In July in Truth or Consequences I got a mesquite thorn in my flip-flip. It burrowed in deep and I couldn’t get it out, so I set those shoes aside and wore others. This week, in Virginia, I decided that the thorn wouldn’t come though, that it was simply buried in the sole somewhere, and I wore the shoes walking back and forth across campus. Little by little the thorn began to poke me. Not painfully, but it was there.
New Mexico is there. In my soul. The need to change my life so I don’t thave to keep coming back to Virginia to work is always there. The thorn is the craving to be my true self, the writer and yoga teacher, not the professor. I tell myself this job is not a bad way to earn a living, and compared to most jobs it isn’t, and yet the thorn is always prodding me. Go back. Go home. For good.
I’ve been reading Virginia King’s The Second Path, a novel that defies categories—though I’d say visionary fiction is the best fit. It’s a mystery, but like mine, it’s not about a murder. King’s books are about inner mysteries, psycho-spiritual discoveries. In this one, the protagonist Selkie Moon dreams clues to solving her own life’s mysteries and follows them into an extraordinary adventure. I read it before bed and it provokes me to have message dreams.
Preface: A student recently dropped my health class because the emphasis on positive psychology and a “no upper limits” personal vision of wellness upset him. He confided that he felt he didn’t have control and choice in his life, and though he was in counseling, this approach to the class was too distressing for his present state of mind—one in which he felt confined and powerless.
A few nights ago I dreamed that this young man had stolen a valuable rose-gold antique watch from me. I was chasing him across the campus of the college where I got my undergraduate degree and saw him heading for a bike rack. I knocked his bike over and he headed for a van instead, pausing to read a text message before he opened the door. He gave me smug smile. “I just got a higher bid on it.” End of dream.
Belief in “I can’t” is stealing my precious time. I’m still puzzling over the bike, the van, and that higher bid. Higher self? Higher income in a new life? Higher values? Selling my time to the highest bidder instead of taking it back? I guess I’ll have to be like Selkie in the book, following my clues to see where they lead.
It’s possible to ignore spiritual discomforts for a while, but they don’t let go. I can try to change who I am and what I value, but that doesn’t work. My first book, The Calling, is about this theme in my protagonist’s life, and now I need to take that lesson into my life. Change is calling me. How long will it take? Maybe a few years. How hard will it be? Not easy. Staying in a familiar but unsuitable place or situation can feel easier than the effort it takes to get out of the rut, but I know from the effort I’ve put into other life changes, the view from outside the rut is worth the climb.
5 thoughts on “The Thorn in my Soul”
This is a magical post: I will write tomorrow.
Amber; it is more difficult to respond than I thought it would be; perhaps it’s because the parallels between us are greater than I had realized and maybe it’s because I understand, on many levels, your inner struggle and dilemma. I will say this, without reserve, your metaphor is splendid, and I can connect with it as well as so many other things you wrote.
Being torn between the East Coast and the West must be difficult; I am torn only via my strong need to get to NM, because I have overstayed far too long in NJ, being a professor RIGHT NOW is something I can identify with and it had no longer remained a joy to me; enlightening minds that are stuck in the current time frame had become inconsistently depressing and mediocre.. Encouraging freedom of thought and freedom of self-expression became nearly paradoxical; the need to be politically correct societally, academically and economically had become a stumbling block along with high technology and the new student entitlement, but your example is arresting, and your dream is most definitely a ‘message.’ I believe that dreams come to us for some reason and have a spiritual connection. Discovering their meaning, however, is no simple task. I am interested in the Second Path.
You summed up the academic job dilemma well.
I think you’ll love Virginia King’s books. The first one in the series is The First Lie. It’s both suspenseful and deeply mystical. The Second Path is the sequel.
I am going to look into Virginia King’s books. I like your description, and since I am, by nature, very intuitive and spiritual, I think they may appeal to me third eye.