Siege Diaries 12/12/2020


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Will I keep the rhythm of life, no matter the interruptions?

Ah–one of those prompts that seems somehow vastly different here in 2020.  The December rhythm of life has been similar over the first 53 years of my life.  In musical terms, you could describe it as a theme and variations, or a slow development of a theme.  And then, this year, it’s like the whole thing is in constantly shifting time signatures.  Or—even better–one of those modern pieces without a marked time signature.  There’s something odd about the harmony–it’s like there are no cellos, flutes, and trombones, and the only percussion is the bass drum.  The main themes are there, but they wander around a bit aimlessly, looking for that rhythm, and notes are missing.  But in Stoic terms, humanity has seen these odd years before, and will see them again.  It’s just odd to us in our extreme closeup perspective, they seem radically different.

To continue the metaphor, I have realized that even though the overall tune is the same, I have to find new players to take up the missing parts, and they’re not always the same players as before.  Or I have to recognize that the music is going to sound a little different for awhile, necessarily–and to find solace in the fact that the music is there at all.


Today, I tackled my two clothes closets.  They hadn’t had a good clearout in ages, and it was time to control the chaos.  I have a LOT of clothes.  I look back on what I had growing up–which was usually about half a closet (the double sliding door-type)–and it kind of stuns me that I now have over four times that amount of clothing (and that’s a conservative estimate).  Part of that is, of course, because I don’t grow out of things anymore.  But part is also that I have too much clothing–especially now, during a period when I can’t really wear it anywhere.  For today, I decided that if I hadn’t worn it in the past couple of years (allowing for the fact that what I’m actually wearing these days is a smaller pool than it used to be) and there was no sentimental attachment, out it went.  I went through my scarves as well, and some of my shoes.  The photo above was the result.  Now my closets are, believe it or not, merely full rather than overstuffed.  I have also moved my scarves and the hanging thing for my long necklaces inside the closet doors now, as well as removed the hook devices on the door and cleared out everything on the floor around the bed.  Now I just need to do a tidy on the tables around the bed where the jewellery is stored and my bedside table.  Yesterday I also finally reset the clock radio that runs fast;  it was about ten minutes fast at that point.  I find it very strange that a name brand clock in the second decade of the 21st century runs fast, especially after I’ve had older clocks that never had an issue.  But I like the radio function, so the fact I have to reset it occasionally is a minor inconvenience.

I’ve done the cartoon for my first marginalia cat;  I figured I’d start with Rocket Cat.  As I was selecting images for these, I noticed that almost every single one of these cats is grey.  My original fabric idea was also grey, but based on this, I’ve changed my mind (even through I am planning on switching at least one of the cats over to orange.)  I think I’ll go with the burgundy red woolen material I used for my American Duchess wrap cape.  That does leave me the grey fabric to use for another waistcoat if I want one.   I have also decided to just order a different waistcoat pattern instead of continuing to fiddle with the one I have.


My Page A Day calendar arrived today.  For the first time in years, I’m not going with 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said and have switched over to Bad Cat: 365 Cats Gone Bad.  I’m kind of done laughing at the stupid things people say.  Stupid people are dangerous.  Bad cats, on the other hand, are funny.

And I’m just finishing listening to a recording of the Shostakovich 4th Symphony I had not heard before but that I like very much, indeed:  Michael Sanderling with the Dresdener Philharmonie.  It’s a very crisp performance where you can pick out individual instruments in some of the loudest sections as well as you can in the softer ones.  It perhaps lacks a little bit of the intensity in the first movement fugato and ensuing orchestral pile-on that some of the other recordings have, but all is redeemed in the best ending I’ve heard yet.  After the spectacularly loud brass chorale collapses into nothingness, no nuance is missed in the incredibly quiet final minutes.  The pace is perfect, and the celesta is celestial.  It’s gorgeous.  So much so that I’ve ordered the complete Sanderling set–mainly because, despite being released just last year as a set, it seems to be extremely hard to find.  More money than I would prefer to pay, but it also had some excellent reviews.  Won’t likely be here for more than a month, but maybe it’ll do what a recent shipment from Russia did and arrive weeks before it was “supposed” to.