Looking for the passion

Bird Droppings August 18, 2011
Looking for the passion
“All games have an important and probably decisive influence on the destinies of the players under ordinary social conditions; but some offer more opportunities than others for life long careers and are more likely to involve innocent bystanders.” Dr. Eric Berne, The games people play
In a recent note I had written down a thought. Why are you passionate about your job? I started thinking and yes perhaps as I think I obsess too much. I may ponder as I call it over trivial thoughts for some meaningless dribble, little shadows that many simple never see. Can you be passionate about something any other way? Yesterday I filled in a form for a young man who was very obsessive in so much of his life, obsessive to a point of distraction from reality many times.
If you mention Jeff Gordon’s number and his eyes would light up and statistics would flow about this NASCAR race or that and this sponsor or that and soon you would wish you never mentioned Jeff Gordon. It is funny since you used that to get from another subject that he had been obsessed on. Technically it is called Obsessive compulsive Disorder or OCD. Could I see passion in that obsession or is there obsession in passion.

“All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.” Chief Seattle, recorded by Dr. Henry Smith, 1854

So often in life we do or say things that seemingly are independent thoughts sort of random utterances that mean only a bit to us as we pass in that moment. Yet the ripples the effects and flow of direction from that utterance can carry and evolve far beyond that moment. As in a game where one person manipulates a piece and often the other parties involved are unaware of strategy and plan and soon there is nothing left. I think back to that obsession and what may be said in meaningless thought pursuing a thought an idea that is driven from some physiological mechanism we do not control. Could it be that passion is mistaken for that an errant whisper and dream an obsession on a simple concept that is mistaken as true passion.

“Passion and prejudice govern the world, only under the name of reason.” John Wesley

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

It was perhaps John Wesley’s obsession that leads to his passion; the founder of the United Methodist Church, Wesley was an Anglican Priest who was methodical in his thinking. He often would have communion 30 times in a single day. He was often on his knees in prayer for hours on end or composing hymns and music as did his brother Charles. The web of life has so many strands all woven in and about. Was John Wesley a man obsessed or was he passionate about his calling. Hawthorne sees a different picture of man. He sees one of seemingly change, of personality differences and varying capabilities. Emerson’s thinks as I do that there is a close kinship between obsession and passion, a powerful spring but difficult to regulate.

“Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” Amiel, Journal, 17 December 1856

“Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.” Honoré de Balzac

“Every civilization is, among other things, an arrangement for domesticating the passions and setting them to do useful work.” Aldous Huxley

I look at how we see passion and conversely obsession and wonder if often the two are not synonymous sharing attributes of each other. Perhaps it is offering similarities within differences. It is easier to say you are passionate about your job than obsessed with it. It is far easier to except a passionate person than an obsessive one. Religion needed obsession to succeed as I look at Wesley and so many of the Saints yet passion for their beliefs is a more powerful and believable offering. In art I see Vincent Van Gogh who without his obsession would have never painted with the feverish pitch and effort that he did and his paintings today would not be selling for tens of millions of dollars, when in his life time they barely kept him alive. We see passion now when the poor girl he sent an ear to, saw obsession. Huxley seems to so easily change the tune with the atmosphere, we domesticate the passions. We turn that obsession into useful and meaningful work. Often in the game as I started passion is turned not against the passionate but for the person holding the hand.

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.” Elbert Hubbard

I have known many who even take medication for OCD and you can tell when and how much they took based on their interactions. I wonder how we deal with passion do we manipulate and propagate as needed. Or do we simply medicate when not needed and push under the rug when the deed is completed and game won. It is such a difficult chore to ponder on passion. Do we have it or is it simply obsession? Please keep all in harm’s way in your heart and on your mind.
namaste
bird

Perhaps my favorite store

Bird Droppings April 11, 2011
Perhaps my favorite store

It is the first time this year I needed my alarm to wake up in the morning. I am a bit out of my normal routine perhaps after a week of spring break. Interesting two thoughts while similar struck me this morning as I started the day out. One I heard on the radio going to get gas for my wife yesterday afternoon from a radio announcer recalling an old Bush quote, and the other thought is from perhaps a favorite of many as book series go, Harry Potter. All of this and a later a trip or I should say my daily trip to the giant Kroger near our house, my favorite store. All these and school starts again. What a glorious day ahead?

“It is not about the goods we accumulate but about the good we do” George W. Bush

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” Professor Dumbledore to Harry in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” by J.K. Rowling

