A few days ago, I "got a gig" to play three hours of piano music at a fundraiser at the Hilton Grand Ballroom here in Chicago. Pretty cool, huh? It's pretty much my dream job -- just to play soft, Classical background music while about a thousand folks drink wine and "network" and hobnob.
So, for the past couple of days I've been brushing up on my soft, non-intrusive Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Schubert -- the foofy stuff I like; things that are appropriate when one is standing around with a glass of Chardonnay. I would play some background, plinky-plunky "light jazz" but I'll admit to total ineptitude and ignorance when it comes to jazz, light or otherwise.
I'm really looking forward to this gig. A lot.
Last night, I was reaching for a large saucepan from my wall where all my kitchen equipment hangs. Just as I plucked it, a stock pot fell from its perch and smashed my left thumb against the pan I was holding.
Bleeding ensued. As I was applying first aid, I noticed that my thumb was already swelling noticeably. Not a good sign. Luckily, the thumb wasn't broken or at least I don't think it is. It just has a really bad boo-boo.
My thumb is green and swollen, but I'll manage.
I had a chuckle when I thought about my mom. She's been a public school athletic coach for decades. She was top-notch at tennis, basketball, track and especially softball. I can still remember her when I was a kid as she pitched lots of really mean fast balls and strike-outs. (To other opponents -- not at me.)
At sports, I was even more inept than I am at playing jazz, but mom was always there with a sports analogy. (She also taught me to throw a pretty perfect free throw -- something I can still do to this day.)
"No pain, no gain," was often heard from mom.
So tonight as I grace the notes of Schubert and Chopin, I'll ironically be applying her coaching wisdom and just "play through the pain."