Yesterday was a long and discouraging day, trying to get my studio up and running. I urgently need to get back to work — well, I urgently needed to be back at work a few days ago — but I’m not recording yet.
It’s never seamless to move a studio. Despite considering in the month before I left Maine everything that could possibly go wrong and trying to plan ahead and take preventive measures (backing everything up, deleting unnecessary files to make more hard drive space, carefully mapping every connection and setting to make the rebuilding process idiot-proof), when everything was set up and ready to go, there was an aggressive, high-pitched whine that would not go away.
Multiple visits to Facebook to enlist the advice and counsel of my audiobook compatriots, multiple phone calls and emails throughout the afternoon with my wonderful friend Charles at CDM Studios, another phone call to local Brick Shop Audio in Brooklyn for more helpful suggestions from Chris, and a $111 visit to Guitar Center for new XLR cables and a power converter later, the hum was louder and angrier than ever. Finally, at 4:30, Charles determined that my preamp is on the fritz.
This is probably not a problem I can solve today, though I’m trying to find a solution that will let me make up for some lost time in the booth. I feel anxious and sick to my stomach. The cause of this terrible feeling is not primarily because I’m falling behind schedule when I cannot afford to, financially or with my patient publishers or within the confines of a tight schedule, but something ultimately more important. I feel great heartache and concern because the business of being in a relationship means that one’s deepest flaws are revealed through the eyes of another person, and that’s what I see in myself right now.
Despite considering all my life what I want and what I don’t want, how I want to be, and what I’ve seen that didn’t work very well, it became painfully apparent to me recently that my perspective on relationships is on the fritz, and I must work harder to recognize my flawed thinking and practice better habits. I have been blessed with unwavering, above and beyond support and encouragement and kindness and generosity, devoted and loving partnership, but still I’m stumbling around like a baby just learning to walk, and it’s painful and terrifying and maddening to see yet again that I still have so far to go to be the best person and partner I can be. I feel ashamed, regretful, angry with myself, anxious about what will happen if I can’t put myself together.
This is not a problem I can solve immediately, either, but one that needs ongoing attention and consideration. But today is a new day and a new opportunity to do better, to take responsibility for my failings and flaws and to forgive myself for them, to communicate clearly and courageously, to try again with more integrity and deeper wisdom. I just don’t want to run out of time.