Pursuit of Passion


Rick Heath is a local farmer. I came across him while scouting locations and asked if I could take his portrait for a series I developing on people of the south.

I am in the process of writing my first book (or more like booklet) called Creative Faith. This book is about the pursuit of dreams and the faith to keep pursuing those dreams despite what comes against you. I am considering this as the last essay in the book;

The Pursuit of Passion

What is the pursuit of passion and why do some people pursue despite all odds? Was the question I found myself asking one Friday afternoon as I drove through the country side looking for locations for photography. It had been a good week, I had had several appointments, I was busy about being busy, and I was focused on what I was doing. The bad part was that I wasn’t making a lot of money doing it. Don’t get me wrong I was and am very grateful for what I was making but it wasn’t the amounts of money that was going to move me into a new tax bracket. In fact the photo shoot I was working on was for me and had no money involved. So why was I doing it? Why was I spending money on gas and taking an entire afternoon to drive from location to location to plan to work for no money? Why is this pursuit so important? So vital to my feeling of purpose and well being?

What drives me and people like me to go after something that seems impossible, unattainable, and completely out of the realm of reason? It is this pursuit of passion. If you look up the definitions of the words you will find that put together they mean this; the action of following or pursuing a strong and barely controllable emotion, an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. As a person who creates it is not just a random act or whimsical passing moment, it is a deep seated, heart wrenching, tear jerking, emotion scaring desire. It is impossible for a creative person not to create. As long we live, as long as we are breathing and thinking, we are creating. As long as we create we have to pursue that passion. It doesn’t come easily. In fact it often times comes with pain and anguish. People mock us, tell us to get a “real job.” To them it makes no sense. Work your job, come home, watch T.V., play sports, do your hobby, but don’t over invest yourself is the mindset of most people. They cannot and will not understand why we sit up all night typing words, drawing pictures, sculpting clay, or painting canvases. To them it seems foolish, childish, and unproductive.

It is more reasonable to them to watch sports or reality T.V. than to pursue something that requires imagination. Which is exactly where the difference occurs. For the non-creative it is easier to turn off, to shut down. Let the mind go numb and soak up three or four hours of rabble on television than to pursue something that can cause pain and anguish as easily as it can cause joy. That is why we are different. That is why we stand out even when we try to just blend in. While most of the world sees black and white, we see shades of grey (and blues, purples, yellows, and reds). While the rest of the world sees a rainbow, we see a bridge. While others hear the music, we feel the emotion. While others are content to sit, we are driven to create.

This comes courtesy of photographer Benjamin Von Wong.

This comes courtesy of photographer Benjamin Von Wong.

This passion, this desire, we didn’t ask for it. It was given to us. It wakes us from our sleep, keeps up all night, drives us to move ahead when our bodies are fatigued and our minds are exhausted. The pursuit begins the moment we wake up. Like a beast it claws at us through out the day demanding attention, demanding we give it substance. So what do we do with it? We pursue. Pursue with all our heart, soul, and body. Never allow the circumstance a greater voice than the passion. Never allow what seems reasonable direct the dream. The passion is what keeps us alive. Without it we are truly dead, empty husk walking without purpose or direction. To live, to breath, we have to create. It may be with words, pictures, music, or dance. It may not make sense to family, friends, and coworkers. It may hurt at times but the final outcome will be one beyond our wildest imagination. We can never let it go, because it will never going to let go of us. Pursue with action the strong and barely controllable emotional desire for passion. The end result will be that we not only change our lives but that we also change the lives of those around us.

This is the final answer to why we create; so that we can create change. Change in thinking, doing, dreaming, and believing. We create to change people for the better. Our passion allows the others to share our dreams. To see the world as we see it. To hear music as we feel it. Our passion improves lives and gives hope. Our passion inspires others to wake from their slumber and pursue their own passion. Without us the world becomes dull and grey. Without us the world suffers its greatest loss. We who dream of what can be are the pioneers of what will be. So when pain comes today or tomorrow, when depression tries to sink its deadly fingers into you, remember your life, your dreams are what pushes the world around you forward. Without you their is no art, no music, no words, no imagination. As in the beginning when God created, your creating new worlds, new ideas, new dreams, and new hope. Now lay this down and go live your pursuit for passion, go create.