benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: January, 2018

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

When he started reacting coldly to me this week, I assumed he was having a bad day.

 

I later learn that this manager has been promoted.

 

And then the complete avoidance of every friendly ritual we have developed over the past 5 years makes sense.

 

The anointing of a certain brand of masculine authority obviously cannot now be seen to fraternize with a homosexual.

 

Certainly not with the gay pianist whom everybody calls Sparkles, on account of his joyful demeanor and brilliant wit.

 

No worries on my part though.

 

I am grateful for the many others who are proud to claim me, not just in friendship, but intentionally, as chosen family.

 

Thank you for loving me exactly as I am, and for making me a better person by simply accepting me, without judgment.

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BIPARTISAN

A man comes up to me in between songs.

 

He says he has enjoyed listening to my music very much and he that appreciated me “enriching his dining experience.”

 

I introduce myself, shake his hand and thank him for listening

 

He then introduces himself, reaches into his coat pocket and hands me a business card.

 

We say goodnight and he leaves the restaurant.

 

As I place the business card on the piano bench, I glance at it and realize that the man is a United States Senator, currently in office.

 

A quick google search later, I find out that he is a Republican.

 

And even though I am all the things he is not – gay, Asian, an immigrant, a staunch Democrat – it does not matter, he still took the time to have a polite 30-second exchange with a stranger.

 

Because the Arts hold at their most fundamental, the amazing power to communicate across boundaries.

STICKING A PIN IN IT

As I lift the lid up on the piano, I notice that one of the two hinges is broken.

 

The L-pin that secures the connecting halves has fallen out.

 

I search the ground but see no pin.

 

Since it’s not ideal to leave the lid up, precariously supported by only the one remaining good hinge, I shut it back down and sigh.

 

I’m cranky that I have one more item on my list of things to do, but understanding that it won’t get done tonight, I sigh and promise myself that I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

 

The next morning, I’ve forgotten about the whole hinge situation, so I automatically go to lift the lid before I sit down to play.

 

And I’m simultaneously reminded that it was supposed to be broken, and surprised when I feel no shift or wiggle in the movement.

 

I set the lid down and go around to check the hinge in question.

 

There’s a pin snugly nestled there.

 

The janitor probably found it after hours and knew exactly what to do with it.

 

The expression “sticking a pin in it” derives from the WWII slang of putting a pin in a grenade so that it will not detonate.

 

Nowadays, it’s an ill-used business term to shelve an agenda item for discussion later, probably never.

 

This week though, it means that when I waited purely out of necessity, an ordinary miracle happened.

STAY HUMBLE, HUSTLE HARDER

The thing about New Year’s resolutions is that they can really turn against you.

 

Remember how last year was supposed to be: more glitter, less bitter?

 

I must have used a billion gallons of glitter to offset the million incidents that could have turned my heart black(er) with malice.

 

Good thing, I buy my glitter wholesale and in bulk.

 

So I’m wondering what it will mean this year to: stay humble, hustle harder.

 

Already, on my first day back at work I got bitched out for something I didn’t do, which I am pretty damn sure I wasn’t told to do in the first place.

 

I stayed humble by biting my tongue, then apologizing for the miscommunication, even though it wasn’t mine, and just walked away, fuming in very reticent silence.

 

Now, I’m anticipating what kind of unforeseen road to personal growth hell is paved with the intention of hustling harder.

 

Maybe, I should continue to keep stocking up on that glitter.