Category Archives: Articles

Richard Wagner: Genius and Jerk

Standard

When I was in high school and college, I disliked Richard Wagner. To me, his music felt very brass-heavy, thick.

Funny, isn’t it, how life changes you. A few years ago I discovered that Wagner’s music is exceptionally lush. Hearing it live in person gives me chills. This is my favorite:

Talk about strong, beautiful women!

Wagner (1813 –1883) was a German composer, theater director, and conductor best known for his operas (or “music dramas”). He wrote not only the music for each of his stage works, but also the libretto (story line and words). He was also notoriously opinionated, an outspoken socialist German nationalist and anti-Semite. His personal life included political exile, torid love affairs, poverty, and debt.

From childhood he loved opera and knew he wanted to write for musical theater. He pursued music lessons as a means to that end. He was particularly influenced by Beethoven’s music, which he studied and analyzed. He even transcribed Beethoven’s ninth symphony for piano.

Wagner married his first wife, actress Minna Planer, in 1836. In May 1837, Minna left Wagner for another man, but she came back the following year. Their marriage continued in this on-again-off-again manner, due to infidelity and financial problems.

Wagner finished his fourth opera (and first very successful one), Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), in 1843, and Tannhäuser in 1845.

Der fliegende Holländer is about a ghost ship whose ghost captain is cursed to roam the sea forever. The only way to end his everlasting voyage: Every seven years the waves will cast him upon the shore; if he can find a wife who will be true to him, he will be released from his curse. Listen to the overture, hear the waves:

Here is the Grand March from Tannhäuser, arranged for brass and percussion:

Wagner played a minor supporting role in a political uprising in Dresden in 1849, and when a warrant was issued for his arrest, he fled to Switzerland, where he remained until 1858. He had just finished Lohengrin, and he corresponded with his good friend Franz Liszt, begging him to have it staged in his absence. Liszt conducted the premiere in Weimar in 1850.

You may recognize this famous theme from Lohengrin:

While in Switzerland, Wagner conducted a sexual affair with the wife of a friend of a friend. He even planned to run off with her. Meanwhile, his first (and current) wife Minna lapsed into a deep depression. Later, after she discovered he was having an affair with yet another woman, Wagner and Minna separated.

In Switzerland, Wagner worked on Tristan and Isolde and three of the four great dramas that would become the Ring cycle, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Sigfried.

This is archival footage of Jessye Norman singing the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde in 1987, Herbert von Karajan conducting:

Wagner spent the next part of his exile in Venice and Paris, while Minna returned to Germany. She visited him in Paris, and they tried to reconcile, but were unsuccessful.

In 1862, Germany lifted the ban against Wagner, and he returned to Germany, settling in Biebrich. Minna visited him there one more time, but they parted for good. Wagner supported her until her death in 1866.

Wagner began work on Die Meistersinger von Nürmberg. He also tried to have Tristan und Isolde produced in Vienna, but in rehearsals it was deemed “impossible” to sing, and the opera never opened, which added to Wagner’s financial problems.

Wagner’s luck changed in 1864, when King Ludwig II succeeded to the throne of Bavaria at the age of 18. An ardent admirer of Wagner’s operas, he invited the composer to Munich. Ludwig, who was homosexual, expressed his love for the composer, and Wagner feigned reciprocal feelings so he could milk the relationship for opportunities and benefits. Ludwig settled Wagner’s debts and proposed staging Tristan und IsoldeDie Meistersinger, and the Ring dramas. Wagner began work on his autobiography, Mein Leben, at the King’s request.

Tristan und Isolde premiered at National Opera Munich in June of 1865. The conductor of this premiere was Hans von Bülow, whose wife, Cosima, had given birth in April that year to a daughter, named Isolde (whose father was Wagner).

Cosima was 24 years younger than Wagner and was the daughter of the Countess Marie d’Agoult, who had left her husband for Franz Liszt. Liszt initially disapproved of his daughter’s involvement with his friend Wagner. The affair scandalized Munich, and leading members of the court were suspicious of Wagner’s influence on the King. In December 1865, Ludwig was finally forced to ask the composer to leave Munich.

