Siege Diaries 3/6/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Where am I a loudmouth?

The associated meditation gives more context:  People who dominate conversations telling stories about themselves, particularly the type told to make oneself look better.

By this definition, I’m never a loudmouth.  I just…don’t.  

I have told stories about my past for Toastmasters, but it they’re usually about things I’ve witnessed or participated in.  I have a really difficult time bragging about myself.  That’s not to say that I won’t tell a story to make myself look or feel good, but it’s usually more oblique.  I like sharing facts, and I will confess that I like trivia and being good at it.  I kept winning the various SCA-based trivia contests I entered last summer–but those stopped being fun.  What I really like is team trivia, where there are several of us who are all good at trivia working together.  Much more fun. 

So “loudmouth?”  Doesn’t really apply.

Today was hours of embroidery.  A lot of progress.  This design is deceptively large. I an not sure whether finishing is quite within reach for tomorrow, but I’m going to push and let’s see how far I get. 


I watched a spectacularly wonderful Berlin Philharmonic concert with the man who is fast becoming my among my favourite pianists, Igor Levit.  He played the Beethoven ‘Emperor’ concerto the way it deserved to be played.  I was underwhelmed when I saw another pianist play it with the TSO a couple of years ago.  He played with an amazing delicacy of touch and obvious joy in the music itself.  As I’ve mentioned before, this one always reminds me of my Mom, who loved it–one of the few truly classical pieces she ever expressed that sentiment about.

I am hoping, someday in the future, Igor Levit will be someone on tour where I can see him play.  


Prokofiev’s Symphony no. 6 was also on the program.  I don’t know as much Prokofiev as I should–I like his stuff but it just does not ignite me like Shostakovich or the best of Stravinsky does.  But this one was intriguing.  In a lot of ways there were parallels with the Shostakovich Symphony no. 8, in that it seems to have been written with WW2 in mind, although a couple of years later (1947).  I associate Prokofiev’s sound world with a certain feeling of dance and theatre (he’s known for ballets) and a somewhat more conventional use of harmony as opposed to either Shostakovich or Stravinsky.  This one–which Wikipedia says was the last work of his that was well-received (because 1948 was rushing up quickly)–had an extremely surprising, abrupt ending on a movement that apparently was meant to evoke Young Pioneer songs.  To compare with Shostakovich, it was as if someone tacked the ending of the 11th symphony, minus bells, onto the final movement of the 6th Symphony.   I did like it.  

Otherwise, a lot of trawling the depths of my iTunes library again.  The first song isn’t in there (but I remembered it as I was working through).  The second was absolute buried treasure.