Siege Diaries 5/12/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  What would happen if I responded with kindness, no matter what?

I think it’s always possible to be kind–that is, to refrain from anger, cruelty and vengeance in one’s response.  The key thing to note is that kindness is not “being nice.”  It is not being a doormat,  It is not subverting one’s needs to please another person.  It is simply treating others with basic respect. It can also mean choosing to assume, unless given evidence to the contrary, good intentions and to give the benefit of the doubt.  Kindness can mean stepping in and supporting someone who is being ill-treated–by focusing on them and their needs first.  Kindness is low-key.  It does not draw attention to itself.  It simply seeks to perpetuate basic humanity.

To be able to be both kind and just is one of my greatest goals.

Not an exciting day.  Worked on my embroidery.  Listened to Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 1 on the 95th anniversary of its premiere. The CD I purchased of the LSO performing the Shostakovich Symphony no. 5 under the baton of his son Maxim arrived, and I’m listening now.  I’ve owned this recording for awhile in digital form and always found it opened a little slow, but on further listening I’m discovering it’s growing on me.   The third movement in particular has more dynamic contrast that I normally see.  It’s a slower-than-normal performance which could be milked for histrionics but is instead understated–and all the more powerful as a result. The slower tempo just lets the harmonies unwind and build organically.  And the finale is really well done–an incredible buildup of tension.

Watched a video on those new developments regarding rising levels of radiation at Chernobyl and did a little digging to understand just where this “unreachable room” is located (turns out, it’s one of the rooms directly below the ruined reactor, and the ceiling has completely collapsed.)   I’ve found the exemplar for the scroll I’ll be making this weekend for the Bardic War;  now, I just need to find a good model for the text.

Still no word about what exactly the plan will be for those of us who received a first AstraZeneca shot.  I’m not all that worried about it.  It’s not as if they’re going to forget about 850,000 people in Ontario, although given the general state of disorganization with the vaccine rollout, I’m sure there will be chaos involved initially.  I’m still 3 1/2 months out before my next shot is scheduled.  I’m sure they will figure it out by then.