It’s hard to say which job was worse. The time I was shuffled off into a meaningless title with very little to do and shut out from what I knew best how to do. Or the stint as township manager under a neurotic bully who had total control over the council. I wasn’t married to Laura during the first job. Three years of our marriage were tested during the second one. When I finally had a good chance for another job and we were waiting to hear what that municipal council had decided, my loving, militant atheist lit candles that I would get the job. She was so happy when I got the call. Her prayers were answered.
Because I was raised in the ritual of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism, I am more prone than Laura to such “superstitious” acts in times of trial, such as putting Lord Ganesha at the door to her sick room and the Lubavitcher Rebbe on her bed stand.. Last year I found the perfect analog to her behavior in Edinburgh, Scotland. When I went to look more closely at the statue of the empiricist David Hume on the Royal Mile, I saw that his big toe had been polished by students and others who rub it for good luck. Given that this blog mixes religion with science and philosophy, atheism with spirituality, it is appropriate that my picture of Hume’s toe is now the header for this blog.