Ponderings of life dropped in the gap separating my emotional and chronological ages.

Location: Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Silly Superstitions

I don’t indulge in superstitions. That’s what I tell myself. Superstitions are futile attempts to control the chaos of life. To force some order over things. So, acknowledging that bad things happen, superstitions provide reasons for them. Obviously, I am so cerebral about these things and that means I am free to balk at them. But they balk back.

I live with a black cat. He twines his way between my feet in the morning, usually before the lights are turned on. That should be bad luck for him but I’m the one that usually suffers. Still, I don’t believe it’s the cat bringing omens. I suspect it’s just the black fur. It triggers other superstitions, of the itchy kind. An itchy palm could lead to money if it’s on the right, or losses if it’s on the left. I’m right handed so I figure that works in my favour. But it’s the nose that reacts the most to the black fur. And, an itchy nose is a broad spectrum indicator of things to come. It means you’re going to be mad, see a stranger, kiss a fool or be in danger. Pretty much covers my day.

Walking beneath a ladder is sure to bring bad luck, you know, the kind where heavy objects fall on your head. I don’t walk under ladders. It’s just a bad idea. I don’t think I’m offending some law of the Universe or the Gods or any one else for that matter. I simply like to keep paint cans and anvils off my head. I’m funny that way. I also try not to break mirrors. It has more to do with shards of glass lurking in my purse or flying around my bathroom than fear of seven years bad luck. Bleeding is always bad luck and broken mirrors lead to blood on the wrong side of my skin.

My mother was forever repeating the one about found pennies. Find a penny pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck; let it lie and your luck will fly. Doesn’t this speak to simple good money sense? Mind you, I picked up a penny yesterday on the floor of a ski lodge, not because I needed a penny or practice stringent money conservation rules. I regularly ignore empty pop cans cluttering up public garbage bins, and they’re worth five cents. No, I picked it up because I needed the luck. I had been half way up the mountain in the morning when I realized I had no gas in my tank. The needle was on empty, the light was lit on the dashboard, and the computer told me I had zero kilometers left on my present tank of gas as I was pulling into the parking lot at the base of the mountain. I suppose all of these gages could lead to good luck if I looked at them before crisis hit. Just like superstitions, there are little observances to be made to avert bad luck or, in the very least, to prepare for the worse. Luckily, I soon discovered I could relax and enjoy the day. I knew I would make the hour long drive back to town without being stranded by lack of gas. I had found a penny and picked it up. But I don’t believe in such things.


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