Sunday, November 01, 2009

Seasons of Passion

Today, I took my son (and husband and MIL and FIL) to see the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra. It was not hugely publicized, and the only reason I knew about it was because a friend and co-worker is in the orchestra and has been avidly following ZBoy's interest in the violin.

The performance began with the least experienced group - the one Z would be in after a year of Strings instruction, should he choose to pursue a spot in the orchestra. I cried. They weren't perfect, but you could hear the work that went into that performance. It was achingly beautiful.

As the concert continued, each group would play three or four selections before making way for the next group, getting more polished and professional with each level. Z sat between his father and his grandmother, alternately rapt and 10 year-old fidgety. He enjoys music, but he is a do-er. He can only sit and listen for so long before he wants to do it himself.

Me? I am fascinated with the mechanics of it all. How each part, each instrument works together to create a place for my mind to visit, how the violin parts make my soul soar as the cello and bass keep my feet on the ground. I have always loved orchestral music for that reason. I don't know pieces or composers, what they are called, who they are. But I know what I like.

I've been thinking ever since about Passion. Capital P Passion. Not love for your man or your family, or even your country, but the kind of passion that springs from within you and takes you out of yourself into something bigger.

My friend E is in the Youth Orchestra - even though she is somewhat less than my age. But in the world of music, she is a child, learning the violin with 6 and 7 year-olds from the ground up. Her children are, in fact, ahead of her in playing, prodigious in their talent - but it woke up something in her too, it seems. I am insanely jealous of this yearning to learn, then hone a skill or talent. I wish I felt this.

I have felt it in the past. There was a time when writing was all I could think of doing. I wanted to write the Great American Novel. I have participated in a yearly writing challenge called NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month) for the last three years. I have three novels in various stages of completion gathering dust somewhere in my house.

I'm not participating this year. Not only is November an insanely busy time of the year for me... but I also seem to have lost my spark. My mind is a blank. There are ideas, but no words follow them. This is known as Writer's Block. And I have it.

It's not the only block I have though. I've been working on getting healthy, wanting to have a fit body that will stick with me for another, oh, forty years or so. I accepted a challenge from a friend to run a marathon in May of 2011. I have about a year and a half to get ready for it.

Which brings me to this question: Can you choose your passion, or does it choose you? Like a tone-deaf singer, can I be passionate about something I'm not good at? That practice may or may not improve? I really WANT to run. I have felt the urge before. But when the moment comes to step out my door, I am so reluctant in body and soul. I am plagued with "what if I can't?" which then becomes I don't. Will I learn to love it if I just do it over and over again?

Perhaps there is a season for Passion. A time to write. A time to run. A time to be quiet. A time to think. Life is a cycle. With the passing of Halloween, the changing of the clock, the beginning of fall, the northern hemisphere begins its season of darkness. The days get shorter, the nights colder. For some, this is the time to begin hibernation. For me, it is the beginning of coming to life. Perhaps soon my season for my passions will come again.


Respectfully Yours said...

Passion, what a mysterious word. I don't think you can be passionate about something if you can't do it well. Your heart just won't be in it and without heart, there is no passion. I guess we have to enjoy some things from afar, like music.

I hate running personally and know in my heart I will never learn to love it.

I say, less pressure, you mojo will return. Thinking of you.

Respectfully Yours said...

ps..I played the violin in the Hamilton Philermonic Youth Orchestra for years. I enjoyed playing and performing, but I really don't think I was truly passionate about it. Just a thought.

Scott said...

Once again a cry in the night places doubts in our minds as to our purpose. The image in the mirror is distorted by the fog which blows in from our sea of trepidation.
I have found myself starving for inspiration and have been placed on a diet to which I must adhere.
Lying in a hospital bed wondering if I’d ever walk again, the nurses on the neurological floor still attending my now orthopedic healing and refusing to transfer me out saw a light within me. They would send the family members of some of the terminally ill patients into my room and I would just talk to them. The subject may not have been religious but the Spirit was moving and comforting everybody in the room. These people had hit rock bottom and the only place to go was up.
There is a time for all things and a season for every purpose under God’s Heaven. That time for me was 28 years ago. My left leg is an inch and a half shorter now but I walk. Far!! I’m up to 35 miles a week, Monday thru Friday. I take Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday off to take care of the blisters.
Wait and a cool breeze will blow in and clear up the mirror, it just may not happen while you’re standing in front of it. Hind sight is always 20/20.

Jan n Jer said...

Well put Scott. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. I think Passion is something that you do good and get the most enjoyment out of and keep doing it. We are all born with a gift and the ones that discover that gift are the lucky ones.

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

So THAT's why I dreamed of you the other night! Our hearts are exactly in the same place!

I don't think I can express myself as you do so poetically in your post, but I believe our passions come from our souls and are, therefore, part of us -- part of who we are.

If it is your passion, it is who you are meant to be.

nikki said...

My passion is art. I am not whole unless I am working on my art. I get antsy, almost bitchy like if I don't. It calls to me constantly.

Anonymous said...

E likes this! : )
How is the violin going?
TYO Holiday Concert 12/20...yes?