There was a time in my life when my passion was irrepressible. I called it a gift of the spirit – enthusiasm. ENW calls it Promoter tendencies. I call it passion. Enthusiasm is something from God they say. They say it is the movement of the spirit of god in us and that rings so true to me today. If there is any life force worth tapping into it is that one. It makes us look crazed and crazy but happy as well and I need to stop worrying and wondering about what other people think of my devotion to feeling, powerful feeling. I need to commit to my own sense of destiny and desire. I need to get my life on, yo.
My life has been so on hold, waiting for the child to grow, to become independent, waiting for mom to leave us, waiting for the chance, the crack with light penetrating, the opening of the door. Where is my opening door? I am making doors open all the time with work and play, but they are not liberating me, yet. They aren’t freeing me. I feel powerful anxieties course through my veins and across my skin. Panicked, I write. Panicked, I sleep. Panicked I pick up my case and head out the door to go to work – work that is too much, that is too many, that leaves me with too many unfinished tasks on account of my lack of enthusiasm for completing them.
It is work that slows us down. The process of creating, becoming, owning, executing – it is all more arduous than I expected, even after so many decades of experience I find myself trying to find the shortcut, the high road. I hear that actors describe their jobs as “easy” and I’m looking for, waiting for the right combination of attraction and action that will coalesce into a ball of work that feels easy and delightful, satisfying without overwhelming. I wonder if it is my approach to work, my tendencies to make things complicated that is thwarting me right now. I wonder if I am my own worst enemy. I wonder if I have simply made too many blind choices and poor decisions to get to the goal I seek.
Staying up so late talking, sitting on the floor and sharing like school girls. The time I spent with friends in Italy was rejuvenating in a remarkable way. I’ve not felt so energized in ages, which is vague – truly as thrilled at the opportunity of the days I couldn’t sleep – this is different from fear. This is different from duty. This is different from responding with wakefulness to deadlines and obligations. This is inspiration. This is anticipation. This feels like real living. Where will I find that love and passion for a day in my ordinary life? Can I create a life that feels so adventurous without having to be on foreign soil? Can I? And if I can, will I? I doubt myself. I got here for a reason. I got here out of fear and simple pride. I got here because I wanted to command respect, I wanted to be above reproach, I gave up my spiritual nature to foster a core of mastery and emulated my dad – my charming, commanding, self-assured father. He found glee. He found joy. He found it in his students, on the sea and in his daughters.
Dad would do a two-step, kick up his heels, snap his fingers, jump a Toyota commercial leap of joy, and grin like a kid when he was pleased. His happy response was infectious and utterly void of all the reserve and restraint he normally showed. He was mischievous – he liked a good cordial, a sweet snack, a small excursion to normally forbidden sites. He could surprise us, always with his youthful-isms. And the older he got the more he did.
I always admired him and competed with my sister for his attention and approval. She was his focus, his connection – I was a strange anomaly that mom enjoyed. He thought I was crazy. Aha. Perhaps that’s where all this is coming from. Aha. It was not peers I was trying to please or impress, it was dad. Epiphanies, my god. All this work I’ve done to be stately, to be “classy” as one dear friend described me, to be reserved and do important work. It’s all for you poppa. It’s all been about you and for you because you are my Big Fish (as Leah says), you have been the nuclear fission in my soul – anything it takes to be the apple of your eye – and you took me and laughed and played and had no idea the impact you were making.
Who was I before I was me-in-response-to you? I was aimless I suppose. I was drifting. I was kinesthetically inclined. But I was not a boy. I wonder how you would have raised me had I been a male. I wonder what sports you would have drafted me into and what pride you would have shown. I wonder if I would have more than one memory of you at one of my many sport competitions, more than one memory of you at a concert (you too were an athlete and musician), But probably not. You were living your dream, your joy, your passions. We were tangential to your life and living. At least for a while.
When I drove you to the hospital – following mom in the medivac, flying down I-5, you in tears and falling apart – I found myself slammed into the core of your existence – unwillingly from your side, but thrillingly from mine. To count to you, to be your rock, to be your savior, what a coups. It tickles me even now. To be able to show you the depth of my love and commitment to you, to actually be able to make a difference in your well-being, wow! What a gift. And for the few years after you gave us a chance to keep being that for you, and it was good.
This is my last day to write. And if I never wrote another word I would consider this a good ending.