Ludwig installed Wagner at the Villa Tribschen, located beside Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne. Die Meistersinger was completed at Tribschen in 1867, and premiered in Munich in June the following year. At Ludwig’s insistence, “special previews” of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre were performed in Munich in 1869 and 1870, but Wagner dreamed of presenting his first complete cycle at a special festival at a new, dedicated, opera house designed to his specifications.

Meanwhile, Cosima begged Hans von Bülow to grant her a divorce, but Bülow refused. He consented only after she had two more children with Wagner; another daughter, named Eva, after the heroine of Die Meistersinger, and a son Siegfried, named for the hero of the Ring. The divorce was finally granted in July 1870. Richard and Cosima’s wedding took place a month later. The marriage lasted to the end of Wagner’s life.

864px-RichardWagner
Richard Wagner

In 1872, the Wagners moved to Bayreuth, where his new opera house would be located. The town council donated a large plot of land—the “Green Hill”—and the foundation stone for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus (“Festival Theatre”) was laid. Wagner initially announced the first Bayreuth Festival, at which for the first time the Ring cycle would be presented complete, for 1873, but since Ludwig had declined to finance the project, the start of building was delayed and the proposed date for the festival was postponed. To raise funds for the construction, “Wagner societies” were formed in several cities, and Wagner began touring Germany conducting concerts. By the spring of 1873, only a third of the required funds had been raised; further pleas to Ludwig were initially ignored, but early in 1874, with the project on the verge of collapse, the King relented and provided a loan. The full building program included the family home, “Wahnfried,” into which the Wagners moved in April 1874. The theatre was completed in 1875, and the festival scheduled for the following year. Commenting on the struggle to finish the building, Wagner remarked to Cosima: “Each stone is red with my blood and yours.”

Wagner created several theatrical innovations at Bayreuth; these include darkening the auditorium during performances, and placing the orchestra in a pit out of view of the audience.

The Festspielhaus finally opened in August 1876 with Das Rheingold, at last taking its place as the first evening of the complete Ring cycle; the 1876 Bayreuth Festival  saw the premiere of the complete cycle, performed as a sequence as the composer had intended. The 1876 Festival consisted of three full Ring cycles (under the baton of Hans Richter). At the end, the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg thought the work “divinely composed,” but the French newspaper Le Figaro called the music “the dream of a lunatic.” Friedrich Nietzsche was bitterly disappointed by what he saw as Wagner’s pandering to increasingly exclusivist German nationalism. However, the festival firmly established Wagner as an artist of international prestige.

Wagner was far from satisfied with the Festival; Cosima recorded that months later, his attitude towards the productions was “Never again, never again!” Moreover, the festival finished with a huge deficit. The expenses of Bayreuth and of Wahnfried meant that Wagner still sought further sources of income by conducting or taking on commissions.

Wagner’s most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants.

Richard Wagner is the earliest composer most specifically associated with the concept of leitmotif. His Der Ring des Nibelungen uses hundreds of leitmotifs, short melodic or harmonic themes often related to specific characters, things, ideas, or situations. While some of these leitmotifs occur in only one of the operas, many recur throughout the entire cycle. This practice is used today extensively in movie soundtracks. John Williams is a master of leitmotif.

I have never sat through one of Wagner’s operas, though I’ve heard excerpts at the Phoenix symphony and seen scenes on TV and online. I’ve discovered that Opera North in England has filmed the entire Ring cycle and posted it on its website. I want to watch it. All of it.

I am seriously considering issuing a challenge to ARHtistic License readers to watch the entire Ring cycle. We’re all busy, so maybe we could do it in segments, one opera per month, and post our reactions. Would you be interested? If so, let me know in the comments below, and give me your suggestions about how we could do this. If by the end of June we have at least ten people who want to participate, we’re on!

Happy May Day!

Standard

Falling midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, May Day, May 1, celebrates the fullness of spring. It started centuries ago in western Europe, and has many different traditions associated with it.

One is to gather flowers from your garden into cone-shaped baskets, hang them on your neighbor’s doorknob, ring the bell, and run away.

