We stopped at the John Steinbeck museum in Salinas... Glad we did. In one display, there was a carved wooden box and a copy of East of Eden. This is what the description said:
When Steinbeck was writing East of Eden, he began each day's work by writing a letter to his editor Pascal Covicí. He made a box with the Hebrew word Timshel carved on it. It means Thou Mayest. When Steinbeck finished the book he sent the manuscript in the box to Covicí.
This is how I interpret this. Steinbeck needed a daily check-in, so he created one. Steinbeck needed permission to do this project. Since the story was about Cain and Abel he found an old testament word that he could use as a talisman to give him permission.Conclusion: Steinbeck needed the same things we do to do his work.
I must get into the book again at least try to even though my mind is badly cut up in all directions. Very hard to concentrate today. But I must try for my own safety.Take things in stride and particularly don't anticipate trouble before it happens. One of my very worst habits is the anticipation of difficulties and vicariously to go through them in advance. Then, if they do happen I have to do it twice, and if they don't happen I have done them unnecessarily. I know this is my habit... but not to do it requires constant watchfulness on my part. I have the recurring tendency. I guess I am what is called a worrier.