They say, ‘Follow your passion, and you will stumble upon your career’. They say, ‘Do what you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ They say all of this arbitrary and seemingly beautiful stuff—which is all well and good—but what happens if you don’t know what you love? Or worse, what happens if you don’t know if you love anything anymore? If you’re unsure if you even want to live, let alone figure out what you love? What happens if you don’t want ‘to find what you love and let it kill you’, but you just want to die? What happens then, when, not only your future slips away from you, but so, too, does your present?
Can you know what you love, if you’re not really alive?
These were—I use the past tense purposely—my thoughts. Yes, they are depressing. They are depressing because I was depressed. And—for once in my life—I’m actually not being sarcastic; although I really wish I were. I wish so much that I could insert a tongue-in-cheek, I’m-just-kidding-with-you remark, right about … now: and it would be the truth, you know. Because then it would mean that I was never depressed; and if I was never depressed then I would never have been to the darkest, most disturbing corners of my mind.
But, sadly (there’s your pun), I have. I have been there, and even though it’s undoubtably a place I never want to visit again, I learnt something there. (Actually I learnt many fucking lessons there, but that’s not the point of this.)
The point of this is that I discovered what I loved: I discovered what I loved because it was the only part of me that didn’t completely diminish, crawl up into a depressed ball of shit and die.
And that, my darling, was writing.
And it wasn’t a hallelujah-she’s-been-saved! moment, nor did I see some ‘holy white light of love’ transmitting from the Universal Writing Gods, or some divine phenomenon like that. Fuck no. I didn’t even like writing then—I didn’t have a passion for anything (duh, I was depressed)—but I wrote. I wrote sadsy-and-shitty-as-hell “poetry”; and it was the only thing I did that I didn’t have to do—at a time when I didn’t want to do, or be, anything.
And only when my brain slowly reorganised itself into some sort of chemically-balanced, normal-functioning organ, did I become aware that I had learnt something; something about myself, and something about life:
If you can do something, just one thing, in your darkest, most disturbing state of mind, and it brings you a sense of peace or stability, no matter how teeny-tiny, minuscule or even-barely-there visible: well then that, my darling, is your passion. And you can let your love kill you if you want it to, but it will try its damn hardest to make sure you live first. And if you can do your passion when you’re at your absolute, almost-unbearable, I-can’t-take-it-any-longer worst; then just imagine what the fuck you can do with it when you’re wholehearted, happy and at your I-am-fucking-killing-it best.
It is only now that I fully understand all of those whimsical, somewhat-motivational passion-is-power quotes. And perhaps—for reasons unknown to me—I needed to learn the truth in them the hard way. Perhaps I needed to experience it—the cessation of all passion and vitality—so I could, not only understand the importance of these things, but also so I could be inspired by them. Maybe there was a Writing God somewhere out there who secretly wanted me to write my own little boy-do-I-have-some-advice-for-you quote! Who bloody knows. ‘It’s just the way it is’, as they say. Except this time I’ve written it from the way I saw it, felt it, and discovered it.
I guess there is nothing that hasn’t already been written, really; very few ideas have been left unexplored or unwritten in perfectly scripted paragraphs in someone else’s handwriting; and yes—maybe these are just funny little symbols that we call ‘letters of the alphabet’ bunched together to form ‘words’—but writing showed me what I loved when I didn’t even have the strength to look for it, or even love it back. And if that isn’t passion, then I have no fucking clue what is.
And I’m still not a ‘poet,’ or an e.e cummings, or a T.S Eliot, but from time to time that curious urge to write little snippets of words, piece them together and call them a ‘poem’ still lives inside of me.
After all, it is my passion; and passion lives inside of you, even if everything else has died.
Sorry if there is a hint of sadness amongst the poetry; it’s entirely possible that my passion still remembers how I felt before I knew it, before I knew that I loved it, and before I knew that I would love the world again.
All photographs featured in selected works are not my own unless specified. They have been inserted to compliment the poetry only, not to be deemed as my own artistic brilliance. (How I wish they were though!) Several of the images have ignited a hidden brainchild within me, although most are stand alone pieces that I simply find beautiful. Thank you to the artists who produced such marvelous creations; artistic recognition will be given if known.