Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Three Fates

The Three Fates

Today is Word Thursday on Y!360 and my word is Predestination.

Predestination is the Divine foreordaining or foreknowledge of all that will happen; with regard to the salvation of some and not others. And predestination was a particular favorite of John Calvin. And my mother when bad things happened to good people. But when good things happened to bad people it was just luck. I always felt it was a rather grim belief. It seemed to have no escape route. I like escape routes. Never burn a bridge if I can help it.

But perhaps after all those years in close contact with Mother I have become a bit of a fatalist in my own way, and some events really bring that home. Yesterday it was the death of Natasha Richardson due to a funny little beginners fall in a ski lesson. On Christmas Eve 2001 I had a much more serious fall. I was hit by another skier and thrown into the air and landed on my head I am told.

Both Natasha and I suffered a closed brain trauma or CBT landing on soft snow. Natasha had what emergency room personnel call a "talk and die" brain injury and I was lucky enough to have a "dropped jello" sort. Or was that determined by the three fates and not luck.

The Greek Fates or Moirae, the apportioners of life, are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Clotho with her spindle spun the thread of life for each individual. Lachesis with her measuring rod measured out the thread of life. And Atropos with her dreaded shears chose the manner and timing of each person's death. It is not for mortals to know any of this precisely. Would we live differently if we knew the day we were to die?

We profess now not to believe in the predetermination of our lives. And yet we try merely to cheat the fates with modern medicine and organ transplants. We wonder at the people that missed their fate by missing the plane or were late to work at the world trade towers. But do we know anything more than the Greeks did when they talked of the Moirae?

Natasha Anderson and I both fell on the snow. We were both treated and streeted. She is dead and I am alive. They are making a case that all skiers should wear helmets. I don't know if it would have helped her. I was told due to the "shaken baby" type of brain injury I had it would not. In fact the wearing of the helmet would have worsened my neck injury and probably paralysised me from the neck down. I took my helmet off minutes before that final run that Christmas Eve.


1 comment:

  1. .... I'm a strong believer in predestiny... that paths are chosen for us.. and yes sometimes we pick which of those we take... but basically.. life is all laid out for us.

    I very very glad you managed to battle and survive your injury.... sadly Natasha's path was not to survive.. and just goes to show that you should never take any head injury (however minor) lightly. Poor family and friends now have to adjust to a life without her.. so my thoughts and prayers are with them.

    I'm not sure helmets should be compulsary... as you say they don't necessarily help in this situation. Its right that people have the choice in this instance.. afterall, thankfully, such fatalities do not occur regularly.


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