Veronique Darwin

Where the Soul Sits

In Thoughts on Writing on September 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

My soul sits in the pages of my novel that are right now in their latest form on my computer. My soul sits somewhere in my computer. This computer is bound to break soon: a Mac 2007 can only hang on for so long. I ward off its demise by talking about it.

I started the Education program at UBC. It’s not that my soul isn’t here with me – I’ve known for a long time that teaching can be a place where I bring it with me – but it’s been fractured. It sits partially in my computer, in a story I’ve touched for minutes only since last week, when I started this whirlwind.

I watchedInsidious this weekend, after trying so hard not do but still, strangely, dying to. That’s the thing with horror movies: we know they’re going to terrify us, and we take it as a challenge. As it happens, this time I won. I wasn’t very scared.

To not give away any plot points, I will just say that Insidious deals with the soul, and how it can be overtaken if left alone too long. I found my soul in writing. I took a year off to write and felt so fulfilled by it. I fear now that any pursuit that moves me away from writing is a weakening of my soul, a chance for it to break away. I want to keep my soul close, of course.

(I’m sorry, I don’t remember what blog this is from, but the picture saved as “Leanne in studio,” so Leanne, I love your studio. It seems so soulful).

I think this must be what happens when people start jobs or school programs that don’t make them happy. They know their soul sits elsewhere, but are afraid to join it. So they let something insidious seep in and take over: the poison of a life they’re not supposed to lead. And they lose sight of the soul they once had and they think this is what life is – a soulless thing.

Fortunately, though I’m confused about where my soul is (I think it’s on a computer), I also know that the school program I’m doing right now will lead to a fulfilling life. I feel I have found a job where I can let my soul live in two places: my daytime teaching job, where I live to help my students, and my nighttime/early morning/lunchtime teaching job, where I live to write my life’s pursuit. Of course, my soul lives in my relationships, in my family and my boyfriend, in my downtime and my fun time and in all the other things important in my life. But the soul that cries out to do something with my life, that soul can be shared.

I’m excited that my first week in the education program is making me think about my soul. I think that means something.

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