Failure to Adapt

It’s really been frustrating me that I can’t get these simple piano pieces together.  It should be an easy gig; I should be able to plan ahead and find somebody to help me.  I should be able to afford to replace my smartphone; or, save up dutifully until I can afford one.  But I keep showing myself that I can do none of these things.  I try, and it all falls apart.  Then I become discouraged, and I lose confidence, and I start thinking I’ll never get it together.  

Today, for example, I made a point of tracking down someone who wouldn’t mind going over to the church with me with their smartphone so I could do the two-person job of making this piano recording.  One of the volunteers at the Center gladly agreed.   But he does have a mental health condition, as do all of us who frequent the Center.

See the source imageHis, however, is different than mine.  When I asked him what his diagnosis was once, he told me that they had boiled it down to “Failure to Adapt.”  (I’ve never personally heard of such a diagnosis, but I can believe it.  I haven’t succeeded at “adapting” too well myself.)

So I was relieved and thrilled to be able to make a piano recording.  We did it, and I think it took, and I think it sounded good, except for a few mistakes.   But before I began to play the piece, following setup, he asked if he could “take a break.”

“Sure!” I said.

I then proceeded to wait for him for over two hours in the church.  I became increasingly anxious.  Believe me, with my absent-mindedness, I am the last person to be trusted with somebody’s device.   I even misplaced the phone during the two hours when I was at the church, and had to scramble from room to room trying to find it.

When I called the Center to ask if he was there, they said he was not.  They also reminded me that it’s company policy not to give out phone numbers of the people who have given their numbers to the Center.  So I couldn’t call him.

When the two hour wait was over, I emailed him that I would go to the Center and leave his phone there in a safe place.

I went to the Center, and to my surprise, he was there!   He never even came back to the church to get his phone.  Now I begin to make sense of the “Failure to Adapt” diagnosis.  When I spoke with him, there was clearly no idea in his head that he had even inconvenienced me, let alone did it register with him that I might not want to be responsible for his phone.

Neither he nor I could figure out how to find the iPhone equivalent of what is called the “gallery” on an Android.  He then suggested that somebody named Matt would know what to do.   I had to be at the clinic in about ten minutes, so I took off.

The good news is that there probably is a song or two on that phone somewhere.  Then, I will have to upload it to my youtube channel, or maybe get some kind of drive I can get it on, so as to relieve him of further obligations.  Probably, I can get it together by Wednesday, if I focus.

I don’t know.  I’m just spent.  Maybe I’ve made too big a deal out of the whole thing, but it just seems that some of you were getting into these piano offerings, and it sucks that I’m not getting it together.   Like the quote says, “all failure is failure to adapt.”   I guess I better start adapting.

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Gratitude List 1192

1. Went to bed early (seven or so) and slept well — possibly too well — till about 4:45am. Was definitely up & about after that. Grateful to have gotten up early, and felt early morning wakefulness and light spirits.

2. Strongly sensing that a lengthy period of isolation and extremely low self-regard has come to an end.

3. Courtyard Cafe, nice Starbucks coffee. Had a large “tastes like morning” from the Sunset, too, which discouraged going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head again, like a slacker.

4. Phone is working again, though dimly. Thinking of the need for a new phone, I also can’t help but think how I actually have held on to this Samsung, ever since it was awkwardly gifted to me, and have not hurled it to the ground in order to stomp it to bits. So a new phone is not out of the question, as it once would have been.

5. Nice of the pastor Jodie to think of me for a 10am Sunday piano playing engagement of some sort; however, I also told her to give me a day to think about it, as I am unaccustomed to people asking me to play piano during the period of a church service. Still, nice of her to think of me; and I noticed I got on with her very well at Theology on Tap.

6. Grateful for the positive spirit of acceptance and belonging that pervades the community wherein I dwell.  The strong sense of community here is a big deterrent to my tendency to want to isolate myself more deeply.

7. Grateful for some of the things I learned on the streets, though others must be shed. Thankful for developing discernment, to absorb what’s of value and discard the rest.

8. Though I’ve not been feeling entirely good about the communication to Dave that prompted the recent suspension of operations, I’ve not until this morning known exactly what it is about it that wasn’t exactly right. Now I see it, and I see that healing is possible.

9. Great that Kathy printed a new vocal score (sans opening & closing numbers) consisting of the most recent pdf files of all the individual numbers, pagination removed, per my request. This can’t help but be useful. Probably there will still be typos on certain pages, but those individual pages can be readily replaced and rebound. And then, the full body of the score will inform my opening and closing enhancements. Also great that she did new covers for the Pinnacle remakes, for I have brought five of them with me, plus two Exiles.

10. Got the interview down to shortly over one hour and posted it here. Information as to actual dates for the reading is no longer factual, but I just posted a disclaimer along with it. The thing is, I know to take the time to do all my particular homework before we reconvene.

And for that, the Howard piano is very strong for the kind of unique syncopation that characterizes the “Sirens” number I am trying to squeeze into Eden in Babylon in place of both versions of “Intervention.” The Baldwin grand can’t even accommodate any of those subtle accents and other distinct articulations. Finale software can pretty much replicate them, but the light action on the grand opposes them. Another good case for hanging on to the Howard.

It was good to get some of J’s things transferred as well. Maybe by now the Harvard Classics have been sent down. But still, my place of residence is dark and dingy and destitute. I’ve had to defer to the excellence of the Howard piano not to wish to succumb to a lingering urge to chop it into firewood. I sometimes wish I were just sleeping outdoors somewhere, and that I just didn’t have to mess with any of this burdensome household garbage. But I guess that’s just my stuff. God is Good.

Please donate to Eden in Babylon.
A little bit goes a long, long way.