Another is to dance around a maypole weaving intricate designs with the ribbons.

When I was a girl attending a Catholic elementary school, our May tradition was that each morning a different girl brought a crown formed out of flowers from our home gardens. We processed out of the school building singing a hymn such as “Immaculate Mary” and the chosen maiden of the day crowned a statue of Mary on the school grounds. Then we sang another hymn, “Queen of the May” in Mary’s honor.

Have you ever participated in a May Day celebration?

National Poetry Writing Month

Standard
by yeongkyeong lee

April is both National Poetry Month and National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). Also Global Poetry Writing Month (GloPoWriMo), if you live somewhere other than the United States.

For the last few years, I’ve been on the poetry writing bandwagon, writing a poem a day (well, I try to, anyway) during April and October (OctPoWriMo). I invite you to join me this year.

There’s a number of ways you can participate. Check out the official website for the NaPoWriMo challenge. Or, join Writer’s Digest’s Robert Lee Brewer for his Poem-A-Day challenge. You may find other poetry writing challenges online. You can use the suggested prompts if you wish, or not—they’re meant to be a starting point to get the juices flowing, but you can take off in any direction. You can post them online if you want, on a blog, in website comments, on social media. Or you can write them in your notebook and share them or not. You have incredible latitude.

I only became serious about writing poetry a few years ago. I’ve always loved poetry, but my early attempts at writing were so bad that I gave up. A book titled poemcrazy gave me some direction, and I love writing poems now. I mean to write a poem every other day year-round, but life interferes. Poem-a-day challenges help me be more intentional, although some days I can’t write a poem to save my life.

You can also celebrate National Poetry Month by reading poetry. Go to the library and check out a couple of anthologies. Or visit the two websites linked above (and ARHtistic License!) to read the daily offerings. Dissonance also posts daily poems. Poets.org has a poem-a-day page (you can sign up to have them email you a daily poem). You can also sign up for a morning poem email from The Paris Review. Or read poetry on Instagram.

Whether you read poems or write them, don’t let April go by without celebrating them.

Tasks That Can Be Accomplished in Just a Few Minutes

Standard

It used to annoy me when I’m ready to go somewhere but my husband is not. “I just have to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth.” Instead of being mad or drumming my fingers or making impatient noises, I now try to use those waiting moments to accomplish something, anything. Often, I do things I’ve been procrastinating. It doesn’t take long to:

  • Move a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Write a “thinking of you” card. (I have a friend who is medically fragile and has to limit her contact with people. I miss her so much and think about her all the time. A few times a year, I go to the dollar store and buy as many sweet or funny cards as I can find, and send one to her every week or so. I keep them in a plastic bag on my desk along with an index card with her address on it. Every time I realize it’s been a week, I dash one off to her. It only takes a couple of minutes.)
  • Wipe out the microwave.
  • Scrub the sink.
  • Dust one room with a feather duster. (Now you have an excuse to buy a feather duster.)
  • Do some lunges and stretches and yoga breathing.
  • Play some scales on the piano.
  • Sanitize the counter.
  • Brush the toilet.
  • Send up a prayer. (Can’t think of anything to pray about? Just say thank you. A spirit of gratitude improves your day and your relationships.)
  • Drink a full glass of water. It’s good for you, and sometimes we don’t drink enough.
  • Make the bed.
  • Change a light bulb.
  • Sweep the kitchen or laundry room or front porch.
  • Sew on a button.
  • Pet the dog or cat.
  • Tickle a child.
  • Comb your hair.
  • Make sure you’ve got your phone/wallet/keys/sunglasses.

Every time I’m able to accomplish a little chore in what could have been wasted time, I feel positively virtuous. When I’m stuck waiting away from home, I’ll pray or do some small exercises (neck rolls, tightening my abdomen, etc). And I always bring a book if I’m going to a doctor appointment.

Now it’s your turn. How do you deal with waiting? Are there activities you complete in random moments? Share in the comments below.