I wish it would be possible to believe the first, but with through most of his term as president he was trying to drill for oil in wilderness Alaska and off shore in Florida and other parts of the country and friends in high places were reaping huge profits and a war costing trillions of dollars that was bogus from many people’s standpoints. War efforts accumulation seems more important than doing any sort of good. Of course the philosophy of the ends justifies the means could possibly be applied. That was sort of the approach when the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati zoo and some people had the attitude well it’s only a pigeon.
Sadly once there were billions flying over the forests of the east coast, and yes it is only a pigeon except we can never at this time replicate that one, it is gone. The Alaska wilderness when it is gone is gone can never be replicated as well but if the end justifies it many people see no problem. However as I sat this morning, perhaps a better brighter thought from J.K. Rowling thorough the character of Dumbledore “it is our choices that show who we really our”. I wonder how soon Harry Potter books will be classics and teachers will be analyzing the plots and developing theories as to why Rowling characterized Harry as a boy or teenager and why an owl as his companion versus a weasel.
I recall eleventh or twelfth grade English with our teacher Ms. Stern and “Moby Dick”, according to her the ship represented the world and Ishmael, in his journey in life got stuck on that ship since he was the wanderer. What was Melville really telling us besides a great story and one of the best history’s of the short lived New England whaling industry? I really enjoyed the story but not the analysis and when I wrote my opinion, it was wrong according to Ms. Stern. Many years ago choices we make not our abilities was the credo.

”Ability is of little account without opportunity.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.” Thomas A. Edison

It is also about being at the right place at the right time the synchronicity that I have referred to so many times or is it simply the choice we make. It is also about applying and choosing when opportunity provides a window and then plot thickens.

“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.” Elbert Hubbard

Humility is an added aspect of today’s search seeing in others that ability which h I consider almost an intuitive aspect of our humanity.

“The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.” Booker T. Washington

This morning as I was being lazy albeit the alarm and getting started later than normal well I had been enjoying spring break so I read several emails. One spoke of realizing school was nearing the end and graduation was only a few weeks ahead and now they would have to make a way in life. In that same email concern for a friend stationed in the Middle East. Watching the news doesn’t give justice to friends and families with loved ones overseas in harm’s way, as I think back to the choices we make. I received a message from my youngest son reminding me to not fax a form for him for his nursing school application when I get to school lastly another email with a suggestion of a book to read. Three emails of 70 or so from last night and yesterday that truly caught my attention.
I started with a Bush quote and maybe that applies to a job search as well. So many of the following what we do with our lives is our choice how the world will see that choice is dependent upon the direction and choices we make as we proceed. It is not the ability that you will be known for or how great an actor or musician or football player but what you do with your talent is what is seen. Family is so crucial and friends equally as well and always seek to learn to know more about what we do through reading, writing, thinking and reflecting.

“If there were no writers there will be no readers” unknown source

“Choose wisely”, it has been said and in the end some do and some will not. So today take stock of where you are and look at the road ahead and pick that path way that will direct you where you need to be.

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” Basho

In today’s hectic world we all look for quick solutions, five minute abs, six minutes to wisdom, and a one minute egg. Wisdom is not on the stock exchange, it is not a brokered commodity. It is there, and it is a journey. The journey is not an easy one and to be involved in finding wisdom only those who actually travel that road will truly become wise.

“True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.” E. S. Bouton

Several nights ago I was bored no American Idol, NCIS or House and I put on a video of Star Trek of all things, “Star Trek Insurrection”. The plot revolves around a planet where all is at peace this is an old one. The few residents, all 600 or so have forsaken technology for art, or literature, for the aesthetics in life and for all that they can make of themselves. Interestingly a weaver studies 40 years to become an apprentice and apprentice another 40 to become a master weaver of rugs and tapestries. These people live n a planet whose innate radiation prolongs life and rejuvenates them cellular so they have time to accomplish what it is inside them. It sounds so easy when the time allows it.
Daniel Day Lewis, actor took a break from acting to be a cobbler taking a five year hiatus from movies to study cobbling, (shoe making) in Europe from the masters. As the Star Trek movie progressed a comment was made about that prefect moment, a special moment that stands out above all else. Captain Pickard mentioned seeing earth from space for the first time, many astronauts recall that moment as they tell of their exploits. For me it was a sunrise over the Atlantic one morning on Cumberland Island one of the Georgia Barrier Islands with the waves splashing about and the most brilliant reds and oranges I have ever seen. A shrimp boat slowly moved through this picture yet in its awesomeness the boat was insignificant.
As Pickard spoke with this woman on this planet of a perfect moment she then offered now to learn to make every moment perfect and the movie continued and soon he was seeing a hummingbird flit to a flower or the pollen blown from a flower.

“Wisdom is like electricity. There is no permanently wise man, but men capable of wisdom, who, being put into certain company, or other favorable conditions, become wise for a short time, as glasses rubbed acquire electric power for a while.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am always intrigued as I read various thoughts on wisdom and for some reason I am always drawn to Emerson. He was always controversial yet perhaps one of the greatest thinkers as well as poets of his time. He was alluding to wisdom as a temporary entity in his statement. The next quote is an interesting statement from a President often who was misunderstood

“Wisdom oft times consists of knowing what to do next.” Herbert Clark Hoover

“Wisdom begins at the end.” Daniel Webster

So often we spend time simply doing, not seeking, we spend time worrying about which path to travel or preparing our needs for the journey and worrying about the destination. We forget to go and there we are no better and no worse, only we are where we were to start still. Somewhere in among all things is the destination but the destination is not necessarily the end but a point B of a line AB and still out there is C and D and E and much more. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your thoughts.
namaste
bird