Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/18/13
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): German
In Germany there is a saying that if you don’t eat up all the food on your plate then the weather will be bad the next day. And it was told to us kids, and since we were scared to have bad weather the next day we always ate up all the food. Um… unfortunately it didn’t’ always work…surprise. Another thing—a similar thing—um… is with ladybugs—if they land on your hand and they fly away from your hand then the weather will be good the next day. And I learned that when I was really young, but, unfortunately, that didn’t always work, so… it’s still just a tale, but I still believe in it.
Every culture seems to have superstitions that relate to the predictions of weather. Before sophisticated technology was available, people used to predict the weather by observing animals, the sky, and other aspects of nature. People used to think that higher clouds meant a long stretch of good weather. If a full moon were shining brightly on a perfectly clear night then frost would form, as people believed that the earth had no protection [by the clouds] from the chilling moon.
Some of the early folk beliefs that pertained to weather eventually were backed by scientific experimentation. Lucky guess, perhaps, by the early people?
What intrigues me most about Sophia’s superstition is that she continues to believe in it even though it is not true in any sense. No scientific evidence has been cultivated to support this claim. In addition, she even concedes that this superstition has essentially been invalidated by its success to failure ratio. She admits that, “more often than not, these occurrences have nothing to do with the weather.”
From a young age it was impressed on her mind that this superstition rang with truth. For many years she accepted it without questioning its truth-value. Even now that she understands the truth with a rational clarity she still holds onto the belief. Perhaps it is out of sentimentality? Perhaps thinking of ladybugs as indicators of change gives her this twinge of nostalgia for the days of her childhood. I would postulate that it brings her back to a place of innocence and happiness, to when things were simple and when imagination was valued over the cool logic of reality.