Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Number of the Beast

Some of us look around to explain ourselves any way that we can, and for some of us, our loved ones look around to explain us in any way they can, because some of us take some explaining.

I’ve always tried not to do this, because, while I’m hugely interested in the ways that people have developed to explain that which is inexplicable, I’m also a bit of a fan of good old-fashioned reflection. I can’t help believing that the mind is better at revealing a person than the lines on his hand or the bumps on his head.

I’m not above reading my horoscope for the amusement of doing it, but it was my mother who had my chart done. I’m not above making a note of which way my handwriting slopes or how generous the loops on my ‘g’s and ‘y’s are, but it was only because a friend of mine was reviewing a graphology software package, and needed subjects, that I had my handwriting analysed. I’m not above having a lucky number, but it was only because the husband bought a beautiful edition of The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish, and was fascinated by the section on numerology, that I worked out my numbers.
The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish

I wonder that I allow this stuff to happen at all.

It never ends well... not for me at least. My mother, my friends, and now the husband are rather impressed with the results, and I am left wondering why no one listened to me in the first place. 

Why is mumbo-jumbo of any stripe more convincing than my own assessments of my character?

I know why, of course.

It is because my assessments of my character suggest that I am complex, and anyone who makes any claims to be, in any way complex, must, by definition, consider herself to be more interesting and, therefore, more worth knowing than other people. It is deemed arrogant to assess oneself as complex, and if it is arrogance it is almost certainly at best an exaggeration, and, at worst a lie.

It’s a nonsense, of course. 

Being complex doesn’t make me cleverer or more interesting than anyone else; it doesn’t make me more talented, funnier, lovelier or better company; it doesn’t make me more caring or sexier, and it doesn’t make me happier.

I’m complex because my brain chemistry works outside what might be considered to be the normal ranges. That is all. 

Because of that, I have probably spent more time and energy thinking about who I am and how I work than people whose brain chemistry is more normal, not because I want to, but because I have had to in order to survive the trials and tribulations that my brain chemistry has forced upon me.

I happen to believe that gives me certain small advantages over other people, along with some quite significant disadvantages. One of those small advantages is that I am able to explain to people who I am and what I’m like, should I choose to, without the need or desire to resort to horoscopes, palm reading, numerology, graphology or any other magical or mystical wonders, whether I, or the person I’m explaining myself to, believe in them or not.

Numerology is particularly interesting since it requires the subject to know her name, and that’s something that I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’ve even written about it in this blog.

For those of you who are fans of the art, if you happen to use my birthdate, instead of my name, you might just find that I’m an eleven.

Go figure.

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