Friday, June 15, 2012

How Creatively Do You Lose Things? Disappearing In Plain Sight

I think I should get a prize for how well I lost this punch card to the Spenard Jazz Festival.  We came home from the poetry night.  I knew I'd put the card in my shirt pocket.  But the next day I couldn't find it.  I called the Organic Oasis to see if anyone had found the card.  No.  It wasn't in the car.  Not on my desk.  Not in the cubby hole I put things from my pockets. I couldn't find it anywhere in the house.  We at least got two punches used up of the five.   When I finally find things, I usually try to note where they were, so that I have a list of places where to look for, say, the keys, or other items that I can't find.  So, this is a note for all of you.  A place where a small card can disappear in plain sight. 

Yesterday I was sitting on the bottom stair putting on shoes.  Now look at this picture and see if you can find the punch card. 

You can see (above) why I couldn't find the card.  But let's look a little closer - which I was able to do when I was putting on my shoes.

All I can imagine is that I pulled the various pieces of paper out of my shirt pocket at the stairs and the card somehow flew out and, against the odds,  got caught in the molding.  There are a lot of things that I misplace, and fret that I should have been paying better attention.  I feel no guilt over this one.  It was just a freak event.  Now, if the card had slipped in there facing the other way around, I would have found it easily as you can see in the next picture.

I'll just have to chalk this up as a donation to a non-profit that does a lot with very little.

[UPDATE 10:00am:  In the comments, Barbara says she's reminded of Beethoven's Rage Over a Lost Penny, Vented in a Caprice.  So, here, via Fledermaus1990's Youtube you can vent over whatever you've lost today.

In an untitled piece in Notes (June 1950) retrieved through JSTOR, Jacob Avshalomoff writes that Rage over the Lost Penny, Vented in a Caprice is 
“a title made up by the first publisher, Diabelli, when he issued the work posthumously in 1828 from the same manuscript used by Dr. Hertzmann.”  
He goes on to say that Dr. Hertzmann’s edition after the manuscript resurfaced in 1945 is far superior to the Diabelli edition.  He also tells us more about the piece itself:
Dr. Hertzmann demonstrates quite convincingly that the piece was not a late work, but was probably sketched by Beethoven between 1795 and 1798.  He thinks that Beethoven did this as some preparatory “homework” for his frequent public demonstrations of ‘improvisation,” and that this is why the composer did not finish up the piece and have it published.”

Thanks Barbara for the tip here.


  1. Sneaky.

    My husband boasts, "I can lose a piece of paper while it is still in my hand walking across a room!"

    I keep a list of all the things that have disappeared on me; most turned up, but some I must have put "in a safe place" never to be found again. Most maddening and mysterious, as you say. In loose minutes, I brood over them.

    Beethoven even wrote a piece of piano music about this: "Rage Over a Lost Penny, Vented in a Caprice"

    Robert Schumann wrote of the work that "it would be difficult to find anything merrier than this whim... It is the most amiable, harmless anger, similar to that felt when one cannot pull a shoe from off the foot", citing the work as an instance of Beethoven's earthliness against those fixated upon a transcendental image of the composer.

    I prefer to think of a scowling Beethoven, sheets of music flying, as he looks for that damn penny: it was here a minute ago!

    Things Rule. We Serve.

  2. Barbara, thanks for the Beethoven connection. I've added the music to the post.

  3. This is one of the things that get me nervous. I lost sometimes the ruler in my work table. It's like impossible! It's like if an invisible (with bad intentions) hand was moving it. And I always imagine a camera shooting the scene, in an unlikely place, with the ruler in close-up and me behind looking for it desperately...

    1. Love the visual.

      But a ruler IN your work table? Please enlighten us!

  4. The Caprice is a busy little thing, isn't it. Seems to go on and on at the same sewing machine rhythm, much like my mind when I am searching my mind's HD -- Find File -- for likely places the lost thing might be ... off and on for hours ...


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