S – Soul

These are very short extracts from Susan Schwartz’s and my recently co-authored published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan Schwartz is identified as SES; I, Susan Scott, as SS and italicised. This is from the chapter Soul & Sorrow.

SS: I recognize that the journey always has a dark side. There is a dreaded sense of the unknown. I feel my soul sometimes with me but many times absent; and I fear too that maybe the soil of my soul may be too dry, too thin, too arid, too wasted, lacking in essential nutrients. An ongoing existential crisis for me – pg 110

SES: Aging is a separation from what was. Endings bring loss as well as satisfaction. Endings also imply beginnings.pg 111 …. The self …defines how we best express and most fully struggle to be known and to know others. The self holds the conscious and unconscious worlds together. pg 112

Germaine Greer 

Sadness is the matrix from which wit and irony spring;

Sadness is uncomfortable and creative,

which is why consumer society cannot tolerate it.

34 Comments on #AtoZ Blog Challenge S Soul

  1. Hi susan, I just attended a funeral and came to work at my desk; and I was thinking what after all is life and one day we have to leave everything behind and just move on into the unknown path … the friends we have had are no longer by our side and every thing changes… one must be open and flexible to welcome the new path for the soul letting go of all that is binding…very interesting to read aging too is a separation:)

    • Funerals are pretty sobering aren’t they Genevive. It really makes us realise how one minute we are here, the next moment not. This surely changes our attitude to life – and death and all else in between. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend or colleague or whoever it was – maybe expected maybe not? Thank you for coming by.

  2. Endings are beginnings to something else–I’ve always loved viewing them that way. Love the imagery about the soul, too. It reminds me that it needs nourishment, like all else. But maybe you also have a quiet soul, difficult to hear/feel in all the noise of the world.

    • Thanks Sara for coming by – I reckon the soul likes it silence so that it can be heard. Sometimes it speaks plainly and clearly. Interesting thought about whether yours or mine is a quiet soul in amongst the hurly burlyness of the world.

  3. I always learn something new reading these excerpts, dear Susans. Like others, I followed the mantra that death is a separation, and it is. Now I read “Aging is a separation from what was.” Indeed, that is true too.

    • Thank you Marian – wise words from Susan Schwartz! Please have a look at my comment back to you on my previous post – I would like to use your words about the underside of tapestry with your permission to add to my T post for Monday. Hope your weekend is lovely!

  4. I believe that the soil of our souls is always sufficient to sustain us through our journeys. All it needs is for the self to see it and feel its immense and yet intangible presence.
    If this is a passing, then why the fear?
    So glad I’m here…a moment of clarity comes when I read and try to make sense of what I’ve read above and words I write. You gave me that pause today:)
    S is for Silver Serendipity

    • Thanks for coming by Arti. The soul is always there, yet like our bodies, hearts and minds needs nurturing I think and feel, so that we can see it and ‘..and feel its immense and yet intangible presence’. You put that so well 🙂 – your words provide clarity.

  5. Hi Susan – I have to admit I am not comfortable with the Germaine Greer quote … not sure why … then soul – I feel will look after itself, as long as I’ve done enough and continue to do enough for myself and with others as life ticks along. It’s an interesting time when one’s time is next – so to speak … the eldest of the remaining direct family … all will be well – cheers Hilary


    • Hi Hilary, I agree it’s not a comfortable quote – I don’t think it’s meant to be. I too hope that my soul will look after itself if I water it, by for example the way that you say. That’s quite a thing to know you’re the eldest remaining of your direct family. May all be well as it will be for you. Hope your weekend is great! Susan

  6. Yes, I have watched the end of life for friends and family, so sometimes that issue scares me. Yet, I know that the soul lives on. I suspect moving from my body strictly to my soul will be like moving from our big home to our small apartment… FREEING!! In the mean time I look for things in life to make my soul happy!

    • Death for the other definitely brings our own mortality to the fore Gwynn, more so perhaps as we age and death seems to be part of our lives. Always, to ask the question, what does my soul desire – and to answer in kind by doing or being what your soul is asking for .. 🙂 Thank you for coming by…

    • I had to look up ‘fungible’ Jacqui – exchangeable for something else? So, it is both? That I can get to grips with I think? I’ll think some more – thank you for coming by!

  7. Ah the dark side. It seems to me that we do a massive disservice to ourselves collectively when we gloss over the dark sides of our soul’s journey, wishing always to rush forward. I often think of these as Saturn journeys, demanding we sit in the cave until we integrate what we need.

    • Thanks Deborah for putting that so aptly … the disservice when we gloss over the dark side of the soul’s journey. Sit with Saturn … 🙂

  8. Thank you, Susan. Today you grabbed me with mentioning the dark side of this glorious inner journey. It puts me up against my fear of the unknown and wobbling faith in my ability to face the darkness. Wonderful quotes about the Self to bring balance and weight to our quests.

    • Thank you Elaine. It’s got to be a paradox how the glorious and dark belong with each other and are not exclusive to one another. And how doubt and faith are also bedfellows, strange though that may be. So thank you for acknowledging this … it’s important. Hope your weekend is good.

        • Yay! I hope Elaine comes by and sees this – it was she who said ‘…the dark side of this glorious inner journey’. 🙂

  9. Dear Susan, It’s wonderful to join you again on your A-Z blog challenge! S for Soul is perfect as I’ve just returned from touring many of England’s powerful, spiritual centre’s in Avebury, Stonehenge, Glastonbury and other beautiful places in and around Wiltshire and Somerset (UK) … and feel greatly revitalised.

    The dark side of the journey rings authentically true, for this holiest of quests will bring us to our knees (often!) so that we may die and return a thousand times. I love what Susan (SES) writes about concerning how the Self holds both our conscious and unconscious worlds together, and know this to be deeply true.

    Re Butterfly image, in pure synchronicity I posted a poem with a similar photo earlier to celebrate Earth Day on the land of the little blue bird,Twitter. I can’t think of a better way for you both to promote your fabulous new book than this fun challenge. Saw your piece in the paper, simply wonderful! I hope the day finds you well. Blessings always, Deborah.

    • Welcome back Deborah – your trip sounds wonderful! I can imagine you being enthused and re-vitalised among such august spiritual places – and those places catching some of your energy and being thankful that you were there.

      Thank you that you like Elaine have given the dark its proper due.

      It had to be a butterfly for this post!

      I must check the little blue bird more often … and will look for your Earth Day cheep. Blessings to you, and settle in well back home.

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