What is luck? No, really – what is luck?

I can’t help but feel it is two sides of a rusty old coin, but it’s more that that of course; it’s a force. It’s something that takes you over and has power over you. It’s uncontrollable.

It’s a bad thing for us control freaks; it might even be our Archenemy.

It depends on your spiritual angle of course, your opinion of the world. It’s an interpretation of how you see your life fitting in with others, how central you are. It illustrates where your boundaries lie, and exposes your value system. Sharing your definition of bad luck is tantamount to holding up your newly washed undies up to the light for inspection.

My interpretation of luck might evoke a violent reaction in you. It’s just chance or coincidence isn’t it? It’s something that shapes you whether you like it or not; but it affects you, changes you.

Sometimes we talk about ourselves being in the right place at the right time, but the two polar opposites of chance are defined and calibrated by how you see life; it’s what you want to pull out of it, or perhaps its more about what you don’t want to pull out.

We all have different expectations, and desire radically diverse things from this existence we’re given. A poet needs his imagination; an artist might need his eyes, and a composer his ears. But what value do they put on the rest of their senses? What would be their individual definition of bad luck?

What could they live without? Let’s face it; bad luck is normally about losing something…

I hear about people’s travesties all the time, illnesses and bad fortunes linger and drone around my head for longer than they might have before. They attach themselves to me, like a burr. I touch it and feel the prickles, the sharp spikes of their fear. I know fear so it’s easy to pick up someone else’s. It’s a perverse comfort to know you are not alone in your own bad luck.

I find myself assessing their fate; their personal predicament and I ask myself; was it as bad as mine? Did it grip them and change their life? Are they still affected by it?

It’s narcissistic and brutal, this measuring and comparison of suffering, but I guess if I do it, then someone else out there does it too.

The point is though; it is a useless exercise. My notion of bad luck will always be poles apart from yours, as yours is to me.

Luck is, if nothing else, distinct, personal and unavoidable….and I remind myself, it can sometimes even be good.