Having decided once again to change my life, this time changing my address, but with a re-set change of mind as well, I have taken a little apartment like the Newbie I'm not, which means getting furniture, linens, spoons, and a (I hope) fresh mind, I began the day dressing for a swim, which always clears my head, which, as friends may have noted, has not been on exactly straight, as I am unsettled by the preparation for being a beginner. My friend Andrew, who is clever but also a little unsettled in his mind, said "What are you making such a fuss about? You can always come back." That is great wisdom on his part, which he can have for other people, but the whole point is I want to settle in and write.
So the first thing I did in my innocent(hardly apt except in the spiritual sense) re-beginning was buy a MacAir, so I would not have to schlep my heavy Mac in my already overloaded carry-on, little imagining that not only lighter, it would also be really little on the screen. And to my continuing surprise-- everything comes in as a surprise, since little in Change can be expected, and that is why it is Change-- my vision, like me, has gotten older. So the screen looks really small. So I planned to hie me to the Apple store after my swim.
Surprise #2. The hotel where I stay because there is never anyone in the pool, and I have discovered at this late juncture in my road that I must have been a princess in a previous life, or, indeed, in this one, that I don't like other people in the pool, having spent some glorious time in pools throughout the planet that belonged to friends, as it did with my beloved Ball family, or, as in the case of the Cipriani in Venice, could be crashed after five o'clock when the lifeguard went home, or, eventually, when I had the good fortune to be writing for the Wall St. Journal Europe and was actually covering that great and costly hotel, and then had the even better fortune to become friends with the world's best hotelier, its director Natale Rusconi, and could be invited, or, in the case of the Hotel Bel-Air in LA where I had the majesty to have a dog, Happy, who wrote about it, and went on Oprah and would have been immortal, but she didn't show the book, having learned the humility that comes from shattered expectations, I got up this morning to simply swim. Only the pipes had broken, so the pool was closed. Oh, well.
From expectations come disappointment: one of the first lessons taught by the great Jack Kornfeld, who, thank God, I had a CD of last night that I'd played as I unpacked, so even though I didn't sit and follow the In and Out of my breath I had his deep, soothing voice to more or less calm me, and give me the security of knowing there was someone brilliant in the world to guide me, or at least let me know that it would all be all right, even if it wasn't.
And then there is the joy of the Unexpected: in my room as I arrived was a great vase of tulips, a birthday gift from my beloved Jamie, the beauty of the flowers surpassed only by the elegant-- what is it? bag? purse? flash of wonder? No, wait, Matthew here at the Apple store where I have come to try and familiarize myself with this machine. even though my head has not been cleared by the swim I couldn't have, really knows design and describes it as a 'canvas tote,' in the shape of a 'half arc.' So that's what I have, this magnificent beige, that's the color, beige canvas tote, semi-huge, with an embroidered, embossed monogramed GD in the center, so I feel like a fashion plate, albeit one with an ego.
Now I begin to feel comfortable with this small, veritably weightless machine, so I can leave here now and go buy some towels for my new, empty apartment, where I shall have almost no furniture, and be Zen Gwen. Please God.