Hattie McDaniel

Standard

Hattie McDaniel was a groundbreaking actress, the first African-American to win an Oscar for best supporting actress. Here’s her story:

I knew about Hattie McDaniel’s role in Gone with the Wind, but I didn’t know she was also a singer. Here she is in 1943’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, singing “Ice-Cold Katie”:

McDaniel costared with James Cagney in Johnny Come Lately in 1943:

Here is McDaniel with Ruby Dandridge on The Beulah Show in 1952. She passed away from breast cancer later that year.

Here she is in her most famous role:

Outstanding African-American Authors

Standard

As an old white woman, I never knew until fairly recently that all my life I’d been the beneficiary of white privilege. I’d heard of it, but I didn’t think it applied to me, because I’m not rich. You have to be rich to be privileged, right?

Wrong.

Every day, I am the recipient of advantages that aren’t offered to my darker brothers and sisters. I am spared the assumptions made of people of color just because my skin is pale.

Three things made me aware of this phenomenon—an article in my Lutheran denomination’s magazine, and two groundbreaking books by African-American authors.

When I read the nonfiction book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, I realized how much I take for granted, and how many obstacles to success people of color face. It opened my eyes and broke my heart.

Next to The Holy BibleHidden Figures is the most important book I’ve ever read. As a boomer born in the 1950s and living through the tumultuous 1960s, I thought I knew all about the civil rights movement. It turns out I knew very little. I thank Margot Lee Shetterly for educating me. For example, I didn’t know that long before I was born, thousands of African Americans graduated from historically Black colleges and universities. They were every bit as highly educated as white college graduates, but had trouble finding employment in their fields. Many entered the teaching profession, working in Black schools, offering hope to the next generation. Good work, but low-paying, especially the farther back you go.

The book is very well-written. It reads like a novel, though it is nonfiction and scrupulously annotated. I am humbled to learn about the Langley Research Center computers, and I believe Hidden Figures should be required reading for everyone in the United States, especially white people like me. The movie based on it is often on TV, and I watch it whenever I can.

I read Angie Thomas’ YA novel, The Hate U Give, to find out what all the fuss was about. I was prepared not to like it, but it transcended my expectations. The story is multi-layered, with difficult family issues, and yet you understand that Starr and her parents are people with principles who want to do the right things. Thomas does a great job of weaving a spellbinding plot. I’m not sure if her aim was to give white people an idea of what it is like to be a Black person in America today, but The Hate U Give has opened my white female senior citizen eyes. When people started saying, “Black lives matter,” white people, me included, said, “All lives matter,” to which Black people replied, “You don’t get it.” Thanks to this brilliantly written book, I am beginning to understand.

Not every book by a Black author needs to change the world. Some are just good stories.

I’ve read Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, and it transported me to a different world. Drawing from West African myth, Adeyemi created the kingdom of Orïsha (which on the endpaper map looks a lot like the continent of Africa). Its citizens fall into two groups: the diviners, distinguishable by their white hair, who could perform magic; and the kosidán, who can’t. Eleven years before the beginning of the story, magic disappeared from Orïsha, the same night as the Raid, a genocide of the diviners orchestrated by ruthless King Saran, who believed magic was destroying Orïsha and was determined to wipe it out. And that’s all I’m going to tell you, because if you are tired of the same old fiction, you are ready for Children of Blood and Bone. One warning, though—things do not get wrapped up at the end, so you’ll probably have to read the second and third installments.

Years ago I read Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale, and Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress. I’ve read at least one Toni Morrison book, but I can’t remember which.

I love Maya Angelou’s poems and wisdom. I’ve read two of her autobiographies, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Gather Together in My Name. They barely get her out of her teens; I’ve got five more to go. She lived an amazing life and overcame huge odds. Did you know she was a teenaged madam? She also wanted to join the Army and qualified for Officer’s Candidate School, but that dream ended when she was accused of being a Communist. She danced professionally for a short time; then her partner reconciled with his ex and fired her.

While researching for this article, I came across many authors whose names I know but whose books I haven’t read: Octavia Butler, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Marlon James, Colson Whitehead, Jessmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, Zora Neale Hurston, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hopefully, I will read some before next Black History Month.

