soul


I once wrote an essay about the mysteries of character. It involved someone I knew as a child, Dr. Raymond La Scola, who plummeted in a long, hard fall, and with my difficulty in reconciling the kind man I’d known with the man he became. His fall involved some notoriety and salacious bits so I occasionally hear from people who also knew him. People do periodic searches for him—which means, I guess, that I’m not the only person who is haunted, in a way, by Dr. La Scola. If you want to read those comments, both a mixture of positive and not at all positive, they can be found here.

Another one showed up yesterday and whenever one of these pops up it has me meditating all over again about the fragile fabric of memory and the frayed fabric of human character. I’ve lived long enough to know that nothing is black and white; there are far more than 50 shades of gray; that even the darkest of souls may show brief flashes of light; that no light is ever without specks of dark. But the mechanism controlling this remains the deepest mystery.

I also know that if we look deep enough, and with enough truth, into our own hearts and souls we will see the ragged ends of our stitchery. None of us are composed of wholecloth. We are a patchwork of influences and neuroses, beliefs and prejudices, of imagination and reality. Whatever the hell reality is supposed to be. We are shells containing the many ghosts of our selves.

And some of us have very leaky shells indeed.

Which is not to say we can’t work on ourselves, reinforce the stitching where needed, put brightly colored patches on to fill the gaps. But there will always be more gaps and more frays and more need to look deep to find them and do the necessary work. That is the mission of our lives. Not everyone is willing to take up this calling, not everyone even recognizes that the work must be done. Many are content to just buffer the shell and hope it fools enough people. Mostly themselves.

And that’s all I’ve got today. Time to get back to work.

Random quote of the day:

“The work of anti-racism can only take place inside each individual soul, where we all try to grow into better people. There is no national tonic or instant cure.”

—Joy Reid, Think: Opinion, Analysis, Essays, May 29, 2018

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“You will not find the boundaries of soul by travelling in any direction, so deep is the measure of it.”

—Heraclitus, Fragment 45 (tr. John Burnet)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Desus and Mero, Beyoncé, or the Marine Corps Marching Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen
its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

—Langston Hughes

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Sin is whatever obscures the soul.”

—Andre Gide, La Symphonie Pastorale

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“if you don’t have much soul left and you know it, you got soul.”

—Charles Bukowski, “a dollar and twenty cents”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for self-expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child’s soul with poetry every day.”

—Hermann Hesse, Peter Camenzind (tr. Michael Roloff)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Let the hard things in life break you. Let them effect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.”

—attributed to Pema Chödrön

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.”

—Simone Weil, “Forms of the Implicit Love of God,” Waiting for God (tr. Emma Craufurd)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Orville and Wilbur, Katy Perry, or the Avengers. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

—Rumi, “Moving Water” (tr. Coleman Barks)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

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