Someone asked me a while back what I was passionate about. I struggled to find an answer, I couldn't pin-point one thing that I thought: yes this makes my heart beat faster when I think about it! I found that profoundly disturbing. Today, I think I have the beginnings of an answer.
It's weird to admit, because I consider myself a sort of misanthropist - but I think maybe people are my passion. But hold-up, not all people; 'authentic' people - this is where it begins and ends for me. I am awed by people who are open, honest, vulnerable - the kind of people who say "I don't give a fuck" and really mean it. Maybe these people excite me, because they represent who I want to be? Or perhaps it's because I've had my heart trampled on a few times, or maybe because in this world we're living, I simply see an opening - nay - a positive need for every day brave hearts. I simply love the people who trust me with their truths.
I'm not a talker, I never really have been. I find small talk excruciating, because I'm simply not much good at it, but I am always thrilled when someone reveals pieces of themselves to me. I mine those truths like the precious gemstone they are.
Sometimes I'll meet someone, catch their eye and know they are someone I would like to know more about. I'd like to think the appearance of a wicked set of sleeve tattoos and a manly, yet well groomed beard don't steer me too obviously to this conclusion - but hey, I'm only human. Sometimes the intuition and attraction lines gets a little blurry, I admit.
Sometimes upon meeting someone I just want to get right to it, I want their story, I want their heartache, I want to know what makes them tick.
If I could meet each and every one of you, I would ask you what you day-dream about? What you really want out of life? Where's your joy at? I'd ask you to tell me about your scars. And it's not voyeurism that drives me, I'm not a gossip, I'm not trying to tap you for ideas. I see it as a gift - the act of listening, of receiving. When you ask someone about themselves, when you engage their heart, there is a palpable soul exchange - you leave marks on one another, like fingerprints. And if you believe in the idea that everyone you meet in your life serves a purpose, regardless of how long they stay, I think these are the exchanges that matter the most.
I hope this doesn't sound like a whole lot of wank. I've fallen out of practice of writing, and it is a vulnerability of my own to declare this, and put it out into the world.
"I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." (Rainer Maria Rilke)
I'm also passionate about the idea of finding contentment. My whole adult life, I have been plagued by the idea of finding answers - because surely life must be logical, and I have so many questions and doubts, that there simply must be answers. I think soul-mining the people I encounter is my way of making peace with these questions, and also serves to remind me that perhaps the answers aren't so important?