A Black History Month Treat: The Other Mozart

Standard
Joseph Bologne, le Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Joseph Bologne was born December 25, 1745, on the island of Guadeloupe in the West Indies. His father was a minor French noble; his mother was the African slave of his father’s wife.

His father adored the baby boy, and couldn’t help noticing his quick intellect. He wanted nothing more than for Joseph to grow up and take his place among the nobility. He even gave him a special title: le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. His early education included learning to read and write in French, riding, shooting, and playing the violin.

When Joseph was eight, his father moved him and his mother to Paris. Joseph was enrolled in an exclusive academy. He became an accomplished swordsman, virtually unbeatable at fencing. He was also an elegant dancer and very popular with the ladies.

But his greatest talent was his musicianship. He was a virtuoso violinist. The young queen, Marie Antoinette, herself a fine musician, invited him to come to Versailles and play with her. Joseph was also an acclaimed composer and a sought-after conductor. He aspired to be the director of the Paris Opera. But the three divas of the opera company complained to King Louis XVI that it was beneath them to take orders from a mulatto. The king left the position unfilled.

Eventually, Joseph became aware of the longing of the French people for a more egalitarian form of government. He sympathized with the cause of the Revolution, and became the commander of a regiment of a thousand black soldiers. After the overthrow of the monarchy and the beheading of Louis XVI, the Reign of Terror began, and the nobles’ lives were at risk—including the Chevalier’s. Joseph was imprisoned. Ultimately, he kept his head and was released.

Today Joseph Bologne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, is known for the beautiful music he composed. Sadly, after his lifetime, his music fell out of favor and was not performed for almost 200 years; but in recent decades, it has been rediscovered and new audiences appreciate his genius. He is thought to be the first Black classical composer. His style is often compared to Mozart’s.

Ideas for Valentine’s Day During the Pandemic

Standard
Ideas for Valentine’s Day During the Pandemic

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your honey this year? During the pandemic, your options are limited. You’d better start planning now if you don’t want to disappoint your loved one.

You might not even be getting together face-to-face. Maybe you’re separated by distance, or maybe a health concern has kept you isolated. Maybe spending face time in FaceTime is your best option.

Even under the best of times, going out to eat on Valentine’s Day is a challenge, because, guess what? It’s everyone’s Valentine’s Day; unlike birthdays and anniversaries, which are spread out among 366 days. And in the time of Covid, dining venues are limited. Most restaurants that are open have fewer tables available (unless they’ve built plexiglass partitions); and they’re in high demand because, as stated before, it’s everybody’s Valentine’s Day.

So, maybe you can make a special dinner for your Valentine; that is, if you can even be in the same room together. Or, maybe you can order takeout. Or maybe you can send him or her a specially delivered meal.

You can’t go out to the movies, but maybe you could stream a romantic movie together.

You can always send him or her flowers or candy or a gift. It’s tried and true, but somewhat of a cliché.

Better yet, you could give the gift of yourself. What are your special talents? (Oh, my goodness! That’s not the kind of special talent I meant, but okay then. Moving on. . .)

Can you write a love poem? It doesn’t even have to rhyme. And if you can also play an instrument, maybe you can make it into a song with a simple accompaniment, and video yourself singing it, and post it on his or her Facebook page. (Um, even as I’m writing this, I’m seeing potential for disaster. . . maybe you could just email the poem.)

Can you draw or paint? Make some artwork especially for your beloved. You know what he or she likes. Landscapes, or flowers, or puppies, or even a portrait. That’s it! Make a portrait of your Valentine, and frame it in a gorgeous frame so he or she can enjoy it forever in a place of honor. (What could go wrong with that idea?)

Or maybe you’re a photographer. Enlarge a favorite photo that you know would have special meaning for your loved one, and frame it.

Are you a woodworker, or a quilter, or an upholsterer? A beautiful item that you made with your own hands will be treasured as evidence of your love. Who doesn’t love a quilt or a piece of furniture?

If all else fails, there are always gift cards. That mega-million-dollar internet order company that has fast delivery is very popular during the pandemic, as is that expensive coffee place with the drive-up window with cars backed up to the highway. Or a gift card to a grocery store. Actually, depending on your situation (and your sweetheart’s), one of the most appreciated gifts you could give might be a donation to the local food bank in your Valentine’s name. Some states (Arizona among them) might even give you (or your loved one) a tax credit for it.

