Sunday, March 26, 2006

Reflecting on Passion after a crappy Banjo Practice Session

Soon we won't own anything except the clothes in our backpacks and the camcorder and computer we are recording the journey with. What an adventure! I know I am attached to my possessions in an emotional way, but that really so few of the things I own are necessary. I have a lot of luxury and extra, and in a way, I am frightened about doing without that. But I am also looking forward to seeing what is underneath all of that comfort and pleasure. What kind of grit and toughness do I have? I haven't had to examine that in a long time, and certainly not to the same degree that Africa will test me. But all of that is six months away, and I have to enjoy a little more luxury till then. The tough part is knowing this is all coming, but being stuck in the in between time, when it is still too early to really prepare.

Then, I start looking at all the time I've had since graduation (quite awhile really...more than nine months!) and I start to feel like I've accomplished nothing, and I feel ashamed. How do you clarify your passions, how do you get started on your life's work? Why does it seem so difficult to distill a new set of goals after the obvious step of finishing school? I feel as though I want to live bravely and richly, but I can't seem to do it in the drudgery of everyday. I find moments of joy or pleasure every day, but I find myself wondering how to stretch those moments out. How does one find something interesting enough to be fully engaged in every moment? Maybe that is one of the keys. Pleasure is not the only thing, there has to be interest. Your intelligence has to be utilized. It is a mistake to believe that passion is inborn. It has to be fed through practice and dedication and mastery and the thrill of following a path where you can't see the end. I see one important shift in myself; I understand in a new way that I am smart and insightful and I don't want to dumb down and settle for a life that is merely comfortable. I don't want to ever forget that comfort is not the only goal I have for myself.


Anonymous said...

here here


jessica said...

i'm beginning to think that there is more waiting for/recovering from interim between moments then there are actual "moments". i do not, however, know how to be a passionate person with an engaging life of interim. sounds awful really. maybe that’s why john lennon said something to the effect of “life is what happens when you’re not looking”.

subnote: can a person really play a banjo as big as the one that woman in the front of that picture has? awesome.

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