Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a passionate argument

Not so very long ago someone accused me of not being a very passionate person. This would have been one of those occasions when I could have used my very own pocket-sized Chitster, master of witty comebacks and glib arguments. (Well... mostly ;)

As it was, though, I found myself more or less speechless. Added to this was the fact that at the time I was in the grip of an extended period of depression, a state of mind which makes not just feelings of passion, but also the clarity of thought such as might be required to convincingly argue against such a statement, a tad elusive.

And so I caved. It was pretty much a lose-lose situation and I didn't have the energy to disagree with conviction.

However, this little episode has stayed with me. I have rather hairy arms, you see - not in an Orangatan sense, but in a light, downey sense, and when I was a child my mother told me that "hairy girls are passionate". So you see, there was no way this person's opinion could be correct. I refuse to believe my mother would tell me such a thing simply to make me feel better about not having a smooth, hairless complexion on my arms. Therefore I have always believed myself to be a passionate person.

I suppose my biggest passion in life has been dancing. My years of ballet dancing allowed an expression of feeling that came from deep inside; I felt euphoric when dancing. I put my heart and soul into it while I was doing it. I may not do ballet anymore, but I still adore dancing, any kind of dancing, and when music is playing I find it difficult to stand still. Which brings me to something else that invokes strong feelings and emotions in me - and after all, isn't that what passion is? That thing is Music. I don't just enjoy music, I need it. It breathes life into my soul. It can lift me up or calm me down. I don't think I could survive without music.

These are the two things that stand out in my mind right now (you can see why I didn't win that argument, can't you?!) but I'd like to change tack here.
You see, I have felt - and do feel - really intense emotions. I have been hurt so bad it was physical pain, as if I had been knifed in the chest. I have experienced an anger so intense that I literally saw only the colour red for a solid hour. I have been so happy that I have cried. And isn't that sort of intensity another facet of passion? Feeling massive highs and lows; or being consumed by thoughts of something or someone to an extent that the rest of the world seems to pass by in a blur... or is that simply obsession? Are passion and obsession not inextricably linked, though?

The other person's argument was that there is nothing in my life that I am truly passionate about. I don't have "A Thing" that is mine, that I am committed to completely. I always keep my options open, am always on the lookout for something else, and am easily distracted.

But my argument, is this:
I don't lack passion - I simply have a short attention span.

Besides, I believe balance is more important. Giving all one's attention to only one thing can only lead to trouble in other aspects of one's life. But I guess that sort of practical thinking would make a good argument for the other side. Logical thought and passion don't exactly go hand in hand, do they?

And so I find myself at the end of this post, no wiser on the subject than I was before I started writing it. Am I passionate or aren't I? Well, perhaps outwardly it may appear not. But then again, nobody but me knows what goes on inside my hairy self.
Perhaps, for now, that is how I would like to keep it.


kyknoord said...

One question springs to mind regarding the other person's view - i.e. does it matter? Passion is a personal thing, so there is no way for someone else to know how deeply you feel about something.

anne said...

Hear hear, kyknoord.

Also, may I use "I don't lack passion - I simply have a short attention span."?

Also. When I started reading, I thought that "to have hairy arms" meant "to bear grudges". Yeah...

Fence said...

Well is sounds to me like you have plenty of passion. But I agree with Kyknoord, it doesn't matter what someone else opinion is.

And you've been quoted

beadinggalinMS said...

I agree with Kyknoord also!
I have always viewed you as a very passionate person. All someone has to do is read your blog, your posts, look at your photos, read your stories, read your comments you leave your friends. If they can't find passion in them then they are blind.

Spookie the Warrior said...

Stupid person!! (tongue click)
Beads kinda beat me to what I wanted to say about your photos and your stories!! But I will say it anyway: Isn't writing a passion? - It is definitely one of yours. As well as taking photos and traveling! I would say you are a woman of many passions! That person probably has less hairy arms than most people anyway...

BUDDESS said...

Ditto!! To all of the above. Now, I KNOW that you have passion. You might not have touchy feely hug me passion, but you have TONS of passion. To be passionate about only one thing is a bit of a conversation killer don't ya think? As for 'hairy arms' - my mom told me it means that I will be rich one day!!! There you have it. Terri=Passionbythetruckloads!!!

Kiwichat said...

Well that person need a kick you know where. Devosion to one thing is just asking for trouble. Me I agree with all your great friends/blog mates. You are just amazing with your writing and photos.And may I add that this person has then never heard you talk about your husband then as to me all I've ever heard is pure passion for him when you talk of him. So there. Boo hoo I say.

angel said...

good grief t- i could have written most of that post about me!
i mean, apart from damien... there's not much else that really excites me!
i blame it on world-wariness gained from personal experience... other people just call me jaded!

Terri said...

Kyknoord - As much as I don't want to care what other people think, for now I still do. I'm working on it...

Anne - You may indeed. You can send the royalty cheques to me later ;)

Fence - Cool. I really must figure out how that whole quote thing works... for some reason I get terribly confused by it. Maybe one day when Eircom decide to come to the party and connect my bleedin' phone line so I can wweb-surf at home...!!!

Beads - Aw thanks Sweetie xxx

Spookie - Ur right about the writing but I was too shy to say so, so thank you :)

Buddess - Well bring on the riches LOL!!!

Kiwichat - Welcome Luvvie!!! So there indeed :) What would I do without my friends?!

Angel - Ah yes, jaded, cynical - I'm sure there are plenty of names for it. Somehow I don't think you lack passion either though, Doll - when last did you read one of your dragon stories..?

Fence said...

Confusion is baaaad, m'kay.

I'll make it even easier though. You see a line anywhere that you like, anywhere in the whole wide blog'verse and just email it to me. I'll do the rest :)

Terri said...

Fence - coolie boolie! Now I just gotta figure out about the commenting bit :) (sorry, had a haircut yesterday and i think she accidentally cut off some of my brainpower teehee)

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Passion is highly overated and used mostly by ppl who have no idea what it is to be passionate. It is one of the those new buzz-words that mean nothing. Suddenly every-frikkin-body has a passion!!
Next time someone tells you to be more passionate... ask them what they mean. Watch them squirm as they try to explain themselves.
Frankly, I prefer to have all my passion between the sheets... who needs it at work?

jason evans said...

A person without passion could not pour herself into a blog.

Terri said...

Chitty - You should consider hiring yourself out to argue stuff on behalf of people. Or... it could be your superhero persona : "The Arguer"
Like Superman, only wittier. You could even have a cape, if you like ;)

Jason - Another very good point. Perhaps I should condense all my blog buddies into a pocket-size blog'verse and carry you guys around with me for backup in the event of getting caught in conversations like these.

Thanks guys!

Lori said...

Hugs and kisses to a very passionate person.

Jeff said...

Anyone who doubts you are a passionate person has never read your blog. :)

LiVEwiRe said...

Here's what I think. Most people that ARE very passionate don't actually realize it. For them, it's simply a way of life; normalcy, if you will. You breathe constantly and rarely take notice. You walk all the time but how many times do you say...'hey, look at me, I'm walking across the room'. Being passionate about things (whatever they may be) does not always come with a flashing neon sign declaring it. It can be difficult to define something that is such an integral part of you. =)

Terri said...

Lori - Hi girl, how u doin'? Hugs & kisses back :)

Jeff - I think perhaps my blog buddies see more of my true self than the 'real' world does so.

Livewire - Much like insanity, now that you mention it. Or perhaps that works opposite. After all, I don't feel particularly insane... LOL! All of which actually proves only that how we feel and how others perceive us can be completely different things.