I can understand why our long-ago ancestors held such superstitions about stars and planetary configurations. Last week there was a spectacular display of planets that allowed us earth-bound stargazers to view Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter—some of us could even see Mercury, although where I live there are too many trees to view a planet so near the horizon.
And in a disturbing coincidence, the week leading up to this celestial alignment was marked by an unusual number of deaths among my friends and their families. The president of our local EGA chapter, one of the sweetest and most helpful women I’ve ever met, suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack. Two of my close friends lost parents; one her mother, and the other her father. And while Peter Ustinov and Alistair Cooke were not friends of mine, I was nonetheless sad to hear that they had died—within a day of each other.
So needless to say, there’s been a fair amount of upheaval going on in my life lately—and frankly I don’t object to it, because the folks whose immediate family members passed away are experiencing quite a bit more upheaval than I am. Although when another friend didn’t show up for a game and we couldn’t reach him, we were understandably a bit more worried than we might have been a month ago.
I know it’s all just coincidence, these things happening right when the planets are doing their thing, but it sure does help you empathize with caveman Oog when he decided such sky shows were portents of ill fortune.