Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Where is the path to serenity?
In popular conception, serenity is a state of stasis and, sometimes, of disconnection of all but a few exterior inputs. That kind of serenity–the kind you can get through meditation–is effective for clearing your mind of cobwebs to help you focus on what’s important going forward. What it isn’t is a way to live 100% of the time. To me, serenity is obtained when you, as much as possible, are knowledgeable about and in dialogue with the world around you, helping to constantly adjust that filter as to what I need to deal with now and what I can move down the priority list or perhaps dismiss altogether.
Ontario is back under a state of emergency as of Thursday. Other than committing to keeping the schools closed through early February in hotspots, however, it’s not really clear how much of an impact this is going to have, other than the fact it’s now being called a “stay at home order.” There may be more testing. But no movement on paid sick leave, which is one thing that might actually have an impact. There was a little positive news today with cases dipping below 3000, but it’s yet to be seen whether that’s a trend.
Ohio State lost, 52-24. Oh well.
Not much changed on the insurgent front today, other than the fact that the FBI finally held its first press conference to announce some of the participants have been charged. Still waiting for Pence to formally decline to proceed with the 25th amendment, which will likely initiate impeachment.
CD set of the 1962 recording of Shostakovich’s op. 87 Preludes and Fugues by Tatiana Nikolayeva, who was responsible for popularizing the work, arrived today (and thanks to the gift certificate from TRM Ealdormere specifically for my Pissed Off Flood Kitty embroidery, the purchase was partially subsidized). Shostakovich himself was present at this recording, which isn’t the best quality, but he considered her interpretation authoritative. Started writing just as Prelude #14 came on–my favourite of all of them–and it did not disappoint. So far there’s a real crispness to these recordings and often very sprightly tempi. I like them very much.
So yesterday I mentioned my current embroidery project in flight, and I got it to a milestone tonight that will allow me to share the work to date. I’m fairly happy with the work so far, and I’ve done the hardest part first. I’ve tweaked things a little (the glasses were originally way too white, and the original blue I used for the eyes wasn’t quite right (and this isn’t quite, either, but it’s better. Once I finish up the neck/collar area, I’ll be moving on to the cat and hands, because in between is a LOT of white. I may move off of the hoop and onto a frame to complete that so I can avoid catching the embroidered area in the frame and potentially discolouring it or deforming it. (I originally tried the entire piece in a frame, but didn’t like the tension for the face work, where I want things to be very taut.)