Last week I had coffee with a colleague to talk about some issues that affect our profession. We're both involved in our professional association and we're planning some promotional activities together.
But before we got into talking business, we had our own little "meet and greet" since we don't actually know each other that well. I asked him how he got into our profession and he responded with a long and interesting story--at least it was interesting for someone like me, who's in the same field.
There was, however, one thing he said that really struck me, and that perhaps might interest a wider readership:
Back many years ago, my friend was at a crossroads in his professional life and he knew he needed to make a major change. He knew someone who was, as he said in French, a "médium". Yes, it's the same in English: a medium.
As I type this, I can imagine my husband--a scientist and a confirmed atheist--rolling his eyes. And honestly, I wouldn't blame him. Oh, BTW, I am a confirmed agnostic: no one will ever succeed in convincing me that God really does or doesn't exist. You can't fabricate belief. Either you have it or you don't. I just think that, as Shakespeare had Hamlet say in the eponymous play, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
So, back to the medium...
Basically, the medium told my friend that he should ask for guidance every night before going to sleep. Simple as that. He was not telling my friend to consult the "spirits", the "long-departed" or anyone else, for that matter. He was suggesting that my friend open up his mind to his own subconscious world--actually to his own wisdom-- in order to find the answer. This idea really struck a chord with me.
Now that I'm there myself, I realize that the "mid-life crisis" is not an invention of the media or advertisers. I'm feeling it very strongly myself. It has manifested itself in many ways in my life, the most recent and frightening being my Graves disease relapse, which did a huge number on my self-esteem and indeed my relationship with reality. The Graves is under control, but the feeling that I need to make a big shift is still there.
So now, every night as I go to sleep, I'm asking for guidance. I'm not asking anyone in particular (well, sometimes I speak to my late mother...). I'm just asking to find my way. Any results? Definitely too early to tell. This will probably take a long time and results will probably be in no way related to my nightly request. Who the heck knows. I just want a change.
Ursula Le Guin, 1929-2018
8 hours ago