Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Can I take a blow and stay in the ring?
The associated meditation today talked about how the Stoics loved boxing/wrestling metaphors like we would now use hockey or baseball metaphors–apparently boys were generally taught the pugilistic arts. It reminded me of the Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Boxer”:
In the clearing stands a bozer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down or cut him
“Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving,” but the fighter still remains.
It’s clear here the metaphor: The boxer stays in the ring despite being beat down so badly that he cries out in pain; he can’t leave, because he knows no other life. That’s what the rest of the song is about as well. It’s a song of resilience, but also of profound loneliness and desire for a different life.
There is something quite admirable about a person (or a place) that can sustain multiple blows and just keep getting back up and fighting. But no one sings the song of the fallen fighter. Being able to take a few blows is strength. Being unable to know when those blows are so fierce that they are ending you is not admirable, unless you have a desire for martyrdom or to be deemed a cautionary tale.
Vacation day 1: Slept in a bit. Hiked out to Albion Falls. The temperature was something fierce for late May, but the trails were not busy and I took it easy up the final hill, so I did not come home exhausted.
Spent a little time in the back yard, planting a couple of the perennials in the large pots in the back and killing a few weeds. Did some Toastmasters planning. Watched this week’s episode of The Bad Batch. Painted a birthday card for my Aunt Connie, who’s turning 90. I’ve also booked mini golf for Tuesday, and crossing my fingers that the weather behaves.
Currently listening to an Ideas episode on the Paris Commune. That’s one historical event that fell into into the Great 19th Century European Void for quite a few years. It took that exhibit on Impressionism at the AGO a couple of years ago, and then the fact that Shostakovich wrote his first film score for a movie about the Commune, for me to learn about it.
They’re starting up second vaccinations for AstraZeneca now. The initial groups that got their shots back in March will go first. It sounds like there is a decent chance that if I want to take AZ for my second shot, I may not have to wait until August. Fingers crossed. Just about to the end of the period to be marked as free from the rare blood clots. Today’s cases were under 2000 again.
I was listening to Ideas as well. I never knew anything about the Paris Commune. The French certainly do have a history of killing one another.
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