Tag Archives: numbers

The day of 8’s

Happy 8 Day to everyone!

In case you hadn’t read my previous post on the subject, today is the day of 8’s, which is special to me because when I was little I found 8 four-leaf clovers in my yard, and from that day on my lucky number has been 8.

I think I will make some kind of figure 8 shaped bread to celebrate.  

Not too many things have happened in my life to reinforce this attachment I have to the number 8.  The only one I can think of right now is that I waited tables at a Chinese restaurant for several years, and my waitress number was 8.  I wasn’t given the choice, either, that was just what the boss assigned me when I first started.  The cool thing was that all the numbers on the light-up board (used to tell you when you had food up) were sideways, so I liked to joke that my number was actually infinity.

My husband said he is going to buy 8 lottery tickets today.  I think lottery tickets are a waste of money, but it makes me feel good that he is playing along, and that he is always trying to be positive about the future.  I love that we are able to be silly together and keep life light when it is always trying to be overwhelming.

I wish I could say that the number 8 had always been so lucky for me that I could infuse this post with good fortune and everyone who read it would have a wonderful thing happen to them, or at least that I could somehow share the celebratory bread with you (I do make good bread…)  

But in a way, it seems lucky enough that we are able to make this brief cyber-connection, that even though the subject matter is goofy, we are able to play along together and enjoy each other’s company.

And know that I always wish the best for all of us, no matter how many 8’s are in the date.

(Okay, see I really am a goofball, I just remembered another big 8 in my life… I graduated high school in ’88!)

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Numbers revisited

I finally watched “The Number 23.”  I think it demonstrates a couple of important points about superstition and the human imagination.

First, we interpret.  From religious texts to emails to light conversation over coffee, we filter everything through our necessarily limited sensory perception.  Aldous Huxley’s book “The Doors of Perception” is a great illustration of the idea that humans must screen out almost all of the infinite amount of sensory stimulation coming at us at every second and focus on just the few details that have developed a particularly important meaning for us.  Being animals, we are programmed to watch for the glimpse of a tiger out of the corner of our eye and then spring into action.  Since there aren’t many tigers around in our modern world, perhaps we sometimes subconsciously invent danger signs, like superstitions, to give our systems a chance to rush with adrenaline.

Thus, having an infinite amount of material to filter through, we can always find what we are looking for, such as the number 23.

The other point the movie brought up at its conclusion, although stylistically I did not care for the end much, was the main character’s emphasis on choice.  We can choose our interpretation as well as our reaction to the meaning we have found.  Though we are animals and must deal with all our physical/instinctual programming, as humans we also have the right and responsibility to decide for ourselves.

I cannot argue with its star-and-a-half rating, but it was definitely an entertaining flick.

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