Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Auspicious

Alphabet - n. 1. The letters of a given language, arranged in the order fixed by custom.

For the month of April I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be using two tools besides my trusty computer - my imagination and my dictionary -The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition.. I will turn to the letter of the day, flip the pages and let my fickle finger of fate find the word. Then I'll write - might be a story, might be a rant, might be a poem. Who knows! Do let me know what you think. To go to the list of other participants go here *** I'm number 1414 - that's a heck of a lot of blogs and there are many more signed up below me. If you make a comment I will do my darnedest to check out your blog and comment. Spread the love around!

Here goes


I don't believe in luck. I don't pickup pennies unless I'm vacuuming - I don't believe in waste either - and I don't care if one crow flies in front of my car. I don't give a fig if someone opens an umbrella in my home nor do I mind if a hat is thrown on the bed. I don't walk under ladders, but that is because there is rarely any need to, and in my opinion, many painters and handy-men are careless with the cans of paint or nails that perch on the tops of them. That is simply common sense. I live my life by rational choices, by analyzing the situation and coolly, calmly deciding the best approach to any problem.

That is probably why I never married. I simply couldn't imagine the good of it. Almost every woman I know is married to an impediment to progress. These husbands leave drawers open, beds unmade, bills unpaid and so on and so forth. I didn't go through school, including a post-doctorate in solid-state quantam information processing, in order to spend my off hours picking up after another perfectly able human.  For those of you who are interested in what work I do - let's just say that it has to do with the quantam transport properties of nanostructured materials.

When I'm not in the lab or teaching, I enjoy raising Orchidaceae or orchids as they are commonly called. Did you know that there are 13,731 different species of orchids? But I digress.

I say all this to tell you that I am not predisposed for believing in what some people call fortune, fate or auspicious circumstance. So I was surprised when I got a letter (on return from a conference in Salzburg) stating that my old teacher from grammar school had died and left me his extensive collection of rare orchids. I don't know how he knew of my interest or even how he located me although I'm rather well known in academic settings for a particular piece of theory I developed.

If I had a close friend (which I don't) I suppose they would have exclaimed 'How lucky, how fortunate, how could this be other than the best of auspicious coincidence?' but they would be wrong. The favorable part of this is not what most would think - it isn't the eight hundred and forty-three new plants that have added to my own considerable collection - some of which are ones that I had no hope of obtaining. No, it was that in order to receive the bequest I was required to spend one month a year volunteering at the Bonobo sanctuary in the Congo.

How this old teacher could have realized what would happen to me on my first visit is beyond any rational belief. I gave up my work as a physicist and now stay full time at the sanctuary. Why? Because a little female Bonobo, that I call Calypso (after one of my favorite orchids) looked at me with her chocolate eyes and convinced me that it was the very best of auspiciousness that brought me to her.

Jan here - please go to this link to find out about this wondrous relative of the chimpanzee and of course, we humans, and how we can aid them.

And a big shout out of love to Arlee Bird who started this madness!  Go over to Tossing It Out and give him a big squishee for me! We think he's pretty swell here in bloglandia.


Laura said...

Amazing! What a wonderful twist to your life. We have an orchid sanctuary near us, and I have fallen in love, I think

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Wow! That really is amazing story! And how lovely that you had that connection you never really thought about. I think we often affect people's lives in ways we don't even know.

Jan Morrison said...

Uh guys ... fiction! Totally fiction! I wouldn't know nuttin bout physics if you put a gun to my head! Thanks for buying in though - guess that works for April Fools too.

Rosalind Adam said...

Cruel trick. Thankfully I arrived after 12.00 so you can't play that trick on me! You had me going for a while there though.

Talking of going, it took me a while to find this blog. I clicked on your comment link but was taken to Google+ which I don't subscribe to. I've worked out a 'calling card' which hopefully will appear below. I think it was Arlee who showed me how to do it. Just saying.

Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

randi lee said...

I like the way you write. I'm going to follow your A-Z journey with great interest.

Clarissa Draper said...

The answer to your riddle is: Nothing!

I love the look of that monkey! I didn't know there were so many different kinds of orchids but I think it's wonderful that you inherited some.

Amber T. Smith said...

HA!! Awesome. 'A' word, awesome story, cute monkey, and BRILLIANT April fool!! *grins*

lissa said...

when I came to the word 'Bonobo', I thought this must be fiction but is well written that I almost believed for a moment. okay, it might have been longer than a moment.

anyway, a great start for A-Z challenge.

hope you have a sweet day.

Trisha F said...

Wow, what a great post - love your story about your orchid collection.

I am not married either and the idea is quite scary for the very reasons you mentioned above!

And your work sounds fascinating but way over my head!

Trisha F said...

D'oh, only just saw it was fiction. ha. This is why I hate practical jokes ;P

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is amazing, and as I do believe in good fortune, serendipity, and synchronicity, I'd say it was all meant to be. A wonderful start to the A to Z Challenge.

Natasha said...

What a great story. You are definitely off to an auspicious start!