“A true friend is one soul in two bodies”

By Catherine Keefe.

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Aristotle may or may not have said those words exactly, or it might have been something like, “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies,” or, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

All I really need to know is that the exhilaration and miracle of that sensation when two bodies can feel like one spirit did not go unnoted by the ancient philsopher or contemporary poets.

And you can find expression of two-ness in simplicity or complexity.

For simplicity, look into the eyes of a friend or loved one today.

For complexity, consider how one poet, Karen An-hwei Lee launched from Aristotle’s words into her poem, “Theories of the Soul.” Read. Ponder. Repeat. You can find more of Karen’s poetry on the Poetry Foundation website link here.

Theories of the Soul
BY KAREN AN-HWEI LEE

A true friend is one soul in two bodies.
—Aristotle

Kant says, transcendental
idealism. In Aquinas,

we exist apart from bodies
but only on Thursdays

when his famous ox
flies by the window

wiser at Cologne
where Albertus Magnus,

his real name, appoints
Aquinas to magister studentium,

master of students. Aquinas
is petrified but says yes.

He feels his soul
sailing out of his head

floating near the roof
where a blue ox wings by.

On Wednesday, two bodies
are one soul

waking at sunrise
thanks to the pineal gland

of Descartes, who thinks
this node in the brain

is a tiny sugar cone
or salted peanut,

the seat of the soul
while Aristotle points

to the chopping
ax as a teleology

as if the ax were a living,
breathing person

which it isn’t.
Heraclitus, air and fire

while Aquinas objects, no
not an ax but ox.

If you’re a bird or soul
I am only one mile

from the sea. If you
are a soul in two bodies

life is more complex
and we must labor

twice the field of sorrow
after sleep, bath, and a glass

as Aquinas whispers, the things
we love tell us who we are.

Wishing you enough “two” today.
~Catherine

This post is for “two” today’s August Break 2015 prompt. For more takes on “two,” check out #augustbreak2015 on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

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