Soul Fodder

<Fodder> : food, especially dried hay or straw, for cattle and other livestock.

<Soul> : the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

(Thanks Google)

What do you feed to your soul?

To me, soul fodder is anything that gives you a sense of deeper emotion or power. I think we need to drop our idea that food for the soul is something deep, serious ritual that is only to be undertaken when supervised by experienced monks. It doesn’t have to be a religious experience and it doesn’t have to follow any sort of prescribed method.

So why the word fodder? Why not sustenance or even ‘food’? Simply because that’s not how I see it. As I said, it doesn’t have to be some grand, miraculous ceremony. It can be anything. Even the most plain, everyday thing can be your soul fodder. It doesn’t seem to fit the role, but your soul fodder can be the one everyday thing that lifts you up to the level of universal awe and wonder.

I have never quite gotten into the practice of daily meditation rituals. I’m lazy and impatient. Yesterday, however, I had a truly extraordinary moment of, for lack of a better word, enlightenment. I was sitting in the car when the song “Road To Nowhere” by The Talking Heads came on the radio. I sang along, like I always do when encountered by really fantastic music. Singing along to those song I realized: my Soul Fodder is eighties music ( don’t laugh).

You know what, Bottomless Void? When I listen to this music, it makes me think about the world. It makes me think about the universe, my mortality and my existence. I suppose that I have a rather strange trigger, but that’s just the way it is.

“We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Takin’ that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride” – The Talking Heads : Road To Nowhere

How does my soul consume this morsel? Just like ice cream. Anticipation – the first taste. Then with a wholehearted, ecstatic glee. It’s the sweetest flavour in the world.

“It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming, “Let me out!”
Tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people – people on streets”

“‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance” – Queen: Under Pressure

When you’re so stressed you can see the cracks beginning to form in that reality – this is what that song feels like. It is that crushing heartbreak, but also the steaming mug of hot chocolate. That’s what my soul tastes  when I listen to this – that perfectly flawed, bittersweet flavour. It drags you through your worst moments, only to lead you back to your greatest , happiest moments – back to those you love.

This is what I feed to my soul.

What do you feed to yours?

 PS : The ‘o’ key on my keyboard is broken so this is really hard to type


2 thoughts on “Soul Fodder

  1. Soul fodder. Perfect way to describe some thoughts that have been going on in my mind for the past few months. I hear about people who go on incredible pilgrimages on The Camino de Santiago, parents who “recognize” a monastery in Nepal (to which they have never been, by the way), gurus who see an array of flashing lights and images during meditation, astral travel/projection (research that…) and Tibetan monks levitating. Wow! Great! I would love to experience that one day. But ‘waiting’ for some future event to happen, because, only – yes only – then you’ll be happy. How can one procrastinate happiness? The only moment that there will ever be is Now. THAT’S IT! Now. Future happiness = never. Back to the wonderful blog – if one is able to make soul fodder of the daily, mundane things – finding humour in the futile anger fits of motorists vs. Taxis; giving a hard-working guy on the street collecting plastic an ice-cold coke; tasting a block of 90% Lindt dark chocolate (that’s not so mundane…); hearing the silence of the night, soaking up the sun on the school steps; giving someone a genuine hug; doing spontaneous kicks; laughing at the unimaginably, ridiculously difficult AP Maths problem; truly immersing yourself in good music (volume turned up, feeling the beat of tune in your chest, singing your heart out); being totally present when doing homework (ignoring the societal conditioning of being too cool for school); opening your eyes to the wonderfully colourful world that we live in; thanking somebody from the depths of your heart, without feeling awkward; challenging your own ego, telling you that you’re better than other people; loving being different, controversial, unique and a fringe-goer. I challenge myself to make these everyday things my soul fodder – to live Here, Now. It’s difficult, yes, with city life being a roller coaster. I try stop myself from being super depressed because I failed a test; or super ecstatic because I’m going to be an exchange student. I would rather have one straight line (not swinging too far from the pendulum’s equilibrium) – by making the mundane soul fodder, because ultimately, the mundane and the sacred are inseparable. If I failed a test – that’s just it. If I’m going to be an exchange student – that’s just it. I believe that if one can get this equilibrium thing right, one is truly living in the now. That’s my soul fodder.

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