Photographer's Note

for a second month in a row we have Friday the 13th. I don't mind, "13" has always been my lucky number, but I realise that in much of the Western world number 13 is often regarded with fear (for Chinese 13 is a lucky number, by the way. may be I was Chinese in my previous life?). my apartment building in New York City, for example, does not have 13th floor. I don't remember ever seeing "row 13" in an airplane, and so on and so on.

I had fun reading all the theories and explanations floating in web, here are some of my favourites:
- according to one theory, the fear of 13 is a result of counting, because primitive man had only his 10 fingers and two feet to represent units, this explanation goes, so he could count no higher than 12. what lay beyond that — 13 — was an impenetrable mystery to our prehistoric forebears, hence an object of superstition. but the invitable question is - even primitive man had 10 toes on his feet, right?

- others speculate that the number 13 may have been purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity. thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, we are told, because it corresponded to the number of lunar cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). the "Earth Mother of Laussel", for example — a 27,000-year-old carving found near the Lascaux caves in France often cited as an icon of matriarchal spirituality — depicts a female figure holding a cresent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches. as the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization, it is surmised, so did the "perfect" number 12 over the "imperfect" number 13, thereafter considered anathema;

- 12 gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. true to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. all Valhalla grieved, and decided that 13 is unlucky number for guests.

if 13 is bad already, Friday the 13th is double bad - many considers Friday unlucky in inself, reminding that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, the first serious financial panic in the US occured on Friday in 1869 (hence the term Black Friday) etc. there's even a term for describing the fear of Friday the 13th - paraskavedekatriaphobia (try saying it 5 times over), and some studies suggest that there are almost 21 million people in the US that are so afraid of this day that they would not go to work, would not even get out of bed in the morning, and it has been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day.

about the photo: no, it wasn't taken on Friday the 13th, but since even TE succumbed to the fatal date, it seems fitting to post something like this. besides, I felt the ominous mood with the cross on the road leading to the village of Putre and spooky red sunset light fit well the theme. the light is how we saw it that evening - impossibly fiery red that lasted for no more than 3 minutes.

RAW, ISO 200, 40mm focal length, spot metering.

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Additional Photos by Kristine KL (avene) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1586 W: 134 N: 2932] (12675)
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