Intake Valves of the Soul: Quirks and Perks


I do not often imagine the soul as a machine, but a good metaphor expands the imagination.

Quote: This was when Geryon liked to plan / his autobiography, in that blurred state / between awake and asleep when too many intake valves are open in the soul. / Like the terrestrial crust of the earth / which is proportionally ten times thinner than an eggshell, the skin of the soul / is a miracle of mutual pressures.

— Anne Carson,  Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse

Inspired figurative language hooks the reader’s imagination with a specific image, which in turn hauls in scores of images that haul in schools of images that flip and flick their tails until words and images become a shiny liquid poured down the intake valves of the soul.

Over time, pressure builds.

For some of us, writing is an exhaust valve of the soul.

For the rest … well, you tell me.

Author: A Quiver of Quotes

Jousts with words, jaunts through all genres. In favour of hendiadys, synaesthesia, and the transferred epithet. Books, books, books. Writing. Author of

14 thoughts on “Intake Valves of the Soul: Quirks and Perks”

  1. To me-Writing is the combustion chamber, the exhaust valve is the mind discharging the fumes of ideas, and the intake valve is the expectation the idea will explode on command.
    The soul awaits the flesh to respond in a meaningful appreciation seldom forthcoming.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have found that if warm air didn’t rise we would always be breathing our own exhaust, and if good ideas didn’t rise we would never have a fresh place for new ideas to exhaust out to. Perhaps the circular labyrinth is actually a slowly ascending spiral with layers so close they seem to be circular but are separated in a never ending strand.
        “Oh” over the top response on my part, but fun!


  2. I like the “mutual pressures”, the “miracle” of a balance. Our inner Goldilocks? Just right? Maybe not too different than that moment of lost memory, trying too hard to recollect that name, that word, but when we let go, it calls to us.

    Liked by 1 person

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