Sole and Soul

13th November 2021 Dr Beena


Hello everyone๐Ÿ˜‰. I was a bit busy and needed some time to finish my chores. Fine, now today’s musing is based on my conversation with a 79-year-old man. He seemed very down, and nothing seemed to cheer him up. I was curious, and he said when he reads the news on his phone (yeap, not from physical paper) he, feels sad and emptyโ˜นโ˜น. There is nothing good about this world. Wow, I thought, he thinks as I do.


That day, I had to go to the cobbler as my shoe heels lost their soles. Does anyone of you feel irritated when you walk around with shoe heels without soles? It will be loud and attract the attention of others. Everyone will know you lost your sole๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š. That is not something that I want any attention forโ˜น.

But, after I mulled on that story above, I realised that when we lose our souls, none is aware of that fact.ย  I felt that is how this world has become. The destruction of truth, equality, nature, kindness and much more fodder for our souls has happened. Yet, we seem to have not felt it. Or are we missing something here? Like the man above, is that feeling of emptiness a clue to that loss? Well, I have known people who lost their souls and outwardly seemed to be well. I felt sad how these people changed their valuesโ˜น. I fear the future for the youth who would embrace these values leading to the obliteration of this world in every way.ย 


Wow, that was a bit heavyโ˜น. Let us now digress a bit. The above painting is from my Art classwork using acrylic paint and a kitchen scrubber. Yes, the humble cleaner๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š. I used the scrubber to create the background, the clouds and the leaves on the tree. For the tree, I used a brush. Now, I felt elated when I finished my work as I used the unassuming scrubber๐Ÿ˜Š.


Hence, there is always something that we can create๐Ÿ˜Š. Just look around and, magic will begin. It is that magic that generates a joyful spark in our souls. On that note, I wish you all, a joyous soulful day. We can always try to nourish our souls in some small ways every day ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰.

16 thoughts on “Sole and Soul

  1. A great painting!
    I really love the blue part of the painting, although a successful effort with scrubber!!

    I have to confess that looking at the painting I wasn’t sure what the title of soul/sole had to do with it. Initially I thought it had something do with fish, but then again I skipped breakfast.

    Then looking at the picture again, prehaps it had something do to with global warming and COP 26 which is happening now.

    I was thinking really hard about how to make a comment that would add justice to the content of this piece… if I may I would just like to include a poem by Neruda to reflect upon,

    Clenched Soul
    We have lost even this twilight.
    No one saw us this evening hand in hand
    while the blue night dropped on the world.

    I have seen from my window
    the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

    Sometimes a piece of sun
    burned like a coin in my hand.

    I remembered you with my soul clenched
    in that sadness of mine that you know.

    Where were you then?
    Who else was there?
    Saying what?
    Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
    when I am sad and feel you are far away?

    The book fell that always closed at twilight
    and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

    Always, always you recede through the evenings
    toward the twilight erasing statues.

    (Pablo Neruda, Translated by W.S. Merwin)

    1. Hi Leong

      A totally different take:)):). I feel that does prove that we all have a creative side to us that we have not tapped on. I feel thrilled when the reader finds it from my modest painting:). Hope one day you will contribute a story. In fact this could have been a story to this painting, hahahahah

  2. What a lovely poem that fits in so well with our global challenges. I also wondered as to why I only painted a single bird?

  3. Beenaโ€ฆ. Thatโ€™s a fascinating painting. The red and blue hues relating to the tempests and calmness which is after all what life is all about .. Excellent conceptualisation strewn with the icing of some beautiful words to accompany..

    Youโ€™ve come a long way my friendโ€ฆ. COVID probably was a โ€œ blessing in disguise โ€œ as far as you are concerned ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

    1. Hi Ramesh

      It is hard to look at Covid and say it is a blessing as it had created untold misery. But if you reflect, hardship brings out aspects of human nature that would have never surfaced:).
      My artwork is for me to feel good and I hope my thoughts add a dimension that would add a few moments of serenity to anyone who reads it.

  4. WOW…that was my first reaction to the painting..the vibrancy of it..despite perhaps the sadness of the story…

    I also realized that the bird is on the side with no leaves..strange isn’t it..what our mind makes us create..

    I truly loved the effect of the artwork done with a scrubber and brush.๐Ÿ˜

    I also loved Leong’s response with a Neruda poem. So much food for thought.

    Life is how we perceive it I guess..and that reminds me of 2 movies..

