Monday, April 23, 2007

Blissful in my ignorance -- jcarolek

When I was twelve, my friends and I liked to play around with the Ouija board. We lit candles and we adopted an air of hushed anticipation as we posed those all important questions of the future and awaited the reply delivered through our hands as the “pointer” moved about the board.

Yes, the question of who my sister would marry (a man from Cairo) was of utmost importance to us then, but, interestingly, has yet to come true. And of course the question of how many children I would have (12) was apparently a ten-spot off the mark, but we BELIEVED nonetheless.

One such night, my friend Linda and I sat in our temple of Ouija and scooted the pointer around the board, gathering such insight into our future as how old we would live and from what we would die (I died at age 37 from a brain tumor). Having determined our own fate, we looked to our “circle of friends” and asked similar questions about their longevity. We were pretty creeped out when the powers that drove our hands announced that one of our friends would die at the age of 13. He was already 13. We asked it again and received the same answer. But we got no answer when we asked how he would die.

Well, we went to bed that night, worried sick that our friend was going to die, and knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that we had no control over it. For if we somehow acted on the “knowledge” we had, the fate predicted would never come true, and yet, we knew it had to come true….the Ouija board said so.

I did not tell my parents. I did not tell my friends. I thought it would be a burden I would have to carry with Linda. The burden, as it turns out, was not to be carried long. For two days later our friend was swimming at the pool we called the Lido. He went head first down a slide and hit his head on the floor of the pool. He did not live out his 13th year.

Linda and I never again played with the Ouija board. I never wanted to “know” what was going to happen in my future or another’s. The burden is just too great. I have always felt profoundly sad for those who do “see” the future. I believe it would drive me crazy. I’m far more comfortable living each day, one day at a time, making the day the best I can for myself and those around me, knowing, of course, that someone, somewhere, might be burdened, already knowing of my demise, and yet being able to change nothing. I am quite blissful in my ignorance.

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