Saturday, April 19, 2014

On Any Single Day or Numbers and Dates

Everyday is just another day until something happens, but it seems something meaningful happens every day only most people remain unaware of it.

Which leads me to admitting I've always been fascinated with numbers and symbols and how we attach meaning to them and the the links between everything. Whether these meanings have anything to do with reality is debatable, after all, the meaning is a mental connection even if the historical roots come from astrology, numerology, mythology, or folklore. If you're wondering how this applies to writing, these psychic meanings often run deep within humanity's soul, so a mention of a strategic symbol, number, or date, can give hidden depth to characters, settings, and drama for authors.

Consider today, April 19. Understand, dates are man-made systems tied to astronomical events, and that the calendar and other methods of time keeping time have changed through history. However, in numerology, the numbers make it a day of 1 (1+9=10=1), and this year it is the 109th day of the year, so also adds up to 1, or the number of creation, the creator, and man. It is a day of beginnings, and in Tarot, the card of the magician which represents power, expertise, and action. According to astrology, people with this birthday are born with an innate psychic ability. Which leads to my first serendipity coincidence concerning today. In 1943, Albert Hofman, a Swiss doctor, took the first psychedelic acid trip with the drug he developed, the now illegal LSD. Afterward he rode a bicycle home making today 'Bicycle Day.' And yes, I know psychic and psychedelic have two different connotations -- still a mind thing.

As for the power and action aspects of today's date, in 1775 the Revolutionary War began with shots being fired at Lexington and Concord. Men died there; they also died when the gun turret exploded on the USS Iowa in 1989. Women and children died at Ruby Ridge, and at the Waco Texas compound when the people inside the AFT-besieged compound set it on fire which all lead to the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. All these events happened on an April 19. Mentioning explosions and fires leads to rockets and lift-offs, and both the first black astronaut and the first woman astronaut were announced on this day in 1982.

Maine, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin celebrate Patriot's Day to remember Lexington and Concord's "Shot heard 'round the world." It is held the third Monday of April, which of course is the running of the Boston Marathon, which was first run on April 19, 1897.

Here's a connection between me deciding to write about this topic today and my birthday, which is basically just another summer day. Today the Revolutionary War started. A year later in 1776 on my birthday most of the delegates signed the Declaration of Independence, and it wasn't on July 4th.

So here we all are on just another ordinary day. Perhaps it's time to make it meaningful… and perhaps start a story involving numbers, symbols, and lore.



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You're very right about dates. Nine-eleven (9-11) will certainly live in infamy just a Pearl Harbor does.

My husband and I won a major bridge tournament the day of the first moonwalk in 1969. Every time we look at that trophy we remember all those bridge players with one eye on the TV in a room of 18 tables while we did a little "boot walking" all over their scores.

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Thanks for reading, Julie. It's funny how these dates and events become inter-related and stamped into memory.

Allison Knight said...

Fascinating. And I'll attach a morbid thought to all of this. The dates, the 13th and the 14th are infamous in our family. Almost everyone in our family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, with the exception of my mother, even my brother-in-law either died or were buried on the 13th, or 14th. Strange. I keep imagining a book with the pages 13th and 14th opposite each other and a list of all the family on either page. Now how do I turn that into a story? A psychic situation? I just find it fascinating and breath easy when the 13th and 14th have passed and there are no phone calls announcing another passing.

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Ouch! That is a strange coincidence, but for my family the numbers are good: my brother was born on the 13th and I was married on Flag Day, the 14th. We do have some history of dying on our birthdays, but thankfully not all of us do so.

Liz Fountain said...

For a more fun take - you can Google any date and bring up lists of interesting historical events, famous birthdays, etc on that date. I did this once for a friend of mine who was going through divorce and dreading his anniversary date. I sent him a list of all kinds of things that had happened on that same date, and it made him laugh instead of cry.

Good research for stories, too!

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

What a kind act!
I've looked days up like that, too, Liz. It is always so interesting. However, I've learned not every date site is accurate.