21 May

Frustrated passions

yellow tulip

There’s supposed to be a fine line between passion and madness.  Many great artists have had their sanity questioned at some time in their life. Many of those that from a distance in history seem like ground breaking incredible achievers, inventors, explorers were in their own time considered quite loopy.

These are people that have developed a passion for something out of the ordinary, a hunger to portray beauty, a desire to break the bounds of what is considered possible, a yearning to tread virgin soil, to do something unique and extraordinary. In order to fulfill such ambitions a certain determination is needed, a capacity to focus on one goal at the expense of other aspects of life.

People develop passions for anything from the mundane to the spectacular.  I once spent a long weekend in Brussels translating for a specialist surveyor… her passion was soil and the effects of industrial land usage on the soil in immediate contact with and surrounding industrial developments. Her passion so deeply cherished, studied and communicated that she travels to check the earth all over the planet. Her passion has formed her career, literally opened the earth up to her. Her passion is born out of a love for the world that we live in and her passion creatively challenges others to interact with the earth in a way that cherishes it.

Creative expression of passion is as old as creation and is, in my opinion, the source of creation.  God, the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, Spirit, love one another so passionately that we, humanity, the world, everything, become the creative expression of that passion. The love between the three persons of the Trinity so immense, so fierce, so tender, so beautiful, so passionate that they create something, everything, from that love. Their delight and pleasure in their love means they passionately create us to participate in that love. Just as the impassioned sportsperson becomes a coach, the artist exhibits their work, the dancer takes to the stage – loving passion draws others in.

Our desire to procreate, to create life out of our passion and love for another, is an entirely human and yet utterly Holy desire. It is an exquisitely beautiful way of opening our love out, inviting someone else to participate in it and allowing our love a life beyond our reach. There are of course many ways in which a passionate pair can open their love to allow others in, all forms of hospitality mirror the passion of creation by risking the invasion of others and inviting them to participate in the love being offered.

However the desire for the unique creation of a child is an out working of love that cannot be replicated in any other form. A child that is formed from the passionate act of making love, a child that is formed by the egg welcoming the invasive sperm, a child that is formed by the hospitality of the womb despite the often high physical cost of that hospitality, a child that is formed by the intertwining of lovers’ DNA.

It is a tragedy when any persons passion becomes unobtainable to them: The injured athlete that can no longer run.  The arthritic pianist who can no longer play.  The artist with cataracts who can no longer see to paint. The couple that cannot procreate. The God who faces rejection from those His passion created.

If those in history pursuing their unique passions seemed to live on the edge of sanity, how great the strain on mental well being for those with frustrated passions. A passion in love that procreates is as old as the earth and as common as grains of sand, yet for some of us it is unobtainable, our grief maybe understandably close to madness.

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