Sunday, November 20, 2011


Without passion, man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. ~ Henri-Frédéric Amiel

I may have high standards for the way I wish to live my life and the dreams I hope to reach, but I can honestly say there are only a few things I believe I can't live without. One of those things -- passion. To me, it's as natural a feeling as breathing. I don't even think about it. It's just this constant smoldering force I feel deep inside me that ebbs and flows, makes my heart swell against my ribcage or leaves me breathless. But I've come across people in my time that act as though they haven't a clue as to what I'm talking about. Often, these are people who are content to float through life in their comfort zones, who don't have many major aspirations, who don't have that feeling inside them like a burning flame that refuses to be squelched.

And when I've encountered these people, whose very monotonous essence drones on like background noise, I can't wrap my mind around how they do it, how they find purpose in their daily lives. Because to me, experiencing life without the depth of passion is not living at all. And I'm not just referring to finding something that drives you, though that is definitely part of it, but it's more about the way you go through your every day life. It's about finding the passion in the things you do, even the seemingly mundane things, like the walk from your car into your work, or just standing for a moment outside at night and looking up at the moon as you listen to the wind in the trees, or closing your eyes and breathing in the air as a breeze hits.

Maybe, when you're doing laundry, you can let the memories of the day you wore that shirt, that dress or that pair of pants tickle the edges of your mind. Maybe it's breathing in the richness of the leaves as you rake or looking in the mirror and finding one feature on you that you're truly confident about and letting the artistic beauty of it sink in for a few moments. I think people sometimes forget what passion is, how it brings you to life. I think we all sometimes get so caught up in all the things in our lives we wish we could change or we wish we had, that we forget the basics ... the significance of the basics. Sometimes, we forget what it's like, to not just feel a burning inside, but to actually become the flame in your very existence. I certainly have my moments where I forget, where I struggle to keep those embers glowing, especially these days ... but I can honestly say that if I'm not passionate about my life, the things I do with it, the people I share it with, the ways in which I experience it, than it's not a life worth living. And I'm far too restless for that kind of existence.

I could never be that person, nesting in a daily routine of complacency, turgid, buttoned up, reserved, a tiny speck on the drab wallpaper that is tedium. And I've also discovered that I can't satisfy that blaze inside me just through merely doing things I love to do or I'm passionate about. Yes, I can channel it in my work, through writing, music, playing guitar or piano, sketching, exercising ... connecting with nature and people. But the truth is, just those things alone won't satisfy me entirely. They will work for now. But as I'm working through my fears, my issues and rediscovering who I am -- what I want and don't want -- one thing I can say with certainty is, while I can channel my passion all I want in the above ways, when the time is right to share it with someone, I must be equally passionate about that person as well.

Because, settling for anything less, well ... that's just not something I'm capable of doing.


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