Friday, November 30, 2007

Gratitude - Day 15

So I realize I've gotten a few days behind on my postings, due to travel and lack of (aaaaargh!) high speed internet. You see, yesterday was the PERFECT reason of why I decided to do this 'Gratitude Journal', because truly, it was a sucky day. I arrived in Paris yesterday morning to an enormous traffic jam, so what should have been a 25 minute journey morphed into a nearly 2 hour tour of the scenic suburbs. (As the meter rose to a heated crescendo, I disciplined myself not, under any circumstance, to convert the ever increasing number into dollars!) After several failed attempts at closing my eyes, courtesy of the impatient taxi driver's frequent outbursts of both speed and curse, I thought I might be able to get some work done, so I pulled out the music I was meant to rehearse that afternoon. Whether it was the jet lag, fatigue, or the sudden pulses forward, this traveller did NOT fare well mixing the reading and the driving, and proceeded to get sick. Fabulous way to start my time in Paris.

I made it to the hotel, the one with the broken internet connection, and got a quick 30 minute Churchill-style power nap in, and proceeded to open my suitcases to organize myself for the rehearsal. "That's strange," I thought to myself, "my jewelry container is open .... and .... oh holy %&#*$ ... and ... it's totally empty!" Wait, "Surely it just slipped out of its zipped pouch, and out of the zipped pocket I keep it in ... surely .... surely ... I've been totally ransacked."

Yes. It's true. I normally carry 3 different 'containers' of my jewelry with me - and we're not talking diamonds and rubies, etc - simply my every day items, plus my 'stage' jewelry, which I happened to have loved. I normally spread out the boxes in my luggage, zip it, tuck it away, etc, and in over 15 years of heavy travel, I've never had a problem. Well, now someone ELSE has a problem with the terrible karma they just incurred! They broke into both of my bags, ransacked it all, and took every last piece. I am really glad I know how to curse in so many different languages!

So, it comes time to post for the 'gratitude journal', and you know what? It worked! I quickly realized that in the broad scheme of things, it's so miniscule and minor and unimportant. I feel very violated, I have a surge of feelings regarding the stupid, pointless, degrading antics we have to go through like trained seals to pass through a "security" checkpoint at the airport meanwhile the workers in the back get free reign over our private items as if it were their own personal holiday shopping spree, and I do get quite tired of putting my belongings at risk each time I step out the door.

However, it is still rare that this happens, and the fact remains that in all my travels, I have been quite fortunate. I have also never been one to put a lot of stock in physical things, so this particular loss of 'bling' ultimately means nothing. (And if anyone is wondering why I didn't carry them on-board with me, I know...I know...I know...but in the end, we can only carry so much on-board with us.)

So, I took a few photos of the empty boxes lying carelessly in my luggage for any claim issues and went to rehearsal - tired, pissed off, and really, really jet-lagged. Singing was the very last thing in the world I felt like doing. But damn that Handel! After roughly 5 minutes of hearing the horns punch out their hunting calls in "Sta nell'ircana", my mood was lifted and indeed, I felt grateful. I also felt grateful posting this picture I took in the morning of the sunrise. Nothing ever seems that bad when we get a bit of perspective, right? Except for the bastard who stole all my things -- that karmic retribution is going to bite him in the ....... Gratitude. Right. I'll work on it!


ACB said...

Oh, sweetheart!! What a miserable day! :( I'm sending a big virtual hug.

But yes, aren't we lucky that music soothes as it does? That Handel is no less beautiful on a bad day, and it may be even more so.

I'm grateful for you and for your indefatigable spirit!!

Operafan said...

Thank you SO much for last night's concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, what an evening! Thank you for your beautiful voice, energy and for conveying such beauty, I am still walking on air!! And "merci" for the signing after the performance, it's definitely my turn to be grateful...

Yankeediva said...

Operafan - It was my pleasure, and lovely to put a name with a face! Thank you for the great enthusiasm!

pepita said...

Your post is now dating, but, your story and your gratitude made me think about a french song, sung by Georges Brassens (french singer with a guitar and a mustache of the 60's/70's) who got robbed one day. He then wrote a ... gratitude song for him !

Here it is translated (not by me !!!) in english:


Prince of cat-burglars and housebreaking
You who had the good taste to choose my house
While I peddled gaudrioles, my bawdy tales-
I have composed this song in your honor

Understand that I appreciate the value of the gesture
Which made you carefully close the door when you left
For fear that mere prowlers might make off with the rest.
Proper thieves are a rare thing in these times

You stripped me only of what was strictly necessary
Disdaining the execrable portrait
Given me for my birthday
What a good art critic you would bastard!

There was also another sign indicating your complete lack of blemishes:
Respectful of the good worker, you did
Not think it decent to deprive me of my guitar
Ah, holy solidarity of craftsmen!

For all these reasons, and after carefully considering the matter,
I pardon you without a single reservation
What you stole from me, old man, I give you freely
It couldn't have fallen into better hands

As for me, the one who talks to you with these little songs,
If I hadn't succeeded at singing
I might have turned dishonest, just like you
I might have become your accomplice who knows

When you sell your spoils be careful in your bargaining
Don't be too loose in your arrangements with receivers of stolen goods
Make them pay dearly, evoke the adage,
"Those guys are worse than thieves!"

Though I didn't call the police
Please don't feel at all obligated to return
The least repetition of the offense would annihilate its charm
Leave me, I beg you, with a good remembrance

Cat burglar my friend, may my goods profit you
May Mercury keep you out of prison
And free from too much remorse We're quits
Don't I owe a song to you

Post Script. If thievery is the art you prefer
Your one vocation your unique talent
Then set up a place of your own and go into business:
You'll even have the fuzz for customers!

Hoping you could recovered something, and so sad it happened in France :(