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I haven’t blogged in months but I’m not going to apologize. I post private notes on facebook and rarely go as much as a day without tweeting something, but I tend to save blogging for when I have something both significant and universal to say. Hello again.

My New Year festivities for the second time in a row were held at Lindy Focus amongst dozens of actual friends and hundreds of potentials. While there, I got into a conversation with a dear friend that encompassed many ideas about relationships. One segment stood out in my memory and went a bit like this:

me: I don’t know what I’m passionate about.
she: Words? Do you even want to be passionate about something?
me: Women want men who are passionate.
she: [patted me consolingly on the arm]

I don’t think I was wrong in my assessment there, but I left out many important bits: that everyone is attracted to passion, that I have experienced many times of passion, and that passion drives me and everyone around me to some degree… just to mention a few. That is to say: the conversation reminded me of one benefit of passion, that it is attractive, but that wasn’t all there is to it. Still, my major concern there was that in a moment of introspection, I couldn’t name something that drives me like that off the top of my head.

She was right, of course. Words are my passion. It’s become such a reflexive response to the questions asked of me, though, that I’ve grown suspicious of it and had to reexamine once again. The thing is, it’s not just prose on virtual paper like this that I mean by ‘words’.

By WORDS, I mean the whole complex layered thing that is the magic of communicating ideas from one mind to another mind or several other minds. Some people can do that by painting or sculpting. Others can do that by leading great lives of purposeful example. Still others can communicate with their movements. I am impressed by them all!

I am not good at creating poetry; I fully realize I’m a hallmark card hack when I try. But in other respects, I think I treat words well in expressing myself. I think can turn a phrase just so and allow you to see it better. I can write it by hand or type it out quickly. I can speak the words as well as I write them, if I take the time to do it with care. I can read my own or those of others and I think my voice can convey as much as I feel. I can even sing to add more layers, though again I can’t write songs to save myself.

The words drive me. They drive me to wake up early and stay up late. I’d rather oversleep from having had too late a conversation than greet the day early because I kept words to myself. Yes, Words are still my passion: their curves, their spaces, their rhythms, their decorations, their meanings and their meanings, their sounds and their absences. Their music.

I’m not sorry for not blogging in a while because if I’d just done it for its own sake, it would have lessened what I had to say. I am sorry that I didn’t have better things to say. I am sorry that I haven’t explored more ways to say them. I’ll be trying to find more of these waves of passion to share with you this year. I may even sing them if anyone can reassure me that my voice is better than bad.

I’ve found you again, passion. And now I’ll share you.

About Paul Roth

A vegetarian, agnostic, lindy-hopping, dog-loving tv-watcher who likes to read his own words.
This entry was posted in All, Life, Play, Relationships and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Found my Passion

  1. Paul,

    I applaud your thoughtful post and I think you have taken the first crucial steps down a very important road, but I don’t think you should stop digging. You covered this in your post but I think it is worth emphasizing: Words are useful in the expression of ideas.

    Each word denotes a concept and, without that conceptual backing, are empty squiggles which stand for empty sounds. Writers are often also thinkers and philosophers and story tellers because they have to be. So, yes, be passionate that you know your medium. But what is your purpose and goal as a writer? What do you set out to achieve? What would you consider a lifetime of achievement in writing? These are the kinds of questions you must continue to ask and answer.

    • paulidin says:

      Indeed, it’s just a first step. The followup questions you ask are the ones I’m asking myself now, among others. But again, there’s a realization that it wasn’t just prose itself that sets me alight — it’s all the use of words, including spoken and sung and enacted. How I can pursue contributing something to those aspects is another question I’m still pondering! Except for the creation of songs and poems… I think I should leave that to my betters for now.

  2. Anna says:

    I fully agree; passion is very attractive. Not just in a dating sense, but in all senses – it draws other people nearer, it gets them involved, it piques their curiosity.

    I too tend to question my passion for words. Only today I was puzzling over whether I’m a writer, or a poet, or nothing at all.

    I’m delighted to hear that you’ve rediscovered your passion for language – maybe we should share it some time :)

    • paulidin says:

      Anna, I’m thrilled you took the time to comment. Indeed, we should share some time. I’ve already contemplated singing with you and your ukulele across the tubes, if you were up for it!

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