Now it’s your turn. What great ideas do you have for celebrating Valentine’s Day during the pandemic? Share in the comments below. And however you spend Valentine’s Day this year, have a happy one.

Writing Christmas Fiction

Standard

Since my children were small, there’s been a basket in the corner of our living room filled with Christmas books. Some are children’s books, some are grownups’, some are fiction, some are non-fiction. They’ve been collected over decades, and I reread a few every year. I’ve even reviewed a few of my favorites.

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas story of my own. About a year ago I came up with an idea of a retelling of a classic Christmas tale—and that’s all I’m going to tell you about it, because I’m working hard at finishing it, and I’d really be bummed if you took my idea and did a better and quicker job of it than me.

Writing Christmas books is much like writing any other kind of book, but with a few slight differences. The same expectations for all fiction also apply to Christmas fiction: a vivid setting, a conflict, a main character who grows through time; a beginning, middle, and end; an arc with escalating action that leads to a satisfying conclusion. Christmas fiction also needs to evoke the feelings of the holidays, awakening associations through the senses: the twinkling lights, the smell of pine, the flavor of gingerbread, the sound of jingle bells. Christmas stories can be shorter than other novels, like 50,000 to 65,000 words rather than 90,000 to 300,000.

Christmas books generally sell from October through December. New Christmas books typically appear on shelves the first Tuesday in October. If you self-publish, you’ll want to launch in early October as well. Your book will languish from January through September, but you’ll be wise to self-promote it again starting each October.

Are you thinking of writing a Christmas book of your own? These articles may help you:

The Creative Soul

Standard

I’ve been introspective lately, thinking about big topics, such as the presence of God in our lives. I want to be a person who is led by God, and I’m having trouble hearing Him. This would normally be a topic for my Religion and Politics page, but I’m going to leave it here, in the main part of my blog, because it’s also related to creativity.

God is the Creator, and He made us in His image. That means that to a certain lesser extent, we are creators also. We’re cooks and builders and artists and inventors. We make stuff.

I believe my ideas come from God, but sometimes I don’t know what to do with them. I’ve come to a dead stop on some of my books because I know they have the potential to be so much more than they are, and I don’t know how to get them there. I need God to show me what His plan for my work is. I want to catch His vision. I want to plug into His creative power, but I don’t know how to access it. Where is it? Can I reach it with my mind? Or is it deeper still? Is it in my heart? My soul? My spirit?

I’ve prayed about it, and waited quietly for an answer, but it’s been months and I haven’t heard anything yet. And so I wonder.

A book I’ve been reading with my Bible study group mentioned that the soul knows when you’re on the wrong path. I feel like I’m on the wrong creative path and I’m searching for the right one, but I’m so lost. I sensed a whisper that I should define soul, so I’m following a rabbit trail trying to get a handle on it.

Is my soul the same thing as my spirit? I googled the difference between soul and spirit, and one of the articles that came up looked at scripture for answers.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NIV).” The way the sentence is structured in the original Greek infers that we are made up of three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (NIV).” You can divide the soul from the spirit just as you can separate joints from marrow; they are two distinct things. But they are also intertwined; it takes something sharper than a double-edged sword to separate them. Have you ever tried to sever a chicken leg joint in order to cook or serve dinner? It helps to have a sharp knife, but even that isn’t enough by itself; you really need good technique not to botch it up. Why? Because it isn’t designed to come apart easily. It would not be beneficial to the chicken for her legs to come off with ease. The word of God divides soul and spirit. What does that even mean?

Glory Dy, the author of the article I read, says “The soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings.” When I tried to define soul in my Zoom Bible study on Monday, I said it is our true self, our essence. I’m not sure I have it nailed down.

In contrast, Dy says, spirit is where we experience God. It is how we connect to the divine.

I’m sorry that my post today raises more questions than it answers. I’m not being very helpful today. If you have insights on the soul and/or the spirit, please feel free to share in the comments.

More thoughts on soul vs. spirit.