Fishing for Trouble

“23. The unwise man     waketh all night,  
         thinking of this and that— tosses, sleepless,     
         and is tired at morn:     nor lighter for that his load.”
         — The Havamal, trans. Lee Hollander

Morbid rumination is always my curse. I know enough of the ways of mindfulness to try to still the obsessive thought that possess me like a song stuck in the head, but when the djinn serotonin runs rampant in the brain it is hard to free the mind from dwelling on what seems wrong or fearful. Fifteen years as a project manager, trained to envision the worst and plan for it–always imagining the light at the end of the tunnel is a train–has programmed me too well, and i could not have chosen a worse career for someone of my particular melancholy complaint.

This verse resonates powerfully with me, and I pray to Thor for strength to confront directly the real troubles of the world with a spirit of clear joy in my wyrd, as he took the jontun’s challenge and fished manfully for the world serpent of Midgard Jörmungandr, an expedition that could only end in failure or death. Thor’s final, fatal battle with the serpent is reserved for Ragnarok, the final battle, and the God did not slay the serpent on his fishing expedition but did bring home with whales and the cauldron of Hymir in which the mead of Asgard is brewed.

My lesson from this verse is that the morbid worries that posses me must be put out of my mind until the proper, allotted time for dealing with them, and to confront them when they trouble me–as Thor lustily fished and fought Jörmungandr–with a clear spirit until they can be cut loose and returned to the deeps of my mind.


3 thoughts on “Fishing for Trouble

    1. Undsrstood, but there are time when the serotonin uptake misfires (this morning, up after 4:42 of sleep) lying in what yoga calls corpse pose, following my breathing and it doesn’t help. It’s like someone has plugged me in and all the LEDS are lit and after three quarters an hour there’s nothing to do but get up. Even the (doctor approved) cannabidiol e-cigarette juice doesn’t help. Probably going to make the sandwiches I’m bringing to the local pan-Pagan Ostara and go make nice with the Wiccans and Humanistic Pagans. If I get them made there might be hope for a cat nap before 11. Hope to loop everyone into one round of symbel at least. Hell, just hope I have the energy smtill to get through fellowship and ritual eyes wide open, as it’s the first time I’ve met this group. And Heidi the one other I’ve found will be there so that’s good, and a good friend who is the Humanistic Pagans mentioned above to ease the way.


      1. Check. I found meditation to help strategically not tactically. When I meditated more than weekly the frequency of times it failed to work gradually reduced.

        I have ADHD with hyper-focus so meditation is about noticing the focus shifts but not caring about them. It took me quite a long time to figure that out versus the “clear the mind” thing the focus deficit majority talk about. It’s not clearing the mind as such. it’s clearing caring about the mind. That and it’s an indirect not a direct strategy. It’s more like marching then noticing you don’t huff and puff on stairs any more, a method not related to a stair case.


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