Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We'll see

It's amazing what I miss, and don't miss, now that I'm wheelchair-bound. Many of these things went the way of all things mortal, long before I was fully "accessorized" by the M.S. effects...

Organs. I used to play all sorts of organs...

The Ruffati organ at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA. I played that one a lot. Was also the first church at which I had to turn down an organ gig, because I couldn't deal with the pedals. At least the bench had a back so I couldn't fall off. Backwards...

First Congregational Church, Los Angeles CA. The largest organ installed in a church in the world, Makes a wonderful noise, it does; please enjoy my festival improvisation on that very instrument! I was for a while their "first call" sub, when they were between salaried organists; I understood the instrument well enough that with very little notice, just tell me what the hymns are this week and with a couple of days of registration tweakage/practice, I was all set. Just add water, instant service! Oh, those were the days.

I don't necessarily miss "being an organist." What I miss is being able to walk (yes, walk) up to the instrument, sit down at it, and just play it. And have fun. There are all sorts of quite glorious instruments here in LA, the Rosales organs in various locations, some really awesome instruments in unusual "what a wonderful surprise that you guys have one of those!" places.

None of these instruments can be accessed except by ordinary non-MS-style walking. The First Congo organ requires steps. And, if heaven forfend, you want to use the console at the back of the church, you gotta go up a whole bunch of stairs. I always used the front console, I never even tried the back one, I've never even sat at it. I'm sure they'd let me in to it, but... you gotta be able to get to it. Which, today, I can't. (And by the way, for those people who don't like me saying "can't"...  screw you. I've tried. I can't. As Dick Cheney is often quoted on Family Guy, go f--k yourself.)

So, why bring this up? First... I just found the photos on my computer, I figured I'd share them, what the heck. But being wheelchair-bound and stripped of a long-beloved way of life doesn't necessarily equal "regret." Such is the way of all flesh... things change. Or as some MD's concurred with my sporadic "vaso-vagal" near-fainting experiences... Yeah, that s--t happens, sometimes.

I still can, or at least I like to think I can, compose new music, if I can sit at the machine long enough to confront the composition process. But, today I've gotta do some cascada sagrada, a long-favorite herbal formula made out of what's basically just tree bark. What's precisely what's gonna happen is not clear, but I expect everything will come out all right, and I'm sure you can guess what I'm talking about, you don't want more details and honestly, neither do I.

So, off to sneak some lunch, then cascada myself, and meditate. Maybe work on music? We'll see what cascada has to contribute to the day... Who knows? We'll see.

That's pretty much the two most-often said words by all of us MSers, in ever so many contexts...
We'll see.
But as I always remind us, and myself, that's life, though, isn't it?


Muffie said...

I love listening to your music -- what a loss for our world that you can no longer perform. If there were a way to get you seated on an accessible bench, would your hands/fingers be able to use the keys? I wish you success with the composing.

Robert Parker said...

I am one of the few people you'll ever meet who needs a bigger butt. More ample padding... Compounding the issues are hands wandering in and out of control; imagine the note-control provided by a full-on face-plant into the keyboard, and that's what my hands sound like.

I'm still looking for alternatives, but it may simply be for another day... or a bygone one. Who can say?