We have all heard this expression before and it is more than true. However, no picture speaks the same thousand words to everyone. We all bring to viewing anything and everything something of the person we ourselves are. As we stand or sit before any picture, we see our own feelings, experience our own intuition, see a reflection of ourselves or we project our own experiences and beliefs onto the subject.
Life presents us with many opportunities. The problem is we often don’t have our eyes open and they slip by unnoticed. I said that this blog was going to be about living life fully and I have come to the conclusion that the people that are living their lives fully are the ones that are following their passions. It isn’t always easy to follow your passions, sometimes people think that that kind of life is very self-centered, or sometimes they don’t respect the things that impassion you. It takes courage to stay the path and be true to yourself. I have many passions in life, I have loved journaling and reading and history and I have had a Camera in my hands since I was 13 and my Dad first started teaching me about taking pictures with a 35mm range finder…all manual nothing automatic, not even a light meter. But my most recent passion is learning about the world I live in and the people that share this time and space with me. I love to hear people’s stories the joyful and the sorrowful. I love to observe and be a part of the lives of people that are doing what they love. I respect the ones that stand tall, walk their talk and live life.
I have a cousin that has collected comic books for his entire life ( he is 50+ now ). He has remained strong in his passion about comic books even in the face of people who made it clear that they felt comic books were a lesser form of writing. My cousin has amassed a collection that I am sure is worth its weight in gold not to mention the historical value. He is an artist in his own right and has through his passion collected and preserved a piece of our history. We often take for granted the little bits and pieces that make up the fiber of our lives..like Superman, Spiderman, The Fantastic Four…The battle of good against evil. The immortal and the mortals fighting the good fight. The lack of tolerance and understanding that our superheroes have often had to live with. I have another friend that has collected for many years of his life, Coca-cola memorabilia. Again he is a person that has amassed and preserved a part of our history. Coca-cola is a huge industry that has always been on the cutting edge and because of the creative talent in the company they have often shaped our lives in ways we may not even recognize. Their advertising campaigns through the decades have shaped the way we have fun. The present image that we all take for granted of Santa Claus was developed and promoted by Coca-cola. Their logo and beverage has traveled around the world and taken our culture to the farthest corners of our planet. This friend has put together a piece of history and is now looking for a way to make it available to others and share the fun of looking at our lives through one piece of our pop-culture..pop as in Popular 🙂 I have a nephew that has worked hard following his passion and has recently achieved his Doctorate in Medieval Spanish Literature. He preserves a portion of history through his study and teaching, helping others to see how much and how little we humans have changed over the centuries. In the time that I have been here in my home town, I have found people that are following their passions. It seems sometimes that they are everywhere! I know someone that is my age and has joined the local women’s Roller Derby Team. I know someone else who loves to collect and restore old cars. My father has collected antique clocks over his lifetime and he is a virtual fountain of information regarding the history of ” Time” he also happens to be one of the few remaining WWII veterans and has found that their seems to be renewed interest coming from people who are anxious to hear Veteran’s stories before they have all left our presence. I have a sister that is passionate about horses. She always was from the earliest years of her childhood but it wasn’t until the second half of her life that she had the opportunity to build upon that dream. What happened ? She built a horse farm that is beautiful and charming and a joy to go to..because she is there and because she is so fulfilled by this passion that she shares it freely with all around her. We have all benefitted from her following her dream. Each person’s passion is different. But when they follow it, it seems to filter down to the rest of us and we all benefit.
When our passions are not popular and we feel the need to defend them from people who try to diminish them, we have to remember that we are not alone. Many before us have had to defend what they love. The impressionists that have come to be so beloved and popular to recent generations, were at their time terribly disrespected. Their art was considered ” low ” art in contrast to ” high” art. High art followed the elements of design and composition and had acceptable themes, like Religion, Mythology and Politics and State. Art that chose subject themes like nature, still lifes, and quiet moments of life such as the impressionists chose, not to mention their tendency to push limits regarding light, color and composition was considered of lesser value both in money and artistic talent…but thanks to these passionate artists we moved from having art that was completely contracted to having art that was created through inspiration and personal experience. Today we create freely because others were passionate and defended their passion.
People that follow their passions are happier and healthier. They don’t wonder why their lives are missing something because they aren’t missing anything. They are being true to themselves. These are the people that others want to be around because their enthusiasm for life is contageous. So my hope for myself and anyone and everyone is that we all find that which makes us feel passionate and follow it with every fiber of our beings, this will lead to us all feeling happier and more generous in our dealings with others.
Have you ever been wandering around town or someplace new and been confronted in bold type with some message that seems put there especially for you ? This seems to happen to me quite often and since I always have a camera on me, I always snap a picture to remember what I am supposed to learn. Sometimes I think of this as God speaking to me through the objects that cross my path. Sometimes the messages are up-beat and sometimes they are more solemn.
Here in my hometown I have places that I have referred to as my personal Meccas. There is one in particular that I use when my heart seems intent on feeling sorry for itself. I go there to wallow in misery and cry if I need to. I use this place to purge my soul of all the down emotions so that I can move onto something better…This place I go is actually a beautiful place to sit and wallow, or just think. The only reason it became my place to go to and purge my soul is because it’s name is so appropriate. I think the name Mud Flats is perfect for the kind of feelings that I often go there to purge. I just kind of stumbled upon this fact one particularly sad night. The whole concept of mud or mire just seemed to fit the feelings that were weighing down my heart. The curious thing is, is that mud flats is actually a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the lake. So by the time I have loosened all the mire in my heart, I can then sit back and repair the spiritual damage before I get up and leave. I leave the mud and the mire there on the flats and go home pounds lighter then when I got there.
This moment is what we have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Today, this moment is the one we are living. I try to keep that in mind always. Life is full of stumbling blocks and challenges, some cannot be solved in that very moment. Some have to be allowed to grow, age and mellow and then the answer just sort of reveals itself. For those times, I try to remember that This Moment is the one that counts, it is the one that is here and now and will be the lesson that serves me tomorrow.