When you find yourself envisioning a particular destination - fame, wealth, recognition - you soon realise how contradictory this is to passion as a concept. True passion is found in the silence, the times where no-one is watching and no-one is clapping. Passion isn't found, as they say, 'in the outcome', it is found 'in the process'.
When we think of a passionate musician, we see a stage; when we think of a passionate writer, we see a bestseller. We seem to only take passion at its surface value, rather than seeing it as that person’s unique and inimitable ability to suffer and persist through uncertainty; not for the outcome of fame or wealth, but merely for the sake of the suffering itself.
Feeling inspired I of course went off searching the root of the word ‘suffer’ which meant to ‘allow to continue, to bear or to carry’. It was not an inherently negative thing, ‘suffering’, as we like to think of it.
Passion, instead of being a forced and relentless pursuit, is something which we cannot create, but merely carry. It’s about disarming yourself and letting yourself be consumed by action.
If you think about famous pieces of art; although each may use a different medium, different brush strokes or paint different scenes, each one has its own reverence and own meaning. Its very existence is constantly being multiplied and reimagined by each pair of eyes. Thus, Art cannot be singular as it only truly exists, not on the canvas, but in the collective of minds who have experienced it.
It made me realize then, how illogical it was to compare and compete, as each one of us would refract and reflect passion differently. We wouldn’t put the Mona Lisa and The Starry Night side by side and determine one’s superiority over the other.
It is inherently contradictory to the notion of art itself.
That’s exactly what passion is. Each person’s piece of art- their ability to carry and suffer for an idea or a skill and uniquely express their relationship with it. It’s meaning is not derived from how it is in our own minds, but in the way it has influenced and touched the people around us.
I realise now that it’s not about being the most passionate, the most successful or the most revered- it’s simply about living, your own, best life. In this way, you can only really be compared or be competitive, with yourself.
Passion isn’t something to seek, rather something to see within yourself.