Few things in life bring more delight than being in the presence of extraordinary artistic expression. Whether it’s sinking into Monet’s Water Lilies, or floating along with Misty Copeland’s grand jetes in Swan Lake, or melting into Andre Bocelli’s Ave Maria, the immenseness of such raw talent is impossible to deny. The power of such artistry can be overwhelming, shifting our emotional tides until the spillway erupts. Such reactions come unbidden, unstoppable because they flow from the pure magic that exists when keeping company with the awe-inspiring.
Sometimes a masterpiece is so moving that we can almost feel the pain of its creator as we imagine the untold attempts to achieve such perfection. We can only guess what it took to get [the painting, the dance, the song] exactly right; often it has taken a lifetime.
It was my good fortune recently to experience the sumptuous voice of k.d. lang echoing in the halls of Canada’s historic Royal Theatre. We sat on the edge of our seats, mesmerized, as she skillfully pruned each musical note, tending to them one by one before allowing them to fill the concert hall like a hundred thousand Queen Anne roses. As a young girl, k.d. recognized the gift with which she had been imbued and set about to create a life in tribute to that gift; a gift she knew she was meant to share with the world. And share she has.
We all have gifts to be shared, but too often we have cloaked them with other endeavors and allowed them to fade into near non-existence. Yet they remain where we left them, locked in our psyche, just waiting for us to turn our attention to them once again.
Even if we didn’t cultivate these innate abilities from our youth — whether from lack of support, encouragement, or opportunity — our winding path to adulthood has brought with it the wisdom to finally appreciate our endowments for what they are. There is something that moves all of us — something special that makes us feel complete.
It may have been a long time since you thought about your childhood passions and dreams. You may think you’ve forgotten them completely, but take a moment and try to remember. In fact, take a few hours. (I know you “don’t have the time,” but seriously, do this for yourself). Go find a quiet place and just think about what it is that you feel most deeply pulled toward now, as an adult. What is that undeniable force that calls to you? What brings you real joy?
Maybe you like to draw. Or build things with your hands. Or sing. Or tell stories or write poetry or plant flowers or care for animals. Something exists there, in each of us, that can lead us back to our passionate participation in life once again. So long as we take the time to reflect on who we are, and what deeply moves us, there is still time to make a course correction to get back on our intended path.
Yes, there is still time, but there is no time to waste.
Go. Find your passion again.