I’ve been in the confessing mood lately, I suppose, for I have a few posts I plan to roll out in my Confessions category.
There’s something we Protestants are missing out on, because there aren’t confessionals in or near our sanctuaries — we have basketball hoops in mine. Now, I’m not advocating confessing sins to a priest for the sake of absolution. The book of Hebrews tells us we have a High Priest who can rightfully absolve our sins. But there is something to confessing to others, to getting something off your chest. And realizing maybe, just maybe somebody else struggles similarly. Here goes …
Perpetual Fear of Slicing My Pinky
I have a debilitating fear of peel-back cans. Not soda cans with their pull tabs. (Of course, even terror couldn’t prevent me from ripping into a 12-ounce can of cherry-flavored high fructose corn syrup.) No, I’m thinking more like soup cans. I’d prefer a manual, hand-held can opener and having to handle the removed lid with utmost care. It’s the violent pull of the tab that frightens me so. I close my eyes and hope for the best.
Back when I was in college, I had the opportunity to house-sit for a week. I went to school in the town I lived, so I still lived with my parents. When you live with your parents, any opportunity to sleep somewhere else is one you grasp no matter the requirements. Mine involved taking care of pets.
You may not have figured out by now that I’m not a big pet person. Frankly, I’d rather not have them around. Several years ago we adopted a cat we call Leopold to take care of our mouse problem, which he did aptly, like a mafia hit man. Even now, despite that he hasn’t seen action in a few years, he carries himself like Joe Pesci: “What am I your clown?!”
Back to housesitting– The homeowner had a large dog I had to walk and a cat that preferred canned food. All was going well in my temporary bachelor pad until one morning I carelessly pulled the tab of Fancy Feast and sliced my pinky finger. It bled quite a bit before I could find the Band-Aids, but I cleaned and forgot about it.
Later that day I was playing a piano in one of the practice rooms, preparing for a jazz band concert and a recital the coming weekend, and was doing fine until I realized the keys had become quite slippery. I looked down and noticed I’d managed to smear blood over half the keyboard. Apparently, the constant pressure broke what little scab had developed.
Thankfully, there was a nurse’s station nearby. I re-bandaged my wound and cleaned and sanitized the piano. But I like to blame my poor performances that weekend on my inability to practice the rest of the week. Which brings me to another confession.
Blind and Prideful
Sometimes when I flub a note in performance, I lean forward and squint at the music in front of me as though I couldn’t see the correct notes. Yeah, that’s what it was. I couldn’t see the music. Surely there wasn’t a miscommunication between my brain and my fingers. I’d rather my audience thought I was blind than capable of playing an incorrect note.
Something else I do, but this only works in jazz music, is to re-play at least once more an incorrect note. It works like this: if I’m happening along well and suddenly a wrong note gets played — notice my passive tense here, as though I’m not responsible for the mistake — I’ll work in that wrong note again in my next passage. Yeah, I meant that. Doesn’t that sound cool?
So there you have it. I’m prideful and terrified of peel-back cans.