Body and Soul


The other day I was waiting in line to use the photocopier. (This will be the high point of my day.) The young woman using it had a really cool skirt on, the kind you never see at an engineering company. It was bright and colourful and looked more like a quilt than a skirt.

“I like your skirt,” I said.

“Thanks,” she said.

“It says, ‘I haven’t sold my soul yet. My soul is still mine.'”

“Yup.” (Or something along those lines.)

She was kind of cute, too, so I had hoped to engage her in a more meaningful conversation than this. In ‘hindsight’, however, perhaps the fact that I was staring at her ass was more of a concern to her than the interesting conversation I was starting.

My grandmother had an expression, “keeping body and soul together” – doing what it takes to get by – as if one’s soul might depart unexpectedly if one didn’t get around to paying the bills. She grew up in the Depression years. Back then, if you didn’t have enough money, the threat of starvation was more imminent than getting your cable cut off.

I’m doing what I can to keep body and soul together, but I think I may be working against myself. Every time I get mired in legal terms and bureaucracy, I feel my soul complaining. I’m trying to do what it takes to get by, and my soul is talking about going on vacation.

Occasionally it wins out and breaks through. Yesterday, I suddenly started singing in the hallway. Where did that come from? One minute I’m updating a co-worker on project status, and the next minute it’s “What a difference… a day maaaaaakes… 24… little hours…” The guy sitting across the hall started laughing. Rob had already seen one of my shows, so he knows I don’t belong here – I belong on stage. He took the opportunity to remind me of this. My soul responded, “See? Told ya so. Let’s blow this joint and go play.”

Hold on, Broadway… My soul is on the way, even if my body is a little behind.

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About Craig

Craig lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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