    The 1st one is “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith… it tells the Real-Life Rags to Riches Story of sccessful businessman Chris Gardner. Tired of Chris’s professional failures, his wife decides to separate, leaving him financially broke with an unpaid internship in a brokerage firm and his son’s custody to deal with…he turns his life around from being homeless to becoming a very successful businessman.

    The 2nd movie is called “Life is Beautiful”… a comedy/ drama film directed by Roberto Benigni, and released on November 6th of 1998. .. The film is based on a real-life story about a Jewish-Italian man named Rubino Romeo Salmoni, whose story is narrated through a young boy named Guido Orefice (Giorgio Cantarini). The Jewish father and his family are surrounded by Nazi death camps. Living in a hostile environment, he uses humor to shield his young son from the grim realities of war.

    So with eternal HOPE and the image of the vibrantly stunning artwork in my mind..I say Thank You to you Beena for sharing this.

    Much love,

    1. It is strange that you noted the bird. I generally don’t draw a single bird as I feel it’s rather desolate. But in this painting even though I noticed that single bird, I could not bring myself to draw another one. I too wonder why? I hope other readers have some thoughts on that. Love to hear your views too……….

  5. The painting captures the night and morning skies so well – the leaves on both sides are different, a telling of the changing seasons perhaps?
    I resonate with the old man well , sometimes when one becomes an old soul, we are led astray and plagued by negative thoughts. We would need a young soul like you to guide us back into the light , with hopes renewed.

    1. Hi Chiam

      All of us have negative thoughts. We can’t escape that. But what we can do is acknowledge those negative thoughts. Then try to understand why those thoughts are there and see if we can do something about them. Many times, we are unable to solve them. The next step would be to accept facts of life and try to live with neutral thoughts. Neutral thoughts are neither positive nor negative. It is not easy but as the saying goes ” practice makes perfect”. It is about choices. We can choose to let ourselves have the thoughts we want. Thoughts are mobile. They come and go. So just remind yourself, these thoughts will also go away. It is like the season that you saw in the painting. Seasons change too. Let us try to remain hopeful rather than despondent:)

  6. The poem encapsulates the painting so well – the blue night and the fiesta of sunset! The poignancy of the poem also resonates with Beenaโ€™s musing on the soul. Thanks for sharing it.
    I learned of Neruda from the film Il Postino, a story based on his exile in Capri. Itโ€™s beautiful and good for the soul.

  7. Beena, your description of those who have lost their souls reminds me of a Chinese idiom which translated literally means Walking corpse Moving meat, in other words the living dead. Only the form remains, without the senses, sensitivities , values or morality and so they carry on – muddling through life โ€ฆโ€ฆ..

    1. Hi Nyuk

      Thank you for introducing the Chinese idiom which aptly describes what I wanted to describe:). But it is hard to find the living dead with our regular Ghosts who tend to be quite harmless. Maybe the annual rituals satisfy them in August:).

  8. Beena , dear! What a lovely piece of art! The colours their combinations- priceless indeed!
    I loved the accompanying note too! Not easy for me to pen my feelings ; but – small small incidents do boost up your mood and soul too
    Your paintings and the reflections certainly do ! And I thatโ€™s not a small one

    1. Hi Savithri

      Yes, I do believe in the small stuff that matters more than the big ones. These days, I try to focus on the things that bring me joy. Often it is just watching my two girls chasing each other:):).

  9. Hi Dr. Beena. Thank you for writing about the importance of both the physical (sole) and the spiritual (soul)! Only when both are well nourished and cared for can one be truly happy. Seeing your painting and reading your musings makes me realize what an important task you have undertaken this past year by sharing your paintings and your thoughts with an ever increasing number of friends and acquaintances. By doing so you have, in a very tangible way, been nourishing the souls of those who view your paintings with their eyes and read your stories with their hearts.

    As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches here in the United States, I want to send you this message of thanks to let you know how much enjoyment I (and many others I am sure) have gotten from your paintings and stories this past year. I look forward to them showing up each Friday (Thursday night in the US ๐Ÿ˜‰ on my feed.

    I do hope that you will continue this tradition in the coming year and that you will continue to inspire and provide hope to those of us who follow you and, in the process, that this act of kindness and generosity on your part may provide you with strength, happiness and hope for the future.

    Your friend,

    Grandpa Allan

    1. Hi Allan

      Am really touched by what you said. In fact when I started out I was not sure if anyone would be interested in what I have to write. But am glad that others came on board to write their stories too. So it got more interesting as readers started to share their experiences. So for me it has been like I am nourished by comments๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„. It helps me alot.
      So I say a Big Thank You to everyone who participated at this website.

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