A-Z Blog Challenge: S: Soul & Surrender


‘Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.’

‘Imaginative sympathy is the sole secret of creation’.

Oscar Wilde – De Profundis

This is too large a task for me right now to put up a pre-scheduled post on soul. But I will relate a personal story that happened several years ago, which made me think about surrender and soul, an ongoing question and mystery for me.

It was a Monday. I was presenting at reading group that evening (on-going every other Monday night) and had pretty much done the work on that. I had a deadline of 2.00 pm to hand in part of a manuscript I was working on, in a suburb unfamiliar to me. I also had to take my younger son to the bus at the Zoo Lake for his return after half-term to his boarding school at 2.30. All was on track. Tuck box sandwiches and other delights were in the fridge for my son for his long ride back to school ..

I was preparing supper for my husband in my absence that evening. I was steaming some asparagus. I lifted the lid of the pot and was badly burned on my right wrist by the steam. It was unbelievably painful. I ran my hand and wrist under cold water, put plenty ice in a bowl with water and continued at the computer finishing the manuscript work while plunging my hand and wrist into the ice-water every few moments. I kept on adding ice to the bowl. I phoned my husband at his rooms and asked whether we had any burn cream. Look in the fridge he said. None.

Time to go – I wrapped my hand and wrist in one of those cold vacuum packs with strappings to hold it in place. We got into the car and somehow found the place where I had to deliver the manuscript. My son put it into the postbox and while he was gone for a few moments I was thinking about the unbelievably extreme pain I was in, and thinking about stopping in at the hospital to have it attended to after I’d delivered my son at the Zoo Lake. I was thinking about victims of war and methods of torture used to extract information and whether people could hold out and not give in. What helped them not to give in? Or surrender. I knew that I was hopelessly trying to keep the pain at bay – But, the word ‘surrender’ sounded a little more insistent.

And, in a heart beat it was gone. Just gone. Pain free. Gone. I told David when he got into the car … a man was approaching us walking on the pavement. He asked for money as he needed to catch a taxi to get to the hospital to see his ailing wife. I gave him all I had in my wallet – not a huge lot. It was a necessary exchange.

Davey and I set off. I delivered him to the bus stop at the Zoo Lake and returned home. I am still in awe of this particular event. It was soul-changing. 

I am still away in Botswana where there is no wi-fi in the wild so I am unable to respond to any comments you may make, or to make any comments on yours. I will attend to all when home! Thank you for coming by.

25 Comments on S: Soul and Surrender

  1. The power of remembering the wounds of others when we are wounded! I’m thinking about soul–and I’m a little fixed on my brother’s deatH at this moment. He once told me that he had lost his soul–as opposed to my live and quest. I didn’t think he had. Instead he had extroverted work to do. He helped the wider world in many ways, was endlessly patient with his ill daughter, did all he could to help me through grief, and loved spending time on the river. Nothing soulless about that no matter what he thought.

    • I remember his lovely face on the river and doing jigsaw puzzles those times when you went visiting him during his illness, and thinking he had a deep soul. Perhaps we all feel at some point in our lives that we’ve lost soul connection in some way. May his dear soul rest in peace as you and his family remember him.

  2. It really seems your surrender was to God at that point, a ‘thy will be done’ release and cry for help. One could say the pain had run its course, but it feels more like a miracle to me. At any rate, it was soul changing 🙂

  3. I love this story, Susan. Thank you for sharing it. Surrender. Yes, now that I think of it, I have done that with the same incredible results. Must remember this.

    Welcome back! I have gotten a bit behind on my reading. Just catching up. I know you’ve got a lot of catching up, too. I’m sure we’ll meet in the right place/moment.

    • Thanks Samantha… gotten behind? Join the club, am so far behind but in throes of catching up. I want to surrender right now to my desire to sleep for a week but alas this cannot be …

  4. Ouch! and if only…..I once did the same and my nanny told me to fetch some toothpaste which she proceeded to apply to the burn area. Just like that and all the pain was gone…not a ‘mind over..’ cure but worth remembering xxx

    • Thanks for coming by Di, and thanks for the tip re toothpaste, your nanny clearly knew of these things. I’ll tell the doc … 🙂

  5. Hi Susan – interesting story and how one thing led to another … these things do happen …’ surrendering’ I hadn’t thought about that …

    Glad you’re back .. but bet you’re not – it must have been wonderful … cheers Hilary

  6. It was amazing Silvia! Thank you for coming by – I have MUCH catching up to do on others’ posts – (still to put up a post for U for tomorrow, and the rest …)

  7. Amazing, isn’t Susan? Nothing we could do, or at least not much we could do in some situation, so understanding and moving on is probably best. Or, in this case, surrendering.
    I’m sure it was a difficult part of the day, though.

  8. I was terribly unhappy about our move and my having to give up my treasured items, but you know what… once I surrendered to the fact that I had to sell so much it suddenly didn’t matter to me any longer. Heck, I don’t even use them, so why keep them? Surrendering is VERY interesting. Great post. I’m sorry you hurt your arm though.

    • That happened to me too Gwynn when we made our move from large to smaller home, giving up so so much – but it honestly didn’t matter! You haven’t moved yet?

  9. Out of Oscar Wilde’s turbulent life came beautiful lines. Thank you for posting these.

    I like the idea of surrender too. I must practice this attitude especially now, feeling overwhelmed.

    Soul-changing, a good thing – coming as it does after surrender.

    • Thank you Marian for coming by. Right now as I’m trying to catch up on posts and comments and as my computer is up to very peculiar tricks not the least a dreadful go-slow, I’m wondering whether to just surrender and throw it out the window …

  10. Most of the times it takes surrendering and situations change. In your case, your burn. I have experienced it in other areas of my life. There is something about surrendering that release goodwill or favour to come our way.
    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

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