Monday, June 4, 2012

If it's not one thing...

Man, yesterday... what a day it was.

The Official Events Of The Day began with what is my now-becoming-a-tradition pre-Commencement qi-gong treatment. It must have done something, because I made it just fine through the ceremony. Very easily! Wonderfully easy! I don't know exactly what he did, but I know that the most immediately obvious effect was that my pre-performance terror was gone. Completely! And never returned; even given that wacky things went on during the processional, the part of the service I worry most about. Nobody did anything like the way we rehearsed it.... Which, funnily enough, happens every time. Well, these shows are never the same... I should be used to that, by now. Actually, I am... I've been doing these things for long enough, it's just part of the "fun of live theater," as the saying goes.

As an experiment, I did try to play the organ pedals. The good news was that, unlike the way my ability to control my feet has been in the past—at the level of "bad enough" that I normally describe as "no @$#ing way"—my feet were much closer to usable, on the pedal board. Not actually usable, of course, not safely usable... but knocking on the door of "not today, but who knows? My feet might just work, someday, maybe."

Certainly more reassuring than their usual "don't waste your time even trying" state.

And even better news is that that organ, the Mighty Moller of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (you can see a picture of me sitting at it, in the sidebar at your right)... for that event, with that band, is the perfect combination to enable me to work around my limitations and still enjoy success. I know how to use that organ, and how to "break the rules" for organ registration and playing, to make up for the missing lower register of that the pedal board provides. I can't make the ground shake as much as I could when I could use those really low notes in the pedal division (16Hz-notes really rattle the building), but only God and I know what "might have been." For everybody else... it was just fine. A sign of just how fine: the school's front desk tells me that the parents have been calling the school simply raving with complements specifically about the ceremony's music!

And here's a sample: A recording of the recessional, Fanfare and Cort├Ęge, for brass quintet, organ, and percussion. Conducted by the composer (that'd be me), also featuring said composer on the crash cymbals.

Everything (performance-wise) went just fine, yesterday. A triumph!

Alas, this evening, the day after the triumph... was not as good. Managing everything that the commencement performance required—including my last public moments as a faculty member, something that wasn't officially announced during the ceremony, but I knew it—must have taken more out of me than I realized. I had been hoping to go somewhere this evening, and it became pretty quickly clear that leaving the house wasn't a good idea; I was physically very wobbly, and surprisingly emotionally and intellectually wobbly as well.

I don't often feel "defeated" by The Disease, or by life, or by anything for that matter, but I sure did tonight. And I don't know if it was just that "defeat" and feeling that staying home was the prudent and necessary choice even if I had been counting on going out tonight, or deferred effects from yesterday's Final Moments... but I'm really down.

Some herbal remedies tonight. Acupuncture tomorrow; that'll put things back to rights. It always does. But another "alas": I'm concerned that whatever elation the acupuncture gives me may be sullied because I'll be bringing with me the "doctor's forms" required by the filing-for-disability-insurance process.

Great. Yesterday, in the midst of musical triumph, dealing with something heavy and unpleasant (the end of my on-the-faculty-ness). And then dealing with something else that's new, and heavy, and unpleasant, which  requires me to face in a different way my physical state... to have to put "legal" imprimateur to calling myself "disabled." Which, I guess I have to admit, I am—notwithstanding imprimateurs of any variety.

As Rosanne Rosannadanna of bygone SNL used to say, "If it's not one thing, it's another."


Muffie said...

Robert, the music is exquisite! Might the school call you in for performances, on a per diem scale? Do they realize all they'll be missing? Good luck with all the filing for disability. I used the online option, and I had my duckies aligned prior to my face-to-face appointment. I was approved in 10 days (somewhat showed how really disabled I was) and thus began my new life.

Robert Parker said...

Thanks for your kind words!

In order... perhaps (for commencements, probably, the people who work the front desk told me that Monday's first calls were from parents simply gushing over the music); and sadly, some of them yes, some of them no.

Re: Disability filing... Oh, if I only had an online option available. I just dumped a stack of forms on my doctor's desk this morning, plus I've got employer forms to put through, plus my own insurance that still needs to send ME the forms, so I can send THEM the forms. But, if my luck is as good as yours (insurance-wise), it won't take horribly long. We'll see... From your keyboard to God's ears, as the saying goes in the 21st century.

nicole said...

One word. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!