[[livejournal.com profile] theatrical_muse] 270 - Thirteen

Feb. 26th, 2009 02:18 pm
prodigalwatcher: (Still Searching)
[personal profile] prodigalwatcher
270 - Thirteen

Superstition is a curious thing. There are a great number of individuals in the world who do not believe in a higher power. A great deal more than that, while stating a belief, do not in practice hold that a higher power has any direct influence on their day-to-day lives, that there is no grand chessmaster guiding, influencing or even observing our tiny mortal movements.

And yet, many of these people throw spilt salt over their shoulders. They avoid cracks in the sidewalk or swing wide to avoid stepping underneath ladders. They exercise greater caution with their lives on Friday the thirteenth. Superstitions can still affect them.

I once had a conversation about superstition with Gunn. He, Angel and I were watching a Lakers playoff game at the Hyperion, while Cordelia and Fred, in Cordy's words, "maintained a healthy distance from that much testosterone" upstairs. At one point, I asked about a certain player's behaviour before a foul shot. This young man dribbled three times, adjusted the bands on his wrists, craned his neck left, then dribbled twice more before letting the ball go.

I called it a superstition. Gunn insisted that it was a psychological game the player was engaging in with himself-- by focusing on the minutiae of the routine, the roar of the crowd could be tuned out, and the pressure to complete the shot was forgotten in the simple act of repetition. I was unconvinced.

Angel, for his part, pointed in the direction of my office. He remarked on how I arranged my reference books, insisting that they be not only kept in a certain order, but that whenever I would re-file them, I would always go in the same direction, always follow the same patterns. My belief was that I did this to maintain a precise organisation. Gunn and Angel suggested I was doing the same as the basketball player-- maintaining a routine that allowed my mind to be free to concentrate on more important matters than housekeeping.

From there, I thought on other superstitions, or other habits I and they might have had. It was an illuminating conversation, the kind I miss terribly.

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