Siege Diaries 5/9/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Will I seize this day?

I already have.  I went for my first walk in over a week today, and in the back of my mind I had a goal:  Spot a trillium blooming in the woods.  I kept my eyes peeled throughout my walk, spotting some really nifty flowers in bloom, from tulips to a jack-in-the-pulpit (one I hadn’t spotted before).  It took to almost the very end, while in the area close to Felker’s Falls, but I espied a clump of them blooming well back of the trail.  Two photos, and then my phone died (I hadn’t noticed before leaving that the battery was low).

After the aforementioned walk, RPG #1 was a bit truncated (there were only three of us, so we did some investigating) and RPG #2 was cancelled. So instead I watched the first two episodes of Chernobyl and about five episodes of Clone Wars. For the former, I was curious how much of Pripyat would actually show up–since I knew they filmed the series in some extant contemporary Soviet apartment blocks in (I believe) Vilnius. I was rewarded–there was at least one shot of the city centre complex with the Hotel Polissya prominently featured.

I also made a lot of progress on my embroidery. I expect to finish up the stitching this evening, and then to do the background–including the concert poster–tomorrow.

It’s Mother’s Day. I’ve mentioned this before, but I have no one left to call by that name–not really even an aunt. I have no children. I do not really consider myself mother to “furbabies”–although it’s the closest I come to that feeling. If we can pull back away from the gendered terms, however, I do feel some parental feelings towards a number of people–younger colleagues, some of my students and dependents (although not all), and the like. I do feel a strong obligation to support and guide certain people, to give advice where needed, and to share my knowledge and experiences. My model is that of the teacher and mentor, rather than the parent, and it seems to work for me. And when I think about it, that was the same way my own mother showed she loved me. It was less about physical affection (although she was responsible for my love of back skritching) and more about a constancy, a willingness to support, and a love for learning. And this was apparently the right approach for me. I can count the times I remember being punished on one hand. There was this instinctive kind of morality both my parents instilled–a desire to do the right thing as if it were the only real option. I don’t ever really remember challenging this. I do suspect had my mother not died 21 years ago, there might have been difficult conversations about things like race–or maybe I would not have had the courage to have them (although I hope that I would have). Or perhaps, had dementia not robbed her of her reason, she would have eventually gotten there herself (maybe with a little help from me). But those “what ifs” are only that. I do continue to realize how much of her is reflected –for better or for worse, but mostly for better–in my own attitudes.