Siege Diaries 7/11/2021


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: Am I dedicated to my craft?

(This was actually yesterday’s prompt; I got the two days reversed).

Here’s one I can answer with an enthusiastic yes. As much as I’m not an employed historian, I still practice it daily. And then there are the actual crafts I practice—the sewing, embroidery, and calligraphy—that constantly inspire me to push my limits of creativity. Continuous learning? I can’t not stop learning. Servant leadership? Something I am absolutely dedicated to, wherever I go. I pursue all of these with passion and dedication, to the best of my ability, because they are my raison d’être.

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So I’ve made it through a day of almost constant meetings. First, my composer friend’s 5th symphony (very cool!), half an hour with the CWH crew (reopening on the 21st), the Principal Heralds’ meeting at KWHSS, and then I ended up staying for the entire Laurel Road Show because my first RPG was cancelled. There was an after-KWHSS gathering, and then Pathfinder. No magma dragon yet.

During this, I started my ninth Shostakovich embroidery piece. Since I’ve started connecting my pieces in some way to corresponding Shostakovich symphonies, this one is inspired by the 9th symphony, the one that was expected to be a sprawling paean to the USSR’s victory in WW2 (and, by association, to Stalin) and ended up being a lighter, sarcastic romp with a neoclassical feel. So I decided this would be very much unexpected and rather unlike any of the previous pieces. What I’m doing here is reproducing five caricatures of Shostakovich on solid-coloured silk backgrounds. One of them, portrayed here, is by a Discord friend of mine, and made me squee at the fact that she drew a cat that looked like Shostakovich doing a very cat thing. I am thinking these are going to be a mini-quilt/wall hanging. I got this first one done and am well along on the second.

Also listening to the last piece on the Boston Symphony Shostakovich release, which is the op. 110a Chamber Symphony. This does *not* feel in any way like a “chamber piece.” Instead in the louder sections it’s like the entire power of the BSO strings is unleashed, and it’s rather spectacularly massive. Given the intimacy of the original, I was dubious about whether this would work and it actually does by by essentially going big and treating the work like a work for string orchestra, rather than a string quartet with more people on every part. The soloists are also amazing, particularly the cellist in the 4th movement, and then the violist that leads the transition into the 5th movement. It is by far the best rendition I’ve heard of the work.

Case count today is 166. Toronto is apparently set to top 60% fully vaxxed by the end of today. Apparently Waterloo goes to Stage 2 tomorrow. This means, officially, we can have SCA meetings and archery/thrown weapons practices again. It may be a little challenging to pull the trigger on something quickly, but we shall see. It would be nice to see people. But at the same time, we’re prepping for the next round of SMASH and I’m getting ready for another An Tir scribal challenge. It’s going to be an odd mix of mostly virtual activities right at the point where we start to see real momentum on reopening.

Oh, and apparently the Olympics. They’re still on. No spectators.