Cross your fingers

I am a superstitious person. Once, I may have argued the absurdity of this notion. But, I must acknowledge and accept somethings before I can change them. As kids, we had all kinds of little tricks to ward off bad luck. We whistled or held our breath when driving or walking past a cemetery. We held our breath going over bridges. When we drove over railroad tracks you lifted your feet off the floor board and put both palms flat on the roof of the car. We crossed fingers and tossed salt over our shoulders. We avoided sidewalk cracks. We intentionally stepped on side walk cracks.

And there was this pervasive fear that good fortune was fleeting and to be celebratory risked losing it. Worse…it risked calling attention in a way that brought the bad luck thieves. If you anticipated something eagerly and enthusiastically, simply by publically displaying your desire for it risked it. If you wanted to win TOO MUCH…you’d lose. If you wanted to go to the party or get the toy and you showed it….when the invitation didn’t arrive it was because you wanted it too badly. Don’t boast, don’t be prideful. Don’t covet. Be thankful for what you have and don’t over reach.

And so, desire got repressed. If you wanted something……really, really, really wanted something….you kept it private to avoid Bad Luck coming and stealing from you. And if you were able to achieve, obtain your heart’s desire or if good fortune fell your way… kept the celebration to a minimum. Being TOO gawdy in your celebration might hurt other peoples’ feelings. And also…the scales of justice and fairness might counterbalance your good luck with an equal measure of bad luck next go-round.

Where the heck did this mode of thinking come from? I ask because as an adult I hear the warning voice in my head. I want to jump and shout. I want to celebrate. I want to do a happy dance. I want to clap and smile like an idiot. I see hope and progress and maybe, just maybe I am a step closer to what I desire. Maybe. MAYBE. But I stay quiet. I remain mum. I don’t DARE speak aloud and put upon the wind the words of my happiness. Because I risk losing it all. I squirm inside with glee and plaster on a neutral face.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Prove it. KNock it over and bang on it and then……only then…..will I believe it’s real and here to stay.

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