Originally posted 3 years ago and brought back by popular demand, in honor of February, the month of love and passion. Happy early Valentine’s Day!
With regard to affairs of the heart, be it your love for people or creative pastimes, it is priceless and rare to find one particular passion that will carry you through all the decades of your life. I am referring to the profound kind of passion that consistently remains the “bottom-line passion” basic to all of your other activities and interests. It is the foundation for your life. It is your rock, your salvation, your reason to get up in the morning. The attraction, the pull of this passion must be magnetic enough, it must be intriguing enough, it must be changeable and mysterious and challenging enough to keep you fully engaged – hooked – with a tight hold on your heart and soul so that as the years go by its importance is not diminished but enhanced with age. This passion makes you a better person. It gels you into who you authentically want to be, and you would not know how to be anyone else. When you have a love for a creative pursuit to that high degree, it is not dependent upon whether or not it is earning you money or fame – it is light years beyond that. If the money follows it, that is certainly a great bonus, but in the times when it does not, you are no less the lover of that passion than you were before. And you are no less gifted at it than before. You must not allow the lack of an income stream to diminish your confidence in what you do. Your true passion remains alive and well no matter what.
Making art is very much like making love; it is making love in a sense. Art and love transport you; they bring the potential for taking you out of the moment and into bliss. The ritual begins as always but you are never sure where it will take you. You are leaving on a journey. It comes over you like the ebb and flow of powerful waves on a beach you have visited somewhere before in time. You are one with the rhythm of the moon tide. You are traveling on a light breeze whistling through tall lavender-tipped grass on a distant seaside meadow and then you are following a procession of some ancient people winding high to a mountaintop. You have left the confining time of your life and are in a moving sphere where ages and universes overlap and you see the space of time stretching back to the beginning and then coming forward to now and beyond to the ever. You hear nothing but you hear everything. You understand the perfection of life and why snow falling softly on mountain evergreen trees in deep December can make you weep. You understand the loneliness of the sea, why men are still drawn to it and why the aching moan of the wind can move you to unutterable emotion. You sit on warm buffalo robes while Indians chant and their images dance in the firelight reflected on the walls of your tent. In the space of one afternoon you can be gone to everywhere and back to here again, all rosy-cheeked and out of breath. Exhilarated. Renewed. Wondering where you have been.
You have experienced passion.
(Based upon an excerpt from Chapter Eighteen, “The Love of Making Art” in “The Creative Epiphany” by Jo Ann Brown-Scott)