Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Passion Is No Ordinary Word"

I was discussing with a student today what it was like to feel passion. She's working on a piece for her English class that she wants to send to “This I Believe”. She wrote about her first experience with romantic passion, and the conflict she felt when she realized that it left her completely unable to live her life the way she knew was good for her. I've asked her if she'd allow me to publish it here when it's done.

I could totally relate to what she was describing, and it got me to thinking about how the term gets overused and, as a result, has lost some of its meaning. At it's most pure, I think it's a difficult thing to put into words. [Kizz] wrote something recently in a post entitled Reader Opinion [CLICK HERE TO READ] that I thought got there, but I haven't tried to write about it myself. I'm inspired to try but, in the meantime, here's what I know, from my own experience...

It's a sensation that can completely overtakes me. I often become so caught up in the object of the feeling that I simply cannot concentrate on anything else. It makes my heart beat stronger and there is an electricity that surrounds me when I feel it. I get a tightness in my chest in a way that I can totally identify, but is not easy to explain. Sometimes it accompanies anger, sometimes sadness, sometimes ecstatic joy, sometimes wonderful peace. But always SOMETHING and always INTENSELY. I experience passion for many things—certain people, my teaching—but what things trigger it spontaneously, or why they do, I cannot say.

Have you ever experienced passion? I mean REAL passion? What did it feel like? Do you have an experience to share? I'd love to hear it!

When you say you're 'passionate' about [whatever], give me a sense of what you mean. What happens when you're [whatever-ing]? What does that passion feel like? You may say you feel transported. Transported to where? Take me there. Show me—so I can show my student—that passion is no ordinary word.

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