Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Living in Passion


I seem to lack the ability to foster either of those emotions. At least my idealized notion of what they would feel like/or be. Why?

Have I read too many romance novels? Have I created an unrealistic expectation for the intensity of emotion? Have I formed faulty impressions while watching a hockey game, or football game? Have I oversimplified the thought processes? Am I wrong about the motivation behind creating artworks of any form? About the desire to devote the majority of ones waking life to a singular activity, in all its intricacies and variables?

What inner spark drives the fan/aficionado/patron to follow? Knowing they lack the talent/skill to perform the music, place the defining brush stroke on the canvas, don the uniform, they still devote untold amounts of life energy to the appreciation of the passions of others.

What seed is planted and nurtured within, that flourishes and grows into a passion/love of any activity? Or person?

There are times when I question that ability. Knowing that the words on the pages are created to paint the picture of a fictionalized love-does that love, that desire, truly exist in that intensity? That totality of feeling, for whatever that passion exists for? That commitment of self?

The month of February has perennially been a time of introspection for me. It is what I've come to think of as a pause in forward movement for examining my life, playing the what-ifs that don't have a place in my reality. For questioning what I've done, felt, experienced.

February is the month that I was set adrift on the sea of living, without enough knowledge or skills to competently sail ahead.

In 1968, it was a month of tragedy for me. It was my first experience of fate's ability to change the game on a whim, to shake up the status quot. On February 9th, my 8 year old cousin Jeanne was crossing the road to wait for the school bus. She was hit by a car-killed instantly.

I remember the principle's secretary coming into my first period music class to fetch me to the office. My mother had been terminally ill with cancer, had come home to spend her final hours. My thoughts were that she had died after I'd kissed her good-bye and left for school.

The shock and grief that overwhelmed me when I learned of Jeanne's death, were only the beginning. One week later, on February 16th, my mother died. I was as prepared as a 12 year old living with a terminal parent, can be. I was basically left to deal with all of this by myself. I withdrew-my tiny boat had sailed.

I look on that month in that year, and wonder if the ability to love wholly, to believe in something totally, to live passionately, was left behind as unneeded, in my processes to survive, to simply get through life, never to be regained.

Is it at that point I gave away the right to deserve the best in life, to accept "less than" as my only option, to doubt that I was worthy of those emotions, that love, that passion for life?

I know that I've accepted that I've taken life's leftovers, the second or third best, as all I'm due. All I'm capable of finding. I've never really given up totally. Those dreams are tucked back in a corner of memory, to bring out, examine, feel a sense of loss over, and then quietly placed back in that corner, as the realities of my life intrude once again.

There are times however, when I glimpse that passion, that love of life, and feel just the tiniest bit envious.

Why not just change that attitude, that way of viewing life? I don't know how. I don't know how to believe in myself enough to see the other side, to reach forward to the other side of the fence. How, when I look in the mirror, to see something other(better) than what I already am. To imagine anything different. Even though I don't admire the face(or what lies beneath) that looks back at me, I can't reach for enough self-respect, self-caring, to do anything about it.

They say that having self-esteem, self-love, is essential, a prerequisite, before others can see you in that light, before you can truly love others, I imagine that applies to doing things, finding those passions in life.