Siege Diaries 9/28/2021

Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: How will I respond to the things that happen today?

“You have the ability to decide what each event means to you…and how you will respond.”

This statement has, over the last number of years, meant everything to me.

And we are down to two weeks left on the Daily Stoic journey.

Facebook memories can be both sweet and painful.

Two years ago, I was in Nashville, anticipating the performance of Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony, which I had driven over 11 hours (over two days) to hear. This is still an almost-unbelievable event; even more so in our current age.

Thirteen years ago, I was in Columbus. Dad was in the hospital. I had arrived the day before. He’d had some kind of hemorrhage (to this day, I’m still not quite sure exactly what happened) that was causing bleeding in the brain. He hadn’t looked all that bad on the first day I visited, but on the second day, he was incoherent and attempting to pull out IVs.

I stayed for a couple more days. He was more or less stable, so I returned home, with a word to my uncle to let me know if things deteriorated significantly.

Unfortunately, I would not see him alive again. He died on October 7.

The odd thing is that because of what’s happened in the last 18 months, both events feel almost equally remote to me–like things that happened in a different lifetime.

The CD of Igor Levit’s performance of the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues (along with another piece based on the DSCH motif) arrived today, and I listened to the former. It’s an interesting performance–it’s much more intimate and introverted than the Melnikov recording that has been my standard go-to, almost as if Levit is playing for himself rather than to an audience–which, in a way, makes sense given that he performed the work, livestreamed, from his home in 2020. (The recording is more recent, dating to May of this year). There is often a delicacy and haziness about his approach, which definitely provides a different perspective on the work. I do like it.

Also, there was a little bit of swag with the recording. I will have to figure out where I want to put a large sticker (the size of a CD).

I’m also still working my way through the Shostakovich quartets. This post is being composed while listening to nos. 9 and 10. I’m going to go through 11 tonight as well and hopefully finish up the cycle tomorrow.

Speechcraft session went really well today. The Speechcrafters are really good speakers already, for the most part. I was pretty damned impressed.

I was glad the Eoforwic meeting was online today, because I got a message at 7:27 to jump on a Privy Council call, which I wouldn’t have been able to do had I been sitting in a coffee shop. Discussion of the SCA’s new COVID policy ensued; no real surprises there.