May 9th, 2003


Thank God it's Friday!

All week I have had this unpleasant physical sensation at work, as if my chest was compressed, bound about with iron bonds so I could not breathe freely or deeply. Clearly it is something psychosomatic, as it was at first only at work, but gradually expanded to even at home when I think about work.

I'm not unfamiliar with such a neurotic symptom. It is usually a sign that I'm heading in the wrong direction and should stop and go back. My subconscious plays the role of the donkey, for those who have heard the biblical story about the prophet Bileam. (He was hired to curse some desert tribe called "Hebrews" and as he rode off, the angel of God blocked his path but the prophet could not see him. The donkey however saw and stopped. As the prophet grew more and more aggressive, the donkey finally spoke to him and reproached him, and then he too saw the angel.) No matter how you regard the historical value of the story, I have observed this happen in my life from time to time, with my subconscious being the poor beast of burden observing that I am riding into misfortune and danger. And now, evidently, it's my work. I really wish I knew what was going on, but at least I should have a couple days respite now.
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