The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Hail Eris!

December 30th, 2004 · No Comments · ritual


It has been something of a tradition with my wife and I to hang a small bell on the rear-view mirror of our car. She started the habit of ringing a bell whenever we pass a carcass on the road as a way of blessing the passing of whatever animal it had been. We like to go on road trips, and road kill is one of the less pleasant aspects that we have ameliorated via the bell blessing.

I liked the bell because I honor one of my travel deities, Eris, with bells. She likes strings of small bells, especially the pointy, cast-iron variety. Periodically, Zoe will come into my office and send jingly prayers of joy by yoinking on the end of the string of bells. Needless to say, I associate the bell in the car with Eris. Eris talks to me through the bell.

The bell rings when She tells me to slow down. She warns me when traffic ahead may prove touchy by jingling the bell. More than a few highway accidents, I believe, have been prevented because of Her ringing warnings. This very evening, as I was driving home along Oltorf from a short errand, the bell began to buzz. Not ring or jingle… a light, soft buzz. A sound one doesn’t expect to hear from a jingly, ringing bell.

The car was relatively quiet, the music was low, so I heard the buzz right away and began to slow down and check my surroundings. Just as I came over the top of the hill, there were three black SUVs stopped just ahead of me in the right hand lane, each queued up to turn right into a drive built for smaller vehicles. Since I was alerted to danger and had already begun to slow down, I had lots of time to swing into the left lane, bypassing certain doom.

For future reference, I highly recommend hanging a bell in your car. You can always bless the road kill that you pass.

Hail Eris!

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