Siege Diaries 11/2/2020


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Can I make my choices and accept whatever will be?

Ooof.  We’re on the eve of the US elections today.  I made my choice months ago, and my ballot was noted as accepted back at the end of September.  Of course, millions of others are making their choices, too.  I have to accept that, because that’s part of the democratic process that supposedly governs these things.  Once again, however, I do not believe any true Stoic would simply accept injustice.  What they would accept is that there are always things much, much bigger than any one individual.  And the true Stoic would then say, “What are the choices I can make right now that will not necessary on their own right that injustice, but contribute to righting it, to shifting the balance towards justice?  

Evening:  What the warning here is is that it could be very easy to justify the slippery slope of simply accepting “fate” as a fait accompli (pun very much intended).  Again, that’s not my reading of what the essence of this argument.  The Stoics are talking about personal choices, and accepting the consequences of those choices…but not passively.  The idea is that we have the ability to choose our reactions to events we cannot control.  If we don’t like the outcome of our choices, we learn and choose differently next time.  

the day before the apocalypse dawns
crisp, with fluffy clouds, bright
the blue beyond intense
an early dusting of snow upon late oranges and browns
mocking, almost
As if to say, I will persist
Even if you do not
I will continue
Even if you cease
The calendar turns
Even if humanity regresses
And the future will come
With or without you.

Day off today.  As I write, I’m prepping to drive to St. Catharines to pick up a new hat, and starting the day with the next Jerusalem Quartet installment — the Shostakovich 3rd, which is the first of (and to date, only one of two) Shostakovich quartets I’ve been able to see in person.  For that reason, it will always be, in a sense, “my” quartet.  

It turned out to be an eventful day. I had my first dentist visit since almost a year ago. I had been worried, based on some sensitivity, that I might be headed for a large filling or even a root canal. As it turns out, the area I was worried about is likely just flaring up from time to time because of the amount of work done on it. I do have two smaller cavities, which will be fixed on Wednesday.

Then, it was over to the Honda dealership, to take a test drive of a Civic hatchback. Two hours later, we have a signed agreement to trade in both our cars–including our beloved Porsche–for one new sporty Civic. The Porsche had come to the end of its prepaid maintenance plan, and ongoing regular service on such a high-end car was going to be significant. We love the car, but we just don’t drive it enough for it to be worth it. Another interesting point: the new car will be blue, not red. The Honda red (which is a flat red colour; both of my Fits have been that shade) just doesn’t ping as much for me as the blue (which is metallic) does. And eventually, it will have new customized plates–I ordered those a week and a half ago. CEREMONY has had a wonderful 11-year run, but the plates themselves were getting a little beat up. The new plates will be a little more cryptic to the uninitiated, but DSCH4347 is a reference to Shostakovich and his 4th and 5th symphonies.

I’m still feeling a bit lagged from the time change. As usual, it’s on the Monday that it really becomes apparent. We took the Porsche out along Ridge Rd. for what will likely be one of its last drives after we left the car dealership, and by the time we arrived home at 5 pm, the sun was setting. I may turn in early tonight.