Monday, September 17, 2007

Passion


I went to hear poets Holly Hughes and Stan Rubin read yesterday and I realize just how much better I feel when I'm around creative people--poets, writers, photographers, painters, artists--anyone who has something they are passionate about it. I really think it makes a difference in being around people who have something in their life that they just love (and I mean besides their kids and pets). But something they *love* to do with themselves.

I tend to think artists first, but I bet rock climbers could fall into this category, or scientists who devote their lives to tree frogs or sea turtles. Maybe I just like to be around people who have these other passions. It's a word that I've come back to a lot this year--passion, compassion--I'm realizing more and more how intertwined they both are. You need to have passion for your own life to have compassion for others.

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I'm reading Brenda Ueland's IF YOU WANT TO WRITE (published first in 1938!--thank you to whomever recommended this to me, it's wonderful).

Here's a couple quotes:

...we northerners have become too much driven by the idea that in twenty years we will live, not now: because by that time our savings and the accrued interest will make it possible. To live now would be idleness. And because of our fear we have come to think of all idleness as hoggish, not as creative and radiant...

Chapter 10 was called "Why Women Who Do Too Much Housework Should Neglect it For Their Writing." She writes:

"Like many of the most talented and funniest people, she is too nice and unconceited to work from mere ambition, or the far-away hope of making money, and she has not become convinced (as I have) that there are other reasons for working, that a person like herself who cannot write a sentence that is not delightful and a circus, should give some time to it instead of always doily-carrying, recipe-experimenting, child-admonishing, husband-ministering, to the complete neglect of her Imagination and creative power.

In fact that is why the lives of women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it..."


It's been fascinating to me how much of this book is relevant to writers and women today. I hope to post more on this book again...

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