Thursday, October 28, 2010


I was thinking today about all the different hobbies/activities people are passionate about. For instance, I love watching food shows on the Cooking Channel. I don't cook, myself (well, not often, anyway), but it's fun to watch these people, these chefs and experts get so excited about food! About tomatoes or steak or pasta. Part of me keeps thinking -- "Umm, it's just FOOD. Why get so excited?" lol But I love their contagious enthusiasm. I love watching people find their passion.

Or, when I grade a student's paper about his favorite activity in the Really? Fishing? Just sitting there, sometimes for hours, waiting for a bite? But, again, it's his passion, something he loves to do.

Here's the funny thing -- so many people who aren't writers would look at MY passion, writing, and be confused, too. "Sitting for hours in front of a computer? Making up characters? People who aren't even real? Why??" And here's my explanation - because it's an amazing experience. It removes me from my own life for awhile, and sets me up in a universe of my own creation. I feel alive when I write - energized and excited about something that's beyond myself.

And, really, isn't that one of the top criteria of ANY passion - whether fishing or cooking or knitting or writing? To move our attention to something other than the routine doldrums of or day, or a tedious/stressful job, or even a traumatic life experience? A passion is an escape of sorts. A portal we can step through, if only for a few minutes or hours a day, and do something other than live the lives we've been given. Now, that's not as gloom-and-doom as it sounds. I do love my life. I have a good job, wonderful friends, supportive family. But yes, sometimes, it feels wonderful to step outside that, to leave it behind for awhile, and just write.

So, today, be thankful if you've found a passion in your life. And if you don't have one, seek it out. Look for it diligently until you find something that rises you above this life for a little while. And, something that makes you enter your life again afterward with an even stronger sense of purpose. And once you've found that passion, don't ever let it go.

*edited to add: talking about passion, I love watching people do incredible things I know I could never do -- not only do they have raw talent, but they also have spent endless amounts of time on their craft/hobby/passion, perfecting it. Much like this young woman, and her classical guitar - link. Amazing to watch. WOW.

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