How To… Cross Your Fingers

I’ve previously mentioned knocking on wood (pointing out the repetition automatically excuses it in the eyes of any audience, that’s a well established writerly fact that couldn’t possibly lead to eye rolling) but it’s clearly time we leaned into the wind and dived headfirst into the surging tide of unbridled superstition. That definitely wasn’t a horrific car crash of a mixed metaphor, I checked and I’m almost convinced it was thoroughly excellent writing.

It’s easy to feel powerless, as if nothing you do can have any possible sway over the course of unfolding events. This might be regarding the next scene on the world stage or even somewhat closer to home. You could even begin to regard yourself as a background character in someone else’s story rather than the protagonist in your own. Well, my wilted little buttercup, drooping under the weight of your own lack of self confidence (totally makes sense if you don’t think too much about it), let’s find a way or two to pump you up (don’t give me that look, that’s definitely not what I meant. You just have a distinctly filthy turn of mind).

Cross your fingers and hope for the best because you couldn’t possibly have any better way of exerting your will on the world around you. Unless of course you actively start avoiding things you didn’t really think about up until now. Shun black cats attempting to cross your path – no one will think you’re several shades of committable if you flee screaming from every dark moggy you encounter.

Not to mention those ladders, mirrors and every instance of the number between twelve and fourteen that you’ll be expending energy in getting away from. You’ll have to replenish your energy after all that completely rational behaviour so why not roast a delicious chicken? Toss some salt over your shoulder and then delve into the carcass to retrieve the wishbone. That wish will be far more effective than any of the rest of it, especially if you have your fingers tightly crossed for success.

Cross your fingers – Laura Marling


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