Tuesday, 23rd November, 2004

A true tale

She sorts through her desk. The usual things wait for her, mails to be answered, lists to be put together, some calls to be made. Should be an easy enough day. Yet somehow she can't bring herself to start working. There was something else on her mind. Something she wanted to check.

Ah yes, she remembers. Her horoscope. Curious for the prospects it holds for her, she opens the page. But when she sees it, she feels only disappointment.

A pleasure trip
This would be a good time to see an art exhibit that challenges your preconceived views about what is beautiful. Probably this will be entertaining rather than unsettling, and you will experience something new. Or you might go to a concert that features music entirely different from anything you have ever heard.

This influence can signify a long and enjoyable pleasure trip. You will derive the most benefit from a trip to a place you have never seen before, where you can encounter something totally new. This is a fine time for a vacation. Your experience may be broadened through a loved one who shows you new things. Or something may happen that will teach you more about your relationship, not to disturb you but to increase your insight.

"A pleasure trip," she tells her friend on the phone. "I don't even have any plans to take some days off. And this horoscope talks about pleasure trips."
"But you always could take a day off, if you wanted to, no?" her friend says.
"Yeah.. I could if I wanted."
"And the last time you have been on a trip was .. when?"
"Let me think. It must have been.."
"…it has been so long that you can't even remember," her friend teases.
"But it is November," she objects.
"Now, that is a serious point. Who ever heard of people doing a trip in November?"
She has to laugh.
"Now you sound better," her friend says. "But it's true. November really is a difficult month to get some motivation together. It's same with me. Even the simplest things, the walk to the post office, or to the library, feel like quests through cold rainy streets. But still I think you should consider taking a day off for a pleasure trip, like your horoscope suggested."
"I don't know," she says. "Maybe you are right. I will think about it."

And that is what she does, while she walks to the stationary shop. Thinking about a possible pleasure trip. Should be the easiest thing, shouldn't it? But she doesn't even know where to start with the planning. Where to go? For how long? What to do? It's true, she hasn't been away for quite a while now, but still, just going somewhere on a whim, or even worse: going somewhere on not even a whim, but on a horoscope line - wasn't time too precious for this?

And then she sees it. The poster. She must have passed it time and again before, every day, on her way through town, without ever getting aware of its existence, for it faces a beton wall facing the street. Yet there it is. The poster. And it knows the answer.

Now that she sees it, she remembers that she has read about the exhibition, in summer. Niki de Saint Phalle. A whole exhibition. Her friend had told her about it, and showed her some pictures of Niki's work in a book. She had thought it interesting, alluring in a way. Very different from the Impressionist paintings she had seen in the last exhibition. Niki's sculptures, they had an own style, almost an own kind of symbolism.

And all this, not far from here, in Nuremberg. Which is only two hours in driving distance. She checks the date: twenty first of October until tenth of January. It must be a mistake. Usually she misses the opening times by a week.

"Now for the shoppings," she says, knowing already that she will stop on the way back again. Knowing already that she will go to see this exhibition. The perfect pleasure trip. And just like the horoscope had suggested it: an art exhibit that challenges preconceived views. Something that is entertaining rather than unsettling. An experience of something new. A trip to a place she has never seen before, where you can encounter something totally new.

- D.