Christy needs to Blog: Do we lose our passion as we age?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Do we lose our passion as we age?

A friend of mine has writer's block and is wondering where the words have gone. She was a prolific writer when we were young and I fondly remember her participation in the local, televised PBS poetry slam when we were in high school. It was a competition and she didn't advance, but I remember being so proud of her. My dear friend wrote beautifully and she was chosen from thousands of area youth to be a part of the program. But that wasn't why I was proud of her. She had three or four poems chosen for the evening - one for each round of the competition. She could have read the poem that would have been the most likely to help her advance, but she chose to perform the one that she most wanted people to hear. It meant the most to her of all the poems she had selected and if she didn't advance, it didn't matter because she made the comment she wanted to make. That takes courage.

She mentioned something else that made me think: her writing was primarily about extreme emotions. Isn't much of the best writing about extreme emotions? One of my favorite posts on this blog is about when the boy weaned himself and that was certainly an extreme emotion in my current life. But do we lose our passion as we age? Not the erotic passion shared with someone you love, but the passionate way of looking at life that we had in our younger days. The highs and lows of the teenage years bordered on excessive and I wonder if - by and large - we grow out of that. Is it less a symptom of age and more an indication of our satisfaction with life? Are we less excitable if we are happy? Are we less creative? Van Gogh was extremely creative, but how satisfied with your life are you really if you cut off your ear?

Perhaps the answer isn't yes or no. Perhaps we shouldn't be looking for more passion, less passion. Maybe we - or more specifically, I - should be looking and working to find ways to be creative in our happiness. Surely I can write compelling words even when I'm not sad or angry. Surely I can write compelling words that mean something to me and aren't just for the grant proposals I occasionally do on a freelance basis.

I just have to find my voice.
posted by MamaChristy at 7:50 AM | 2 comments | links |