Siege Diaries 5/6/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Am I seeking the beauty of human excellence?

This is contrasting the beauty of what many would call the soul vs. physical attractiveness.  And while I love a good-looking human as much as the next person, without those inner qualities that really attract me, the most gorgeous person in the world will seem ugly.  I’ve never really been drawn to make myself “beautiful” on the outside, and I never took praise for my attractiveness as something to be cherished.  Compliment me on my clothing, perhaps–I’m happy to hear that, because I think the clothing I pick all reflects my own tastes and aesthetic–but I do not think myself better or worse based on what I wear.  

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I received my census form (or rather, the code) in the mail on Tuesday.  I went online and filled it out immediately (I got the short form), and then posted yesterday on Facebook about how absolutely charming I found the fact that so many of my friends were both excited to fill theirs out and a little sad when they didn’t get the long form.  Although I did have a couple of friends who did get the long form posting about how much work it was, it was remarkable the long thread that resulted.  We were all so geeky about the census!  Between being Canadians and just nerds in general, a lot of us were excited–partially because I think we remember that time Stephen Harper tried to mess with it.  A few found the long form tiring, but I would say the reactions on my feed were 90% positive.   Perhaps it’s one of those little doses of the normal that have crept up on us and reminded us of at least one thing in life that’s consistent.

Right now, I’m contemplating doing another extra-long weekend–probably taking off the 21st and the 25th this time around the Victoria Day weekend.  I need to keep doing this–by then, I’ll be almost five months into the year and have used only about four vacation days, and I am definitely feeling some burnout.  I have picked up two things I’d put aside for awhile — I read another Gogol short story today, and over the past couple of days I’ve started watching episodes of Clone Wars again.  I’m now into the third season.  I do think I’m going to try to rewatch Chernobyl in the near future as well.

Great piece on CBC Radio tonight on cats and philosophy that posits that perhaps one should take some time to just take in life–and art, and music, and nature, and everything–rather than trying to analyze it for meaning.  There’s a certain amount of wisdom there.  For one thing, philosophy, and its emphasis on the rational, sometimes devalues the power of emotion.  The thing is that, in the end, it’s emotion that has the power to motivate, for better or for worse.  Even reveling in reason–that is, itself, an emotion. Denying or denigrating emotion will not make it disappear. 

I’m now getting some momentum on the third piece of the ‘Leningrad’ Symphony triptych.  Today I took the time to stretch the two completed pieces on the frames and to fill in the white borders with black marker.  I’m very happy with the look I’m getting.   I’ve laid the two pieces out with the photo source for the centre piece to get a sense of how it will look and I’m excited.

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