There is something that happens sometimes, something that begins as deep inside as inside goes, something that I can only imagine is a movement of the soul. Sometimes it’s a piece of music that stirs it, even just a small part of a piece of music, a few notes made of magic; sometimes it’s something visual, the setting in a TV series, a green landscape that goes on for miles, or a certain kind of brick on the side of a stranger’s house, calling to the third eye; sometimes it’s something imagined, a bracing wind on the moor described in small words on a page, a time long ago that I’ve never been, pictured for a strange small moment, almost felt, nearly a full grasp or a part of a scent, but not quite … it’s a haunting, is what it is. It’s a brewing storm in the heart, or hovering air full of sparkling dust just above the crown chakra. It creates a sensation like wanting to cry, like melting into place, or being born and conscious of it. That fiddle string, that mountain edge, that mentioning of old alleyways and newsboys with dirt on their hands, that way the fire spits at the night sky, that look in a new friend’s eye as they look away, that silence from the snowfall: it’s coming home again, and again, and again.
What I must tell you is that this is one of the truest things there is in this life. I must tell you that I know it isn’t just synapses; it isn’t just a dead-end trick of the brain. I refuse to separate the physical from the metaphysical. I must tell you they are one in the same. The certainty of a gut feeling is a coin with two sides: the body and the spirit. Embracing the body does not have to be without a certain mysticism. There is magic in the body. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood.” It is through dark, bloody body parts that the soul reaches, like sunlight through the trees of a dense forest. In moments of intuition, it is not just a wind within, some kind of ghost, but the body that knows, as well. Like the wind is recognized by the leaves it blows, the spirit stirs the nerves and dances on the skin and wuthers behind the ribcage.
These soul stirrings are the basis of my spirituality. Since childhood, I’ve known there to be truth in these timeless moments. Looking at life like a journey, these soul stirrings were like lit-up paths, whispers to me in the darkness, moments of triumph or joy, the knowing of a bond between me and pieces of the universe which connect to the rest, like being the spider at the center of a web. Like the wind, the soul seems to navigate the way toward something, not necessarily some great destiny or single direction, but maybe a return. Maybe each time the soul stirs, the veil lifts, and as the earthly experience holds a homecoming for the spirit, the body is welcomed back to the other side for a moment, as well. Maybe what we are feeling is that exchange, that handshake between the inside and the outside, which is why it feels a bit like turning inside out as well as fitting into place.
Whatever your soul stirrings are, listen to them. Feel them to your core. Let them tell you what they want to. Let them give you faith in something. Let yourself be charmed by them. Follow them. Bathe in them. Sing them and draw them. Plug into them. Keep them at your bedside. Go to them when you’re jaded. Search for them when you’re lost. Run to them when you are empty. It will be like running home.