The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne first gained attention with the publication of Twice-Told Tales in 1837. His best known piece, The Scarlet Letter, appeared in 1850. One of the fables in the Twice-Told Tales collection was "The Haunted Mind," a second-person account of the spirits that occupy the "intermediate space" between sleeping and waking. The story first appeared in The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, 1835, and two years later was included in Volume Two of Twice-Told Tales, American Stationers' Company.
The Haunted Mind
by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
What a singular moment is the first one, when you have hardly begun to recollect yourself, after starting from midnight slumber! By unclosing your eyes so suddenly, you seem to have surprised the personages of your dream in full convocation round your bed, and catch one broad glance at them before they can flit into obscurity. Or, to vary the metaphor, you find yourself, for a single instant, wide…
Attempts have been made to save our marriage, but pleading, reasoning, counseling, rebuking, threatening, tantrums, time outs, interventions and fervent prayer have not mended what was once a lovely and meaningful relationship. One partner wants to stay in the orthodox house and the other has moved out.
Having gone through divorce I recognize the painful slugging through another day, wondering when will this finally be over? I know from experience that recovery is long and never fully realized since there are reminders that prick the heart and make you long for what has been lost. We won't sit in the same pew anymore. We won't plan activities together. We won't sing praises under the same vaulted ceiling and admire the same stained glass windows. Passing that sign at the edge of town makes me angry because The Episcopal Church doesn't welcome me ... anymore.
I try to understand how this came to pass. I think back and beg…