"Do you wish to roam farther and farther?
See! The Good lies so near.
Only learn to seize good fortune,
For good fortune's always here."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832 "Remembrance"
I was looking for the Muse and she came to me, bringing great good Fortune!
This past week has been incredible. Aside from the computer hassles a lot of interesting, good things happened. First, I have booked and paid for my ticket to Chile (leaving mid Nov.) I was invited to visit Santiago by the ex-wife of my dear friend A. It will not only be a sentimental journey, to visit the places he loved and told me about, but I will make it a travel writer's trip as well. One destination I really want to see is the home(s) of the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.
On Saturday it was the annual gala for the B.C. Travel Writer's Association. Last year's gala proved very lucky for me as I ended up winning the trip to Malaysia. I wasn't expecting any such great luck this year, but just to enjoy the afternoon with the travel writers, sitting in on the seminar and making a few contacts. I took along one of my friends who just finished my travel writing course and there were a few other former travel writing students of mine attending as well, some who now belong to the Association and have become quite successful travel writers. It was a fun afternoon, and of course the seminars are always very informative.
There are always several draws and both members and non-members can enter these. My friend and I decided if one of us won the spa trip or the mountain retreat get-away, we'd take the other along. Of course, we didn't have such luck to win any of those. I did win a flash thingy for my computer (to store files) and co-incidentally this was a gift donated by Malaysian Tourism and has their logo on it. There were lots of good prizes. Then the big one -- the door prize, for members only. And guess who won plane tickets for two to New York City(plus city tours)!!!
I was absolutely stunned and overwhelmed with surprise. Imagine that, winning the big prize two years in a row! What luck!
Of course I immediately begin to think, "Gee, Chile in November and perhaps N.Y. in September and still the possibility of Cuba in December with my Havana Buddy! Can I do this?" Then again, why should I feel 'guilty' about all these gifts of travel opportunities? After all, I AM a travel journalist!
"So my conscience chide me not, I am ready for Fortune as she wills."
Dante Alighieri 1265 - 1321 "The Divine Comedy" (1310-1321) "Inferno Canto" XV l. 91
My travel writing friends were all thrilled that I'd won. "You deserve it!" they chimed.
But I still can't believe what great good Fortune I have. The gods of travel and luck must be favoring me big-time. I have a lot to be grateful for. It's been thirty years since I visited New York. I had been there in '68 and on that trip I really 'found myself" (wrote one of my Confession stories about it.) That trip changed my life. The second time, I visited my friend and her husband and was just as thrilled, especially because she lived in the neighbourhood where my literary hero, Jack Kerouac, had gone to school. I saw the original show of "Hair" in N.Y.C. and was there just before Woodstock happened. So I am naturally really keen on seeing what N.Y.C. is like now, and especially to take in some shows and galleries. Wow! I can hardly believe it!
I've barely come down to earth today after such a stupendous weekend which included probably the best Mother's Day I've had in years. Calls from my kids, a lovely gift from my daughter, and at the end of the day a suprirse call from my grandson. I spent the day at a picnic with my friend Anne's family and even the weather co-operated with warm sunshine!
So I am starting this new week feeling elated and happy. Even the few glitches still in my computer won't deter me from making the best of things.
As it was Mother's Day, it seems appropriate that I was challenged to write a meme about Olympias, Alexander the Great's mother, so watch for it, coming soon to this blog site!
"Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth,
and set down as gain each dat that Fortune grants."
Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) 65-8 BC "Odes" bk 1, l. 13