Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thousand Cranes

This time tomorrow I will be in Manhattan for Blogapalooza.  I really don't have much planned out in the way of Must See adventures.  I know I want to walk around Central Park some and I know I want to visit Chinatown.  Not sure how all this will factor in to conference sessions and socializing and all of that but the Chinatown thing is kind of important for me.

Here's why.

The first time I kicked around a Chinatown was in San Francisco on my honeymoon.  X stayed in the hotel room that day claiming illness and I wanted to walk around the city for a while.  So I went alone.  I just walked and walked and browsed through teeny tiny shops and marveled at all the trinkets and apothecary walls and art.  It was fascinating.  And I saw a scarf.

It was a beautiful pale blue silk scarf probably 4 feet square with a painted scene of a bare tree with black branches on one side and a flock of cranes taking flight toward the other.  It looked like hope to me and I was captivated.  The man in the store called the print The Thousand Cranes.  There was some legend behind it. 

According to Wikipedia:
An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Asia, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person's wish come true.
I know!  Can you believe it?  I actually found a Wikipedia entry that didn't make blood trickle out of my ear from reading.  I'm shocked too. 

Anyway, I like the story of that.  And I loved the watercolor looking scarf.  It cost $40.  I waffled and debated and spun my head in circles trying to decide if I should get it.  However, for reasons I'm not going to get into just at the moment, I didn't feel like I deserved a $40 anything that day and I certainly didn't deserve anything that looked like hope.  It was a rough time.  I'll probably tell you about it later.  So I didn't get the Thousand Crane scarf that day.  regret.

Eleven years later I still regret not getting it.  My mother and sisters went back to San Francisco a few times in this last eleven years.  Each time, they looked through Chinatown for that scarf for me.  It wasn't there.  A few years ago, we went to Philadelphia to visit Jan Brady and I kicked around the Chinatown there looking.  Didn't find it in Philadelphia either.

So I'll be kicking around Chinatown in New York City looking for my Thousand Cranes again.  I told Audrey yesterday and another new friend that if I find that scarf then I'll be like the Phoenix risen from the ashes.  I will be able to shake off one of the last vestiges of that person who didn't think she was worth $40 of hope...and breathe.

And if I don't find it? 

I guess I'll keep looking.


Lisa said...

I hope you find it!

Dawn said...

I so wish I'd read this BEFORE our trip. I'm SO glad that you now know you're worth that $40, though. Scarf or not.