Siege Diaries 5/17/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  Am I on the path to progress?

Note that this does not say “the path to perfection”–because perfection is illusive.  Progress, on the other hand, is sometimes fast, sometimes incremental, hopefully never regressive (although Life does tend to interfere with that sometimes;  the pandemic has been helpful in some ways but in others, not so much).

Talking about it helps.  It keeps me honest about just where my challenges still are.

I’m currently taking a break from rehearsing Latin.   I’ve got the clothes I’m going to wear for the video downstairs, and I’m hoping to film tonight, but I’m waiting to confirm the pronunciation of my scroll recipient’s surname.  That’s important!

It was one of those wonderful Windows update days on the work computer.  After half an hour of updating, the VPN wouldn’t work.  After several restarts and just leaving it alone for a bit, I finally caved and called the helpdesk, which suggested resetting the router.  That worked.  Luckily, not a lot due today, and I got access before I had a deadline to meet.


A light schedule meant a gorgeous walk at noon.  The leaves on the trees are now approaching full emergence, at least in the woods on the escarpment, which made for very atmospheric hiking to the musical accompaniment of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio no. 2 (with its exquisitely yearning passacaglia movement).  And in the midst of that, I spotted the tree stump in the photograph.  In the midst of all of this burgeoning life, here was a thing that had once lived, but lived no more.  You could see the lines and traces and curves of what it once was, where it had once connected with living roots, standing amongst the same trees that towered overhead.  Once it was young, just a seed, and then it grew, and then it died, and now it was here for me to see, to remind me of what a legacy might be.  Because I did not see death in that stump–I saw beauty, and accomplishment of a life’s mission, and a different kind of life, at least for a time, still taking the form it once had.  Someday, even that will be gone, but what it once was will live on in the soil.  And even that will one day scatter, or be transformed into something else.   Nothing ever truly dies–it is transformed, and it will be thus for billions of years.


An order from Zulily arrived with clothes from Chico’s, a US store I’ve always liked.  One of the items was the most amazingly soft and flowy black tunic top.  I am in love.  I went back on the site to see if they had anything else in the same fabric.  No luck, but there was a short-sleeved top I’ve grabbed up.  The prices were very reasonable.  I’ve also ordered a pair of yoga pants from Amazon.  I’m thinking I may be wearing more of them this summer, when I want to wear lighter pants but don’t really want to wear shorts or capris in the house.  They were also not expensive.  If they work, I will order more, just like I did with the bralettes I found a couple of weeks ago.

Today’s COVID news:  about 2200 cases, but just 4 deaths, which is encouraging.  The downward trend continues, but I do wish it would trend faster.