Bird Droppings January 5, 2012
Getting the passion back
When I walked outside earlier to take our Westie for her morning bathroom break I was greeted with a near full moon, well maybe a half moon and a crystal clear sky filled with stars. Thinking to myself I said thank you for being alive and such a wondrous visage in front of me. Over the past few days I asked several friends about passion and obsession and what was their opinion of these words. For example are they similar or are they different. Perhaps there is a fine line between the two. I wondered as I went through the day yesterday thinking about a line in a memo from a good friend I received over the weekend. It was about getting the passion back.
“Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we would become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we cannot longer confidently look out at the world. We turn inward to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it and with it alone we are able to sacrifice for others.” Chief Dan George
It has been nearly thirty years since Chief Dan George passed away. He was in numerous movies playing elderly Native Americans interestingly enough he did not start acting till he was 71. Before his death he was honored by several universities in theUSandCanadawith honorary doctorates. Dan George was a chief of the Salish tribe of British Columbia and he lived with passion and with a love of mankind and life in his heart.
“We have taken so much from your culture; I wish you had taken something from ours…for there were some beautiful and good things within it. Perhaps now that the time has come, we are fearful that what you take will be lost….I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success: His education, his skills, and society. If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys.” Chief Dan George, from a lament for Confederation
I pondered these words sitting here this morning wondering why I almost forgot to get up this morning on time I do not like time changes and was definitely spoiled from a holiday break. I know pieces to my own puzzle are falling in place. I read over and over the last line. “What one fears one destroys”. In the work place so often change creates fear and in that we seek to destroy that which is creating the fear often without truly trying to understand what it is we are destroying.
Yesterday I was in such a dilemma, I worked through ideas and issues only to continually be bound in the superficiality of the events, never able to raise my head up to get a breath. I was drowning on dry land. I looked deeper in and so often we can let our passion lead us into obsession, we can take love and forget for a moment that our passion is driven by love and slip into losing touch with why we were where we are, only to be obsessing. My friends earlier today I wrote obsession is when you lose control; passion is when you put your heart into something.
“O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, I come to you as one of your many children. I need your strength and your wisdom. Make me strong not to be superior to my brother, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy: myself” Chief Dan George
I was wandering, thinking of roles played in movies by Dan George and in one of my favorite movies “The Outlaw Josie Wales” in particular. The old man Lone Wattie is constantly being snuck up on. At eighty years old Dan George portrayed Lone Wattie in this movie. Each moment of his life he was involved in passion, in love, in his faith, his people, and in mankind.
The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning,
the dewdrop on the flower, speaks to me.
The strength of the fire, the taste of salmon, the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away, they speak to me
and my heart soars.
By Chief Dan George
How do we get back the passion? Jokingly many of the kids will come in and say “Bird I love you” as I think back perhaps that is how and why we do get along there is a love involved, a trust, a mutual respect and perhaps passion. A student I had worked with for four years was to be tested and he resisted finally after several months he said he would only if he could be tested first period. It was a different school psychologist than the one who normally tests in our building that tried to test this student and who was unfamiliar with his case and had a run in with this student.
Finally by agreement and the students understanding since he did not want to miss the classes he was having trouble in was why he wanted to test first period, he was called out of fourth and upset going into testing. I received this email and it bothered me, this person had spent less than two minutes with this student and wanted him suspended and or worse. Not knowing any of the details of four years of keeping him in school and passing, too much work and too little concern took away any passion and any love not to mention respect. Yesterday I received a call from this student now out of school for four or five years asking about a transcript to get into college. We destroy that which we fear.
The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dew drop on the flower,
speaks to me.
The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
By Chief Dan George
We get passion back by looking for it, by seeking it out, by rekindling the fires in our hearts and souls. We get the passion back by being able to respond when someone says “I love you” without sarcasm but looking at a window of trust and seeing more than words. We can find the passion by being there and here and holding our head up, maybe when we ought to lay it down. We can get back the passion when our heart soars. So for a Tuesday morning that sure feels like a Monday morning and an few hours earlier than I have been getting up please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks.