Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Who? Me? Superstitious?

Don’t worry. I’m not going to get all theological on you. For the last few days, I’ve heard everyone talking about today’s date. Yep. The dreaded 666. Though it’s biblically based, a lot of what I’ve heard is superstition, not fact. As I promised, I won’t talk about that, but instead let’s discuss superstition.

You’ve heard baseball players talk about wearing their lucky hat, or a footballer may have his lucky cleats. Then you may have a friend that owns a horseshoe or rabbit’s foot. How often have you avoided stepping on a crack? Or turned the other way when a black cat crosses your path?

Years before my grandmother passed away at the age of 93, we would sit on her front porch swing and talk about her childhood. My favorite was when she recited her memories of first meeting my granddad and the early days of their marriage.

Now you wondering what that had to do with superstition. Well, my grandparents were married on the 13th (I can’t remember the month) in 1913, their first house number was 13 and they had 13 children. She’d said there were several other good incidents of 13, but couldn’t remember them all. At the time, I didn’t understand why she couldn’t remember, but as I age and my kids ask questions, I realize she had a pretty good memory.

After she explained how the number 13 could be something positive, I understood my fear of black cats and stepping on cracks was just plain silly. Am I superstitious?

I don’t think so. To make certain, I checked the definition of superstition. Per the Oxford University Press, Superstition >noun 1 excessively credulous belief in the supernatural. 2 a widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as bringing good and bad luck.

If we’re mainly talking about the second definition, then no. I’m not superstitious. I believe your attitude and actions bring you good and bad luck.

Now, if we’re talking about the first definition, then yes. Maybe I’m not exactly credulous or gullible, but I do believe in the supernatural. I won’t go into a long explanation of why, but I had several experiences in my life that taught me there are more in this world than what we can normally see, hear, touch and smell. (I rather not include taste. Yuck.)

Our experiences can become part of a story or influence our writing. Why do you think I enjoy writing paranormal?

If you’re superstitious, go ahead and admit it. Then tell me what is your biggest hang up. If you had a supernatural experience that you wish to share, please feel free. I might even comment with a couple of mine.


Paula said...

I'm not really very superstitious except when it comes to Alabama football. When we watch a Bama game on television, we have to have Al and Bryant sitting front and center with us. Al is a little stuffed Big All doll that has suction cups on his feet because he's supposed to be stuck to a car window. Bryant is Bryant Bear, a little stuffed bear that my brother rescued when my mother tried to give it to our old dog Sweeney years ago. He thought it was too cute to be chewed up and named it Bryant Bear. He became a staple of our fall Saturdays when Bama was playing on TV. (Keep in mind, my brother is now in his late thirties with kids, and Sweeney passed on years ago). But we still put Al and Bryant out on Saturdays during football season. Remember that really bad season Bama had a few years ago? We were lax about Al and Bryant. ;)

Now, as for a supernatural experience? The only thing I've had happen was hearing voices in a house where everyone but me was asleep. I went to the restroom one morning around 4 am. I was a little headachy from dried out sinuses, so when I heard what I thought were my mom's and my sister's voices from a room just down the hall, I remember being glad because I could ask my sister if she had any saline nasal spray. But when I got out of the bathroom seconds later, the house was quiet. My sister and my mom were both dead asleep, as were my nieces. No radios or televisions were on except mine downstairs, and the voices I'd heard definitely weren't coming from the country music video playing on my TV.

I know it wasn't anyone talking in her sleep because it wasn't just a couple of words but a lengthy conversation. I couldn't make out the words they were saying, but the cadence and pace was like two people talking in low voices.

My mom and my sister both confirmed they hadn't been up talking that evening, and my mother confessed that she's heard similar voices in our house but sort of brushed it off.

So, that's my one brush with the paranormal.

Deborah Matthews said...

I haven't had any brushes with the paranormal, but certainly believe there are things we can't explain.

I'm not really superstitous though I have been known to consult my 8 Ball. It once predicted I would be published and it says I will sell again. However, I've never done something or not done something based on its answers.

Christy said...

I'm not superstitious, I'm a 'just in case' person. Like, if I spill salt, I will throw some of it over my shoulder -- just in case.

And, if a black cat crosses in front of me, I might cross my heart -- just in case. I don't know if that's what a'superstitious' person is supposed to do, but it feels right.

And when we moved here and I found out our address was 113 -- well, I'll admit, I did wonder exactly how much trouble it would be to have our number changed.

But I solved the 113 problem by deciding that 13 is my lucky number. So anything related to 13 I embrace. Why would I do that? Well, just in case 13 is an unlucky number and just in case I have psychic powers, I have willed it to be lucky -- just in case there's such a thing as luck. Which I believe there is -- just in case.

Carla Swafford said...

Mind over matter has a lot to do with it. Good going, Christy. You and my grandmother would've gotten along very well.

Paula, that's funny about Al and Bryant. I haven't watch Alabama football in years. The reason is that everytime I watched, they would lose. Since my DH is a fan, I felt it best I not watch anymore. ::g::

It was during the time I was writing SHADOW HEALER that I had the most "episodes." Someone blowing in my hair, making it stand up on end and whispering my name. That's what happen's when you study demons for the bad guys in your book.

Karen Beeching said...

Holy cow, you mean every time my black cat, Bart, blazes a trail in front of me, I should cross my heart? All these years he's been hexing me and I didn't know it?

Man, no wonder I haven't been published yet. Jeesh. Dang cat.

Deborah Matthews said...

So, does a cat really have to be black? Miss Kitty looks black, but when you see her in the light, you can see some brown.

Christy said...

You've got to understand about the cat. I love cats, really I do, but...just in case.

I forgot about pennies. You know, find a penny, pick it up, all day long, you'll have good luck? Well, I only pick them up if they are heads up. Why? Well...you got it, just in case.

But that reminds me. I don't worry about stepping on cracks and I love my mother dearly. Walking under a ladder doesn't worry me a bit. And I am vehemently opposed to carrying around a rabbit's foot!

Come to think of it, I'm not superstitious. I'm just careful. You know. Just in case.

Carla Swafford said...

Have you heard of these.

Wear red on Friday 13th and you're safe.

Don't tell your dreams before breakfast or they'll come true. Considering a few of the dreams I have, I try to tell everyone I know. But you know, I haven't even met Stuart Townsend, no less...we won't go there.

I have no problem opening umbrellas inside -- I'm just careful not to poke someone's eye out.

Karen Beeching said...

There you go, Carla. The important point in all this is not to poke someone's eye out.

I guess I'm okay for now.