Saturday, April 12, 2014
I've been known to engage in a number of endeavors that turned out to be, in spite of my best intentions, epic fails. Most recently there was the saga of trying to get new glasses, an utter failure, yet expensive since I paid for frames I will never use and also for the eye exam which the eye doctor refused to refund. I spent a lot of money for nothing but frustration.
How about the ill-fated wish for birthday cake this year, the many disappointments leading up to the day when I ordered a Very Expensive cake from a bakery in Georgetown, for which I had to pay in advance. It snowed on my birthday. I decided to pick up the cake the following day. The bakery will only hold cakes one day. As I tried to make my way through the pools of icy slush to get to the bakery, I twisted my ankle. At that point I asked myself, "Do you even want that cake?" I did not. Turned around, limped home. Yep, that was an exercise in futility all the way around. An expensive failure.
This week's epic fail was my annual visit to see the cherries around the Tidal Basin. The trees were beautiful, yet the mood was, of all things, somber. I've never felt a melancholy mood down there when the cherries were in bloom - never. And it wasn't just me - I was with two friends who also said it felt off. The trees looked a bit off, too. I think winter was very hard on them. As soon as we left the Tidal Basin, all three of us cheered up and went for sushi. It was weird.
A few years ago, I decided to learn to play the bass. It's something I wanted to try for many years. When I moved into the chateau at last I had the sound proofing to make me think it would be ok to practice. I rented a bass, I hired a teacher. But alas, I have a dainty little pinky finger. It's the pinky that presses on the largest string of the bass. I am not made to play the bass after all.
I could go on. I could describe my marriage, for instance, but I think you get the idea.
I'm not sleeping well. I'm worried about the trip to Paris, worried I'm about to engage in an Outrageously Expensive Epic Fail. I talked to a friend who has been recently, who said a malaise has laid a thick layer of discouragement over the city. Recently the city suffered from smog so terrible, it made the news here in the states, and a week later, dust from the Sahara. I'm getting it, that Paris, the city soul I mean, is struggling right now. I wanted to go in order to recharge after the hideous winter here, but I'm worried that I'm heading right into the same energy, only intensified since it is Paris. What was I thinking, buying the ticket?
If I could, I would cancel the trip. I've invested a lot of money already, though. I'm trying not to get stuck in this spiraling thought form. I'm trying to disbelieve it, to follow the advice I hand out so often which is: Remain curious, stay open. Anything could happen. Be open. I'm trying. I believed in my new glasses, I was enthusiastic, even determined. Same goes for the cherry blossoms, my birthday cake, my marriage, playing the bass. I can not locate a single calorie of enthusiasm for the upcoming trip. I am so worried. Oy vey!
When I mention my sense of dread about the trip, everyone tries to reassure me. I'll see some comments to that effect here, I imagine. I hope everyone else is right about this and that it turns into a great trip. Right now, since the weather has turned around, I want nothing more than to walk the streets and boulevards of this city, my home. After two years of longing with all my heart to go to Paris, now I dread it.
It was the dream of birthday cake that I loved, the fantasy of playing the bass, of my new glasses. It's a dream of Paris I've invested in. You can see, can't you, why I'm feeling discouraged and superstitious. Can you?