The 1937 edition of Webster’s Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines ‘soul’ as: a word common to the Teutonic languages; Grimm derives saivala from saivs, the sea, the soul being regarded as the moving billowy element of man. The spiritual, rational, and immortal part in man which distinguishes him from brutes; the immortal spirit which inhabits the body.
I often write in the sloppiest order. A word will prance across my brain while I drive, a sentence will spark while I’m in the midst of washing my hair. If I’m lucky, they will all have a common theme, some message or personal truth that has been in slumber and is now waking up slowly, not all at once.
I write by digging down as deeply as I can, opening my hands wide and grabbing onto what I find. There is a lot of sifting, and there is a lot of tossing back, and then there is the process of trying to piece it all together. Sometimes I think there isn’t a single word left to be found, but the reality is that I just have to stalk them more precisely. I have to be hungry enough.
Like there is no end to our soul, there will never be a shortage of ways to express what that soul feels. Words, then, are the essence of the moving, billowy element of man; an invisible God, eagerly turning a page.