Siege Diaries 3/14/2021

730 days.

New dye job on the new haircut.

Two full years.

I could not have predicted this. Had you told me, two years ago, that we’d be here, I’d have likely crumbled in despair. The metaphor was supposed to be that, a metaphor. But did I read something in the universe when I evoked the siege of Leningrad, the 891 days–or was my mind just focused on the performance of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, just out of reach, that had been denied me?

There have been several sieges within the larger one. The siege of the 2020 presidential campaign and the insurrection that followed. The assaults that triggered the Black Lives Matter movement. The discovery of unmarked graves at formal residential schools. More recently, the encirclement of Parliament Hill, recently dispersed, but now overwhelmed by the reality of war in Ukraine. And again, what did the universe know in denying me the grail of a concert conducted by Valery Gergiev–a grail I now denounce as false?

But the original siege is not over. We want it to be so badly, so very badly. Sunday was the first time we had kids in CWH for Night Ops in two years. They all wore masks, of course, but otherwise, it felt normal. There’s a concert next Sunday, and another on Monday, and another in sixteen days. I now have a stash of rapid tests in the house, but haven’t needed one yet. I don’t question random nasal congestion any more. There are game days with friends. There are plans for SCA events. No one freaks out at a COVID diagnosis any more–it’s assumed that they’ll be sick for a few days, maybe, but if they’re vaxxed, no one worries much. No one cancels events–concerts, hockey games, the Olympics–because one or even a few test positive ahead of them. Mandates are dropping like flies. The message now: Manage your own risk.

I’m not ditching the mask just yet. I’m still being cautious about eating in restaurants (we just did take-out from two of our favourites in the past week).

And I’m tired. Work has been a slog lately, and though parts of it are reinvigorating, there is also a not-insignificant part that, after about a year and a half where I really made a difference, I’ve felt like I’m not doing my job to the best of my ability–and a lot of that really is pandemic exhaustion. I’m hitching up my pants to rectify it, yes, and I don’t think I’m alone in not being perfect, but I’ve definitely gotten a little sloppy (and I know better, really). Life being out of balance for so long has meant a tendency to swing the other direction when the opportunities arose, and I’ve had a case of “don’t wannas.” I can do a half-decent job of things in my sleep, and that’s been enough until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. Anyway, fixable, with other projects in earlier stages where I can set standards right from the beginning.

Embroidery #14 is now mostly done. I’ve just made the executive decision not to use a photo background, but to paint it instead. The embroidered threads didn’t quite look right with the photo–I think it’s an approach that works well in black and white, but not as good with colour. Lesson learned. Here’s what it looked like:

It looks better in the photo than it did in real life.