I have been asked recently to state my passion in life and to me it seems an odd question. The question rankles because we seem to be equating passion these days with a form of happiness. “Follow your bliss” is the new Joseph-Campbell-induced mantra. But I can’t help wondering why we always feel the need to be happy all the time?
Passion seems to involve one’s capacity to express emotion. Its the ability to have a strong emotion towards something. That emotion can be love or anger or even sadness. It is just as possible then, to be passionately angry towards something as it to passionately love something.
If this is the case, then I could say I was passionate about the fact that my husband died. It is certainly something I have strong emotions around. I am fiercely passionate about my kids, as most mothers are. I am passionate about my writing in as much as it is an emotional outlet for me, allowing my to spill my emotions, loves, hates, and yes, passions onto a page.
I know that I have a huge capacity to love. If I find something or someone worthy of my affections, I can lose myself in the emotion of that passion. But contrary to that, something about the loss of my husband has clouded my emotions, made the highs seems less intense and the lows seem moreso. I fear for my ability to feel passion, that it has been dulled. Does it mean that I am less happy? Or less able to feel emotion? Or do the new lows that I can now hit, mean that at some point, the highs will stand out brighter in opposition?