Monday, 5 April 2010

the waxing and waning of passions

Humans always seem to need to do stuff. Most people have activities they would prefer to be doing above all others, Throughout my life, I have had many such passtimes.
From 7 to 12, I just wanted to collect fossils, rocks, minerals. I found the idea of stumbling across specimens to be exciting beyond anything else I could conceive of.
At 12 I got into electronics. The principles of circuits I found unbelievably alluring and wanted to do nothing else for a couple of years but sit in my room making gadgets that did various cool things.
Puberty kicked in and there was a girl who similarly held my focus for a few years. The another. And eventually a long term one.
At 17 I had been practising karate for about 4 years and it really took hold of me. I loved the feeling of control over my limbs (at last!) and the nimbleness that the movements brought me. But then I discovered music when I was 18 and a student.
The next 8 years or so, I went busking, I played in some rubbish bands and I wanted to do nothing else but (oddly) play the banjo. It was all consuming and its presence in the corner of the room was irresistable. I could not help but pick it up and play it whenever I saw it.
Then there were the children and I was rather too tired for the next ten years to do anything much.
The banjo sits there unnoticed and I cannot remember now the attraction. It has no appeal whatsoever. From being an all consuming drive, music has faded to a complete indifference.
As with all my former passions, I remember that I was consumed with fervour that help my attention for much of my waking hours, but now, it has gone.

About ten years ago, it became words. The clamour in my head found voice through textual expression. No longer hampered by my inability to use a pen, I as free to clear out the noise and commit it to a page. It helped immensely. It became a passion.
And now, it appears as with all the other passions, it has passed. I no longer feel the need for expression. My words are useful certainly, for when I need to write a letter to school or an email explaining a particularly awkward situation to a customer. But I no longer need or even want to write anything. It has, like all the other passion, seemingly just gone away.
I can still bash out a tune on a guitar, throw a fearsome kick, build a circuit if I need to. I can still identify a brachiopod. But I don't feel the urge to indulge any of these things. The way, i no longer want to sit at a a keyboard or notebook to feel the flow of the words.
And neither has another passion displaced it. I can't say I really feel enamoured of any particular activity currently on offer to me. I like to dance, I like to get out in the sea on my kayak, but they are not passions per se. they don't move me the way the others did. They are just punctuation in an otherwise straightforward life.

capricious, isnt it, the human spirit?


Librarian said...

It is indeed, and much as I regret you do not feel the need or want to write much anymore, I hope that there will still, from time to time, something here from you to read.
One of my current passions is photography. Had anyone told me that 1 1/2 years ago, I would have laughed out loud - me? Taking pictures? Portraits? Even EXPRESSING myself by the help of those pictures?! Impossible! And yet, it works - for now.
There will most likely be a morning when I get up and do not even for one second think of any ideas I'd like to put into writing or into a picture, or both.
Somehow, though, I fear that on that morning, my mental landscape will look and feel poorer.

Librarian said...

For some reason, this your blog entry came to mind today, in the context of two "passions" I used to have: chocolate and - of all things! - work.
Yes, work. I used to need work to feel useful, and I was always highly motivated to do my job more than just well, I wanted to be really good at what I was doing, and I enjoyed work.
I am still good at my job, and I hope none of my customers is reading this, but these days, I find myself disinterested in work.
When until some time ago my social life had to fit around work, now I find I am trying to squeeze work in between all my other activites that matter a lot more to me.
Where chocolate is concerned - I guess it is safe to say that I used to be a chocoholic, of the kind that goes to the garage on Sunday evening because there are no other shops open where one can satisfy the craving for chocolate. And while I still like chocolate and appreciate it when it is given to me, I do not "need" it any longer, and I can't even remember when was the last time I bought some.
Strange, isn't it?