“Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones,
as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.” – Francois de La Rouchefoucauld
I think this is one of the reasons so many people get to the middle of life and feel unsatisfied, disillusioned, restless . . . as if something is missing. Because something is missing.
We tend to learn to put our passions aside. We learn to quiet them, to ignore them.
And for those “mediocre” interests, the ones that may have caught our interest, but haven’t come from the soul, this absence does seem to diminish them.
For those passions that are part of who we are, however, the going without, the denial, actually fans the fire consuming us sometimes from within.
I have been much better these past three months at getting to the page. I am spending time if not each day then at least a few days each week chasing my dream of becoming a published author. And I love every second I’m there, writing, losing myself in the flow.
Back in late May and early June, when I had my epiphany, and decided to start listening to myself again, I also heard another passion whispering in the background. An interest I’ve had for about eight years or so. One that allows me a different way of self-expression.
I have started grabbing my camera again, every time I head out the door, as much for work as for myself, but even then the line sometimes blurs.
Sometimes, when I am out trying to get shots for work, I’ll come across something that fits the other me, the creative me.
I’ve been thinking about putting together a couple photography books – and perhaps that’s a silly thought, I’m not sure yet – one related to the Textures & Juxtapositions of New Harmony.
I love contrasts, juxtaposed angles and textures, things that bump up against each other that are different. Hence my attraction to misfits in my writing. I think those jumbled, jutting, jagged, juxtaposed things reflect the way I see and feel about the world, and about myself.
They allow me to capture the sensation, perhaps even the feeling, and articulate it where I have no words yet.
But the beauty of writing is that constant search for the words to allow me to do the same. I’m hopeful my novel-in-verse will allow me to do just that.
The second book I’ve been thinking about putting together is one about nature – with a focus on flowers most likely, as it seems I am drawn to taking photos of those more than most things.
I’m not taking the photos with the intention of creating a book, though. I’m merely opening myself up to whatever comes along and strikes me in some way, compels me to capture the image of it, and in doing so I am chronicling both the world I encounter and myself.
I think that’s what following your passion does – allows you to recognize yourself in the world around you. It also allows you to be yourself in the world around you.
Nietzsche claimed that “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
I think this is true for any means of creative expression, any medium. For it is in appreciating that art form, that unique language, and it is in creating through that art form, through that language, that we are fully immersed in the world and in ourselves.
We are listening, then, to that voice within us. We are heeding the call and we are allowing ourselves to be more complete. More full.
All I know is how good it feels, how much calmer and whole I feel now that I am giving myself permission to explore my passion for writing and for photography.
I hope you’ll give yourself the opportunity as well.
For, life without music – or painting or writing or however you choose to convey your inner self – would be a mistake.
Living without honoring your creative self would be a mistake. A mistake many of us seem to live every day.
Keep after it, y’all!