Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Soul Mates?

Tarrus Riley has a song called Soul Mate which I really love:

The other day as I was driving and listening to the song, I started to think about soul mates.  I tend to believe in soul mates but for me, I've never really thought that my soul mate needed to be someone that I would be married to or intimate with or someone of the opposite sex even.  To me, a soul mate could be a true blue friend.  Or even my blood sister.  I never really had the idea that a soul mate would be someone you'd get along with flawlessly but I do think that two soul mates would really understand each other in an uncanny way.  The two would be attracted to each other in a way that's kind of inexplicable.  There was one guy in my past  to whom I was totally and inexplicably physically attracted and thinking back, had we actually given a relationship a try, it would have been truly disastrous.  Was he my soul mate?  I don't know and I don't think I want to.  You could find you soul mate as a child (two kids who just really click and work well) or as an elderly person (two old folks who can just sit in silence and communicate everything) or never at all.

When I googled soul mate, I discovered that (it seems) lots of people are in search of their soul mate to be their life partner. There's all kinds of quizzes and checklists.  I remember Joan from the show Girlfriends and how she was constantly single (which was kind of the running joke) as she searched for her soul mate.  She just refused to settle for anything less.

Personally, I don't know if there are any guarantees that you will meet your soul mate (or should I say a soul mate since you could potentially have many) in this lifetime.  Maybe you and your soul mate are just not incarnate at the same exact time or maybe your soul mate lives halfway across the world and speaks Urdu.  Does every soul have a soul mate?  Is there a missing piece of you until you meet your soul mate?  Do soul mates stay soul mates for ever?  I don't know.  

But it's interesting to think about.  Had you asked me when I first got married had I married my soul mate, I would have answered a resounding yes.  Three years into the marriage, I would probably have said definitely not.  Six years into it and . . . I think that he quite possibly is but we've grown into it.   Can you grow into being soul mates?  Is that how you get a soul mate in the first place, finding him or her in this lifetime, intertwining your souls together until both souls are inseparable and  then just meeting up with him again and again in other lifetimes?  Or are soul mates create dspecifically for each other?   Heck, are souls created or have they always just existed?  Like alongside God?   Oh boy, I digress.  

When I look at the hubby, I don't see a reflection of myself but actually a really excellent balance.  The fact that we are not matching but complementary makes it such that our relationship is not without it's bumps and sour notes.  It's like contrasting colors--sometimes you have to look and look again to make sure they go but if you step away, you realize how nicely they look together.  If you are looking at the bigger picture of our marriage, you realize how nicely we look together.  So the question of whether he's my soul mate or not kind of becomes a not that big an issue.  So that's what I would tell someone searching for their life partner . . . not to worry too much about being soul mates but to place more emphasis on whether you two can be good mates.  Does that make sense?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: Orange, Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice

I'm a huge fan of Jill Scott so when I heard she was doing another movie, it caught my attention immediately.  The movie she's in is called Sins of the Mother and it's a Lifetime movie based on the novel by Carleen Brice:  Orange, Mint and Honey.  Now, you all know how much I just hate watching the movie before reading the book so . . . I decided to borrow the book and read it.  And I just noticed that they are now streaming the whole movie live on the website so I can watch it! 

I know the bar has (recently) been set high by Eat, Pray, Love so forgive me if I'm not gushing.  And I do have to say I was wary since  this novel was an Essence magazine  book club selection.  But the novel is solid.  Nothing exciting.  No intense twists and turns.  No deep soul searching.  But it it an interesting if somewhat predictable read. 

The main character, Shay, has essentially raised herself since her mother was an alcoholic.  She struggles desperately in life to attain a sense of normalcy and security.  She finds it hard to trust people and because she has completely immersed herself in academia and work, goes reeling when these two things go awry (she loses her job and starts to do poorly in school and needs to take a break).  In the throes of a depression,  she receives a vision of the great Nina Simone who encourages her to move back to live with her mother.  Her mother has finally managed to kick the alcoholism although the reader can see that it is a daily struggle for her.  All the tensions and issues you would expect to arise by Shay moving back in with her mom, do.  But in the end, Shay is able to find healing and is able to forgive and move on.  We never know exactly what brought on the visions of Nina Simone but as Shay pulls herself to a good place, Nina stops showing up. 

The writing itself was solid.  Brice is a good writer but I'm not sure I'd be enticed to read another one of her books.  I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, though.  

Currently I'm reading . . . wait for it . . . Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  It's like reading Sweet Valley High so needless to say, I'm not enthralled since I'm not 13.  Okay, maybe I'm being a bit harsh but this book was highly recommended to me by the hubby's homie's wife.  I mean, she was straight sweating this book--swearing up and down that this is the must.read.book of the century.   I'm reading it wishing I were reading Fledgling.  I'll chalk it up to vastly different tastes.

So next up after Twilight, I'm looking to re-read Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell.  I read this probably in my senior year of high school and I loved it.  I'm going to read it again, ten years later and see if I still love it.  I've got Temple of My Familiar (which I own) which I want to try to read again but I also want to go back to some classics like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice--stuff I read and liked in school but wonder how it would go over now.  There's a thread I'm reading on Nappturality about books and there are just so many suggestions I can't keep up!  So I may have to just make a list. 
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