November 14, 2011
Each to His Passion
We are each created with a spark inside of us. Some of us try to ignore it. Maybe we think it’s something to be ashamed of. Whatever the reason, it remains a tiny ember occasionally flaring up, leaving us feeling as though we did something embarrassing in public.
Some of us fan the spark and it flares up with a glorious flame if used wisely or a hideous flame if given free reign. This spark gives heat and color to our lives. And it has the power to fill us with joy or drown us in misery.
This spark is passion. Not sexual passion. That spark resides in the anatomy. Not the passion of faith, which is so powerful it doesn’t reside in you; it engulfs you. The passion I’m talking about is the one that resides in the heart and mind. Have you ever watched someone animated by their passion? It really is a fascinating sight, even if their passion is something you find uninteresting.
I ignored my passions for a long time for many reasons: I didn’t have enough time, money or energy to devote to them. I felt numb until the spark flared in me and filled me with a forgotten excitement and joy. Not only did I like that feeling, I needed it. I needed something to be passionate about.
Each of us is created with a unique pre-loaded passion library. Sorry no refunds or exchanges; we have to take what we get. But that’s ok. We still have choices. Take my drum passion. There are so many things I could do with that (?). For example, I could become a professional RockBand drummer. I could play in competitions and tournaments, like the sixteen-year-old who dropped out of school to become a professional Guitar Hero competitor. I realize it’s not a wise choice, so I decide to focus on the listening and watching aspect of my drum passion.
But I long to use my passion for creating. So I read Stephen King’s words on talent again, because they capture essence of the passion of creating :
“…when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading), every outing is a bravura performance because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic.”
When asked if he did it for the money, he replied: “…I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it…I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side–I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”
Hmmm. What shall I focus on creating? More kids? I’m good at that, but I don’t think so. I’m content with the five I have. Scrapbooks? No, I’m not as passionate about that as I once was. A cottage garden landscape for my yard? I’m passionate about that, but I also inadvertently kill every plant I come into contact with. I couldn’t live with that heartache (not to mention the expense of replacing dead landscaping).
Of course, I decided on writing, not because it’s the least expensive, but “for the pure joy of the thing.” And writing rekindles my passion for reading. It’s like a passion bonus. If you need to be recharged, indulge in one of your passions. It can be great adventure. Who knows where it will lead. The only thing you can be sure of is the euphoria that fills you when you’re doing something you love.