Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: How can I make this moment–right now–be enough?
Dr Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” One thing that has been hugely important to me during a time in which so many plans have been cancelled and so many activities that I looked to for enjoyment have evolved into a sort of dim echo of what they once were is that I have come to rely on the fact that your memories are yours, and you are free to recall the good ones at any time. There is also the fact that there is going to be a time in the future when I recall what happened during this time. And for so many, this has been a time of tragedy and loss, and that knowledge is always going to be there. But what I want to be able to recall are the moments of beauty and kindness, the times in which, in the midst of all this, I found a way to learn or grow, or to enjoy something I’d perhaps never done or seen.
Right now, I’m looking at a day where I’m going to sit down and finish a project I have spent hours on, a project that I designed myself from start to finish, a project that grew into being right before my eyes into something incredibly special for multiple reasons. Would I have been spending time and energy on this project had it not been for the current situation? No. I would have had more pressing concerns–many of them pleasant, to be sure, but different ones. The idea of doing the kind of embroidery work I’ve been doing for the past few months–work undertaken for its own sake only– would not have likely occurred to me.
Would there have even been Wright Site PechaKucha sessions to attend? Would I have sought out livestreamed concerts? Would I have listened to Weinberg or Ustvolskaya? Would I have discovered the Ghost Variations? Would I have gotten a flair on AskHistorians on Reddit, or read new works on the migrations period? Would I have done a goofy virtual scavenger hunt? These are what I’m going to recall in the future when I look back on this period. The things that were cancelled never were, so there are no memories. These things all were. And if I can’t make this moment be enough, it never will be.
The photo above is the front row of the Rush concert, June 17, 2015. There I am, next to the man with the turban. I smile because this happened. I still have a hard time believing it did.
Earlier this year, we lost Neil Peart. But all of Rush’s music still happened. I can still listen to it any time I want to. Those moments were more than enough for any lifetime.
Because of the nature of the embroidery I’m working on, I have decided on a slightly different course of action. It’s now completely done except some of the highlighting work, and a decision to be made about the background. I decided that it did not make sense to time its completion with the anniversary of the premiere of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony. This needed its own time, and it got it tonight, when I listened to the 1938 premiere recording of the work (which I’ve located online here). But earlier today, I listened to the 14th and 15th quartets as I worked away on the project, and it occurred to me that what I should be listening to as I complete it are opuses 145, 146, and 147. I own recordings of all of these. So tomorrow morning, that’s precisely what I’ll do.
Incidentally, the embroidery is…uh, wow. I keep looking at it and thinking “I did that?”
Hopefully, tomorrow I can share it.