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A Lucky Man

The boy of about 13 walked the pathway from Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery Row, who when seeing me, age 48, walking in the opposite direction, declared, "You are a lucky man." Goose bumps and shivers of the uncanny swept my being. An affirmation of my being lucky?


How do we know when we are lucky? It is not because our life is problem free or blessed with wonderful friends and resources. Luck does not mean we can't make stupid mistakes or do terrible things. Luck is paradoxical experience in which, metaphorically, we should sink below the water's surface, but instead, we somehow survive when we don't know how to swim or even back-float. This survival comes in many ways, be it interventions by others, forewarnings, unexplained knowledge or abilities we did not have before, or miracles.


I find narrative the easiest way to share knowledge. When age three, I walked down a lane in a grapefruit orchard, there, in the middle of lane, a few feet in front of me, stood the poisonous coiled coral snake, head raised and ready to strike. Striped colors magnified its size. I froze. It sank its teeth in my hand. It did not hurt. Its marks disappeared and the snake poison became snake medicine. Still age three, I had slipped into a raging flooded creek. The water pulled me under and filled my lungs. Eyes open, I saw the man standing upright on the bottom of the creek, waiting, arms outreached. He caught me and the next I knew he was above me as I came to. Rescue trucks came and my mother. My mother said, "Where is the man who was here?"  Again, still age 3, my family was camped in the car off the road overnight. Everyone was asleep. A storm came up and a tornado lifted the car and moved it ahead about 10 to 15 feet. My Father said, "Oh my God! Johnny was sleeping on the running board!" He got out and went around to the other side of the car. I was still asleep on the running board.


Luck seems stronger the more we consciously link with other consciousness, seen and unseen. To me, luck is not so much a mystery, but a reality.