Both Didion and John Busby wrote about fate. Could some decision they had made years earlier have prevented them from the painful experiences they each write about? Because of some bad weather the Busby's decided not to interview on Martha's Vineyard for a job, and instead wound up on Cape Cod. How would their lives have played out differently if they hadn't been worried about getting home on the ferry that day? John Didion's doctor had warned him in 1987 that he was headed for a heart attack. After some medical interventions he lived much longer than expected. Was there anything else they could have done? Or is there nothing you can do to escape your fate?
I lived for several years in South Texas where it seemed that fatalism ran deep. People believed that some higher power was all controlling. Poverty was explained through the belief that God didn't want them to be rich. Miscarriages, birth defects, and corruption were explained the same way. In contrast, lottery tickets sold fast. One store that had sold two big winning tickets always had a line of cars and a police officer to direct traffic the night before a drawing.