Friday, April 16, 2010
The boat trip syndrome
Once when I was about 10 or eleven, some organizers planned a boat trip to a group of kids my age. I begged my parents a week in advance to give me permission to go. "We will see," was their answer. I asked every single day, twice, three times, more sometimes. I suddenly became the most obedient and tidiest kid. I asked the same question in different ways and I talked about different topics from the wonders of the sea, waves, whales, marine flora, swimming, and swimsuits, boats.. ah speaking of boats. These were the first days. The strategy changed later on, to pouting, untidiness, crying, and threatening. Of course they talked about all sorts of sea dangers, including getting lost on an island and turning into a mermaid. But at the end they succumbed to my relentlessness and persistence (they maybe didn't care much after all if I drown and get eaten by a shark) and I am not sure which of the strategies worked, maybe the combination. I celebrated. I packed. I readied whatever necessary and unnecessary. I went mentally on the boat a million times. I tried the deck and the front seat. I jumped from the boat and I wandered on the island. I crossed calendar days. I counted the hours. I named the few things that need to pass before the day comes. Finally, on the eve of the big day, as I went to bed very early, it started raining. It was summer time! but I didn't lose hope. I was certain that it will stop soon and it will shine again, next morning. It wasn't wishful thinking. I was certain of that because that is what ought to happen, because I prayed, because I wished it, no because I willed it. My parents started preparing the ground to avoid a major deception, to bring me back to reality. But they didn't believe me when I told them "you will see. It will stop. the trip is still on". That night, I didn't sleep, I heard the whistling wind and listened to the rain, the heavy rain. I imagined it stop at one time, but it didn't. I woke up very early next morning. I put on my boat trip costume. I stood on the balcony and I watched the heavy rain. The boat trip was canceled. I wasn't upset because of that. I was upset because it was canceled because of me. It was canceled because I wished it so much, and because when you want something very dearly, you never get it. I grew up of this traumatic story now and I came to like the rain but I believe that I need to adjust the innocent wisdom that unveiled itself on the balcony that day: You always get what you will heartily just make sure the weather or God can't have a say in it.