Cut to the Quick

I’ve had a few questions about the source of the name of my blog “Mortal’s Coil”.  There are certain phrases that have stuck with me over time after first reading them or hearing them. This is one of them.  It seems to me that artists are frequently gifted with the ability to take a phrase (often made up) and describe the human condition in a different way that somehow goes a level deeper then what you can say with normal words. 

One example of a similar phrase is from Dave Matthews Band.  In the song Ant’s Marching the phrase “Place them in the box until quieter times.”  Out of context of the song it doesn’t sound like much but in the context of the song the “box” seems to describe some kind of internal storage device of emotion, which I’ve often seen people describe in a different way.  “I feel like I’ve got so much pain built up inside I don’t know what to do with it.”  (Thanks to Stephanie, high school friend, who originally pointed out that phrase to me.)  People who cut often describe feeling “empty inside” and cut to be able to feel something.  See my previous post on love for further discussion on that. 

In fact artist often have a special window of understanding into the human condition which often seems to go beyond their own understanding.  Example: the guys from Linkin Park are Christian, they just don’t know it yet.  I’ll probably need to unpack that later since there’s to much there to cover in the context of this post, but take my word for it, they are, I know because was once where they seem to be. 

So “Mortal’s Coil”, you remind me, what’s the deal with that?  Shakespeare!  I’ll let the words of The Master, speak for themselves:

Hamlet Act 3, scene 1, 55-87

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovere’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blog Initiation

As all white people like over-analyzing things , I figured it was time for me to also join the blogosphere.  This blog (as the title implies) will be some thoughts on the human condition written by someone that views the world through the perspective of a Christian, married, physician that lives in Southern Idaho.  As I was up all night delivering babies…I’ll start tomorrow.

Published in: on August 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment