Siege Diaries 3/28/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Is my training designed to help me rise to the occasion?

I rely a lot on what Descartes would call “rational intuition”–that is, truth gained through rational thought to such an extent that one’s “gut” feeling comes to be largely based around the mass of knowledge about the world around me that has accumulated and been considered over the years.  This is in contrast with the type of intuition that the Myers-Briggs looks at, a type that is largely based purely on perception (which is one of the issues I have with Myers-Briggs as any kind of true measure of personality type, as much as parts of it are useful.)   What this looks like for me is that I habitually, in every decision I make, can line up pros and cons–and where my knowledge is insufficient–fairly quickly, and use that to make a decision.  Those factors always include both rational thought and emotion (what I think is right vs. what I feel as right) and usually involve some kind of balance between the two.   This framework usually allows me to be fairly flexible, although I have to watch it carefully, lest it veer into analysis paralysis or pure emotional “winging it.”   Sometimes opportunities need to be seized with an incomplete foundation of understanding, and in those cases there’s a process of risk assessment that needs to happen to allow me to accept (and mitigate) any negative outcomes that could occur. In a similar vein, there are things I know I need to do and which make the most sense from a rational standpoint that may leave me emotionally wanting, and I need to acknowledge that.  (Pandemic restrictions, I’m looking at you!)

Since yesterday I was immersed in deep thoughts about the passage of time, I didn’t get to discuss how I have passed the time the past day or so.  The biggest part was participating in the Ethereal Seamstress competition as a judge.  For the past month I’ve been following six entrants posting progress on sets of clothing, and yesterday I got to see the results modelled over Zoom.  It was a decent amount of work following and commenting on progress, but at the same time it was really fun and entertaining.    Before that, I had a nice walk, went to pick up some takeout from a couple of the restaurants at Lime Ridge Mall (which was quite busy out ahead of another pending lockdown on Monday), and then in the evening I drafted up a D&D 5e character, with a few similar characteristics as my Pathfinder character (everything comes with sarcasm sprinkles with me), but otherwise quite different–Zoya is a catfolk rogue who likes to poke her nose into everything, has a very short fuse, and is going to be a close range sneak around and stab kind of character. Then, today, the first session with the new character, and then on to the regular Pathfinder session immediately after.  So it was a good eight hours (more or less) straight of RPG goodness today.   

I’m also making some good forward progress on the current embroidery. It’s nice to be working again with the Splendor silk instead of the stranded.  I got the enormous brown rat started while listening to the spectacular performance of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no. 2 that was livestreamed yesterday.  It really is a wonderful piece, with lots of fun dialogue with the percussion, and I am solemnly resolving to listen to it more often.  Then I managed to finish the rat and get well into the orange-y gold cat while roleplaying.  And now I’m in the midst of “eating it all” with the Shostakovich Symphony no. 4, the Michael Sanderling recording, having just passed the spectacular fugato and that chord with all 12 tones in it marked fff.  That section never ceases to overwhelm and amaze me. 

This will be a short week in terms of work, as I’ve taken Thursday off and get Friday off as a holiday.  I then have the following Monday off.