we believe is right. This is the meaning of “rationality.” We could never do wrong if we didn’t believe in a warped way that we were doing the right thing. Behind every behavior there’s a process of thought— for even the most self harming patterns. To correct the thinking hopefully fixes the behavior.

Humans are rational beings.

The Koan of Love

Five fifty PM.

Funny how I realized how much I’ve lost my faith in Christ’s new commandment. Should I go to church to pick Pastor’s brain, or would this do any good at all? I think I just haven’t been hearing him during his sermons the last few times. Like King Midas, I’ve been given donkey’s ears for my deafness to spiritual things. If I did pick his mind, then I’d be misguided because the meaning of religion is not located in the head. It resides in the heart or the soul; anywhere but the reason, logic, or whatever it’s called. Christian love is a simple thing yet unreachable by logical analysis, as Dan has already told me. No amount of reasoning, however much and with what quality, can arrive at a conclusion like Christian love. I guess it’s something you find in your heart… or you don’t. Like the heart of the Grinch, maybe it can grow three sizes bigger. But it can’t be helped along by reason. To a rational mind, it’s the deepest mystery, a baffling phenomenon, and I’m like Mr Spock trying to figure it out— what can’t be figured about. Instead it’s to me what a zen koan is to a Buddhist beginner. Total nonsense. Perhaps if I quit making sense…?


Seven o’clock.

A hole in the clouds shows the sky luminous white prior to the sunrise. I observed a planet low on the horizon, probably Venus, the morning star. The path to the store in some places was unlit and I couldn’t see the pavement under my feet, so it was by guess and by God. An airline jet crosses above my head just now. My dog Aesop has very sophisticated moods for a canine, possibly sensing what’s wrong in the world. I don’t know. Suk managed the market this morning. He gave me a discount on the macaroni salad because it was a day past its expiry. Neither of us sleeps as well as we used to. While a lugubrious piece of music by Burt Bacharach blasts in my ear, I acknowledge my regrets for the woman I once knew. Renaissance thinkers believed that memory was placed in the back of the head because you were looking backward. Another bit of useless trivia… It might be a long day. I didn’t care for the last phone conversation with my sister. I’ll probably avoid her until she finally calls me. Now the birds and squirrels have woken up. They have no concept of good and evil beyond eating and surviving to reproduce— unlike my dog, who growled when I asked him last night if he thought I was a bad person. I think I guessed his thoughts. 

Trouble in Paradise

The deeper the conversation with my sister, the more she would discover that she hates me. Intellectual people are anathema to her. Is that my fault? It’s a better idea not to talk to her too much. And let her despise me if she must… I still feel pretty weird today, and not very cheerful. I’d like to see an end to this whole nightmare. It’s like being forced to watch something gruesome… I wish life was different than it is. My sister is really a nice sort of person. But our lives are like parallel lines destined to never meet. If she could understand me, then maybe we could like each other. Her emotionalism, however, cannot see how my rationalism works. She thinks that I am some kind of monster. And that’s just the way it’s going to be forever.

Five thirty five. I’m looking forward to the end of this lousy day. I will take a gabapentin tonight and then try to get some sleep. I’ve been shaken to my foundation by the phone call yesterday morning. I might try skipping it next week. She’ll probably know I’m avoiding her, but it may be for the best.

Working in Concert

Quarter after two. I stayed for worship and it turned out great. But what amazes me now is that they sort of depend on me for their own faith. At first I didn’t feel very spiritual or holy. My faith was dormant. It was the music that woke it up. Then I began to think about the rock music I did a week ago: was it good or bad? The holy spirit is emotional, not intellectual. The hymns made me feel something, and singing let me express it. The scary thing is its fragility if I’m not there. I missed for two weeks in a row and pondered prayer and God. It didn’t occur to me that my doubts could be contagious. If one member weakens, the others do too. It’s like being in a symphony orchestra or any music ensemble: a few blue notes from one player can ruin a performance. Groups of people are amazing, but I shouldn’t be such a psychologist. United we stand, divided we fall. If someone is thinking too much, it makes everybody think. Pretty soon the symphony breaks up into separate tunes, creating incoherence. Sunday worship is vital for the church spirit, of which I am a part. I didn’t realize the extent of it till today…