“My soul has formed you to its measure / I want you as a garment for my soul” – Garcilaso de la Vega, Sonata V
Tonight I sang this beautiful choir piece in Spanish and ruminated on the words. At first I laughed at the dramatic tone of this romantic statement — this concept that one soul could form to clothe another. At surface value, it’s the kind of melodramatic drivel that we love as teenagers, and that inspire shows like Twilight and Princess Bride.
When you take away our learned and hardened cynicism, it’s a beautiful statement. The concept that another’s soul could warm and sustain your inner being, similar to a garment. The lovely idea that two beings could be so close that they could be formed to exactly the same measure.
I’m not completely sold that there’s one garment for my soul, nor do I expect someone else’s soul to be formed to my measure. However, I think we can all perform this function – at least momentarily – for others. Those times when you support those you love with a warm word or kind gesture, lean in for the deserved hug, bring a meal when one is hungry, provide laughter when one is down, inspire confidence for one feeling timid.
We each have the power to be a garment for another’s soul, to shield them from the vagaries of the world and the coldness of the universe.
Yes, some days I do want you as a garment for my soul. Give me a moment and I will return the blessing.