Siege Diaries 9/25/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: What am I a slave to?

I think the challenge here is figuring out the difference between being a slave to something and seizing opportunities for (whatever) when they present themselves.

Can I live without live music? Well, I found a way to do that for about 17 months. Living without music altogether? Much harder–but the likelyhood that I’ll ever find myself completely deprived of hearing music is low.. The same goes to being creative–again, I might find myself deprived of art supplies. but I would think the desire to create might transcend whether I had just the right supplies.

Right now, I’m in a pretty good place. I can get what I want, but it’s also a lot of fun to look at what I have and to try to improvise. It’s saved me money and often made me happier, because, again–it’s stretched my creativity.

I think part of this is my essentially flexible nature. Don’t have the exact right thing? What can I improvise? Not able to do activity X in the way I’m used to? What other ways are there to do it?

When it’s one’s favourite composer’s birthday, one lights 115 candles for him. (What? You mean you don’t?)

At least my favourite composer isn’t Bach.

Lighting 115 candles was certainly an adventure, but I’m certainly improving at this. It’s amazing how fast these things burn. But they also extinguished quickly. Next year, I’ll position the candles in the middle higher up and try to do them all on one section rather than two.

And then you have some special food. This time it was pelmeni (purchased from an honest-to-God perogi factory outlet that I’ll be returning to again because PEROGI FACTORY OUTLET –they had about 20 flavours, including the fruit-filled kind!) and smoked whitefish. (Starsky’s was out of of eel). These were both things Shostakovich was known to have loved. So that was lunch.

I used a plate made by Larissa for these things. She’s one of the two people I think of when I think of perogi or pelmeni, and I think she would have liked that.

Other than that, it’s been a lot of music. I’ve listened to all six concertos, the Quintet and Trio no. 2, all five sonatas, and I’m on the back end of the op. 87 Preludes and Fugues. I’ll start the quartet cycle tomorrow.

And we did a group listen to this on my Shostakovich Discord server.

I also put the first stitches into the next Shostakovich embroidery project, but then I spent most of my embroidery time on my Cat of Brutalism. I’m just about happy with him, and tomorrow I’ll hopefully get him installed into his rightful place on Montreal’s Olympic Stadium

I also planted 20 iris bulbs from Dollarama. I will be curious to see how they do.

Finally, I attended an online class on the International Phonetic Alphabet. I finally understand what exactly the vowel chart is, and consequently what happened with the Great Vowel Shift.

Tomorrow: besides completing my Cat of Brutalism, there’s an SCA picnic, a scribal thing I need to get done, maybe some planning for a speech I’m doing on Thursday plus the upcoming Speechcraft session, and Pathfinder. I have a small embroidery commission I may sketch out tonight so I can work on it tomorrow.