Coded dark.

Thursday 8 May 2003

Spring road

Pic of the day: I knew the road was narrow, but sometimes it seems to become hazy and I cannot quite see what is waiting. And there's this speaking donkey ... but I get ahead of myself.

Head against the wall

I'm not exactly suffering a mental breakdown yet, but a mental slowdown. Each workday this week there has been this pressure on my chest, as if iron bonds were fitted around me, making it hard and unnatural to breathe deeply. It is a feeling that intrudes on me constantly, a distraction that can be fought but not ignored. And as you know, fighting a distraction means you are still distracted, only now with the fight.

Now I freely admit this is a minor problem compared to cancer and AIDS that some of you have. What worries me, besides the thing growing worse over time, is that I recognize this feeling. It is a standard warning from my subconscious that I'm on the wrong way, time for an U-turn before I run into the wall. Not very specific, I've got the same feeling if I entertained notions of romance and family life, or if I tried to talk about theological matters that were beyond my level.

It's as close as I come (so far) to the invisible angel that blocked the path of the prophet Bileam. My subconscious, of course, plays the role of the prophet's donkey; usually a faithful beast of burden, it suddenly behaves weirdly and refuses to go on despite threats and flogging, because it sees what the rider does not: The angel of destruction standing in the path ahead of them. In the biblical story, the donkey eventually spoke to the prophet, and he came to see the danger. And now, in its own way, my subconscious speaks to me. It says: "This is not for you. You should be somewhere else."

Now I hate work like the next guy, but that's a very conscious thing. Psychosomatic symptoms are a sign of repression, neurosis if you want, an inner conflict where at least one of the motives is not consciously known. I already know that work sucks, but that's the way it should be. Work is God's punishment, as explained in Genesis. Because of Adam's sin (which we repeat in each generation), we are condemned to work for our food. No matter your religion, you should be able to see the mythic value of this: "He who will not work, neither shall he eat" as St Paul somewhat bluntly put it. Or in evolutionary terms: It is the price for civilization, for leaving the animal way of simply picking the food nature throws your way.

Why in the name of all that's good and wholesome would my subconscious try to keep me home from work?

You could be forgiven for thinking that this doesn't mean I ought to quit working, just quit my current job and find one that I can be proud of. Well, I tried that, just before the previous economic downturn started here in Norway. I was unemployed for 13 months, before I got back into my previous job. At that time, I was told fairly clearly that there wouldn't be any third chances.

Before all this, just after I wrapped up my education, I went back to my dad's farm for a few months. Even though I had detested farm work as a kid, I found that I liked it now. Growing up on the farm had given me a natural insight in the things that go on there, and I found I could do most things without thinking. My mind was free to roam the trackless plains of time and space. Besides, I could sing as much as I wanted and nobody cared. But my allergies grew worse until I was thoroughly cured of any hope that I could be a farmer. Then I kept getting my job applications rejected, even those I was over-qualified for. It did not help to have good grades either. Clearly I was not meant to have a job, until I came to my current workplace. I have accepted this as God's judgment over my life. Until now. Now I don't know what to think.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: The real pain
Two years ago: Soul shedding
Three years ago: Optical eyesight
Four years ago: The pasta killer

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