Siege Diaries 3/5/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing: Do I really need these things I work so hard for?

I’ve been cutting back on “things” for some time now, in favour of experiences and creative supplies.  I don’t technically “need” any of it.  The Stoic meditation for the day mentions cost of ownership, which is where things like more jewellery or clothes that kind of thing fall–things where I will likely never wear them and then have to look at them as part of a huge pile of things I have that are just cluttering things.  But in the grand scheme of things, I’m not a person who cares about material goods as a status symbol.  I guess that came from an upbringing where my parents simply would not invest in designer clothing simply because of a label.  By the time I got to the point where this became a much bigger thing I had firmly settled into a crowd that didn’t care about clothing brands or that kind of thing.  Same thing goes with cars.   In fact, having a Porsche for awhile was frankly a little embarrassing.  Most of our friends never saw it.  I’m happier, in many ways, with our Honda.

Odd as it was, and different as it was from last year, today was still special.  It was lovely to get out in the car for just a short drive while we waited for the takeout food from August 8 to be ready.  The day was clear and crisp, and we stopped off at the escarpment overlook where last summer, on a warm evening, I had seen a comet.  Today, I could see Toronto, and all along the Lake Ontario shoreline, beautiful sapphire blue reflected in calm waters.  I could see as far as Rattlesnake Point, and to the blast furnaces in North Hamilton, and the Skyway Bridge.  There was a hint of hope in the air, a promise to be fulfilled, perhaps better days.  But this day was itself good in its own way, when accepted and cherished for what it was.

A dear friend wrote a poem for me.

Close to 200 people wished me Happy Birthday.

A new book arrived:  Stalin’s Music Prize by Marina Frolova-Walker.  

There were custard buns and shrimp tempura and beef teriyaki.  There was also poppyseed roll and some Kawartha Dairy Black Raspberry Thunder ice cream, and there will be pizza rolls from Zarky’s for tomorrow.

I watched the final episode of WandaVision, and it was everything I wanted it to be and more, and I got just a little teary-eyed.  There were multiple episodes of the Muppet Show afterwards.


I embroidered.  Hands are really picky to stitch, if you don’t want them to look like one of those inflated examining gloves they used as balloons on M*A*S*H*.  But they’re done.  While working on them, I listened first to Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 7 (79th anniversary of its premiere today), and then Quartets 5, 4, 9, and 13, Symphony no. 8, and then finally, Symphony no. 5. That’s a pretty decent sampling.   I’ll continue tomorrow.  With any luck, I may finish in the next couple of days.  



And then, food.