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!