“Keeping body and soul together is an annoying business.” – a line by Charles Daniel Jacobs, Chapter VI – Revival ~ Stephen King
I was going to post this quote as a One-Liner on Wednesday, but it resonates with me beyond being able to leave it alone – I have to write about it. And that’s really what it’s all about for me.
What is a soul? Is it our life’s energy? Is it what makes us who we are? Is it what places us here on earth from where ever in the universe we come from? I suppose it depends on your belief. I believe it’s what drives me to be who I am. My nature, if you will. It’s what I was born with.
I am a writer. This is not something I chose for myself; I, like many others I have met, seem to be made for this occupation, as it surely is for artists in any medium. We are made to create – we have this in common. The poet who lives to make emotions and sensations come alive on the page; the musician who must play; the artist who needs to express herself in pictures; the architect who strives upwards, brick upon brick; the knitter who lovingly measures, stitch by stitch her work – the one thing each of us shares is the ability to stand back and say, “I created this out of nothing.” And oh, what satisfaction it brings! Our creations are what make our souls shine!
But, as relating to the quote, we all have our limitations. Whether it be physical or a matter of responsibility or both, there are times when we are inspired to create but can’t. For me, at times, it is an ache. A feeling that if I can’t just sit and write… something… I’ll go crazy. I think of Julie Andrews – her botched throat operation must have been beyond devastating. Or Phil Collins’s spinal cord injury that has left him unable to play the drums or even hold a pair of drumsticks. For some the physical disability didn’t stop them – Beethoven who continued to compose after he became almost completely deaf, and drummer, Rick Allen of Def Leppard who lost his arm in a car crash, to name a couple. They are the exception rather than the rule, but it goes to show how the compulsion to keep going can help to overcome what may seem like impossible obstacles.
“Keeping body and soul together is an annoying business.” Indeed, Mr. King. It’s an annoyance, a stress, a heartrending misery that many of us experience. It is a human condition. It is the plight of the creator.