Thursday, January 14, 2010

As Luck Would Have It

DOES luck, good or bad, really exist? Do things just occur by happenstance, or is there a reason and a plan for every event in our lives?

This is a question I've long pondered, even before my husband died in a motorcycle crash.

Jesus said that God knows about everything, even when a small bird falls out of a tree. I've tried to find that verse in my Bible, but can't right now, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Does that mean, however, that God caused the bird to fall out of the tree? In his ambiguous way of teaching his apostles, Jesus never quite explained that. Maybe he wasn't sure of the answer himself, yet.

At any rate, you could probably say I had a stroke of luck the other evening when I was getting ready for bed. My pup, Bric, jumped on the bed, apparently ready to retire for the evening. In the soft lamp light, I realized he looked incredibly pretty.

Glancing at my bedside table, I saw my camera laying there. Quickly I grabbed it, turned off the automatic flash, and snapped this photo. I think it's quite lovely.

All of my dogs instinctively dislike having things pointed at them, including cameras. Getting good photos of them is a real challenge, unless they happen to be distracted.

I love this photo, so I thought I'd share it with you. Was it pure luck? Maybe some of it was. However, all good photographers know that lighting is everything. A flash would have completely ruined the ambiance of this shot. I also knew I had to move quickly.

A lot of good photography is the result of being in the right place at the right time. If I had a studio and had tried to set Bric up in a similar shot, he would not have cooperated.

The profound question of the existence of luck is one of those philosophic subjects that could be debated all night. What I think is more important is to seize the moment of apparent good luck and go with it.

However, I am not a gambler. Take me to a casino, and I'll play for a while, but I'm not really very interested. It seems like such a waste of money.

After mulling this whole topic over here, I guess I'd have to say that I don't actually believe in luck, good or bad.

But, as they say, why ask why? If something happens to you that's good, it's good, then. Be glad. If it's bad, it sucks. End of story.

But don't you think this picture of my dog is quite good? Thanks. Me, too. Was it just luck? Who knows? Who cares? Just enjoy it.


  1. I don't think it's an issue of good or bad luck really. It's just... life. We don't really know what paths we'll be led down. We simply walk, knowing we're not alone, and find our way. Along the way, we grow and become stronger and wiser.

    Yes, it's a very beautiful photo and so special since you explained how much they don't like to be photographed. :c)

  2. Big topic indeed! Soooo many people believe that everything happens for a reason, and that doesn't work for me. I like to quote Thomas Merton's view that "sometimes suffering is just suffering." And as Rabbi Kushner emphasizes in his book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the question isn't "why," but "what do I do next."

    In the meantime the picture of Bric is wonderful. You're right, it is hard to get good pictures of dogs, and lighting has so much to do with that.

  3. I think the verse your looking for is
    Matthew 10:29
    What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

    I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I believe God walks with me always. We may not always understand why things happen to us but I believe someday we will understand all.

    And yes, that is a great picture of your dog!

  4. I love the photo of Bric--such a loving dog. You are lucky to have him, that's for sure.
    As for whether such a thing is luck--various wise ones have given their opinions.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson: Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

    Jean Cocteau: We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

    Armand Hammer: When I work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, I get lucky.

    The last one I really like--in some ways, people who are prepared for it get lucky.


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