Are we defined by our work … or does our work too often define us? When possible, I think we try define our work, and not the other way around. When we find that our work becomes restrictive, it is a relatively simple matter to take a vacation. Step away. Reevaluate. Change jobs. Work is not a integral puzzle piece of life since it should not DEFINE who we are. Our passions and dreams, however, are the breath of life and without breath, we perish. They add hue, contrast and clarity to life’s scenery. Take a vacation from them and our surroundings fade into a pallid and languid backdrop. What about our passions? Our dreams? Do we define our passions? Or do our passions define us?
Perhaps passions are much like the fires that grow out of control and consume a forest. Like a small campfire, it is dependent on the person who ignited that passion. It yearns for our fuel, our time and our careful tender to make it roar and provide heat. Without careful nurturing the spark that is our drive, our passion, never grows beyond the flicker of a flame. Without nurture, with just tinder, it provides a brief flash of hope and dies. With proper care, passions warm and illuminate a chilly and dark life.
Yet, at a certain tipping point, that passion can become an unimaginable all consuming force. In order to maintain the addiction to the life giving warmth, we feed it with anything and everything in our surroundings to the point where it spits out the embers faster than we can sustain it. Then like a forest fire it flares and burns its surroundings. And then it looks for more. Rages out of control. Consumes all. And dies. Passions can eventually rise to some great conflagration of life if we neglect to care for it properly. With impunity it will consume all the resources of our lives. Leaving us with nothing left to feed our other necessities. Friendships fade. Family falters. Love withers. We starve.
Be wary of dreams. The sustenance they provide can sometimes be a fragile facade. A potential placebo of life. There is more to life than the chase of a dream. When we are in it, while we experience them, we feel sated. Complete. The illusion of a dream fulfilled engulfs your senses. But never forget that life is not solely about the chase. Chase them too far, feed them too much and we find yourself alone in barren desolation with a starving dream. And because we nurtured it from infancy, our parental duty implores us to take care of it. When we refuse to let it die, when perhaps we should, our fate is to perish alongside it. While although noble, like the captain who goes down with his ship, ultimately a shameful waste for the life that could have accomplished so much more.
Anyone who has played with fire as a kid knows the innate curiosity to watch things burn. That same addiction occurs as we feed our passions. Dreams invoke our passions, and that is life’s narcotic. Like any other drug, it is just as addictive and just as dangerous if unchecked. We need our dreams to fuel our journey, not to engulf them in flames. Use them to inspire, to encourage growth, to continue walking on life’s path, not to char the path we walk on. Dreams help provide a destination; passion is the means to get there. Dreams and passions are tools which help illuminate our path. But other facets of life are just as important. Family. Friendship. Love. We should define the elements in our lives, not the other way around. We should be the ones to define who comprises our family. We define our Friendships. We define our nature of love. We should also define our dreams and passions. Dreams are vital. Have them, live them, breathe them. But never let your dreams and passions overtake, consume and define you or life becomes a single empty husk of hollow hope.
Who says comicbooks aren't real art? See Davinci's, Latrec's, Van Gogh's and other classical artist representations of superheroes HERE.
People step in and out of our lives every moment of everyday. Some stay for just a moment. Others touch us for a lifetime. Some leave of their own accord. Others seem to be wrenched from us in a moment. Torn from our lives and leave us grasping for reasons of 'why'. Hoping that some shred of reason will make their passing easier to bear. And for that moment we wish that we had held on a little more tightly, relished with a little more zeal, and lived each day with a little more passion.
Good men are not suppose to die so young. They simply aren't. They are suppose to live a long life of caring and loving and nurturing. And when one such person is stripped of his birthright, all the words in any language horribly fails to capture any small portion of those heavy feelings that hang thick in the air. The air that all at once becomes stale and putrid. Every breath becomes labored. Words become useless. And if feelings and emotions could be amputated and disgarded, I would do it in an instant
And still, in the larger scheme he has only been able to touch my life briefly. But sometimes, like a cool summer breeze, it is the lightest touch that brings the greatest smile. I can't imagine what those closer to him are going through. But I wish them well. I will mourn for a time. But I will not live in awe of his death, rather live with the memory of his life.
Don't forget that at any moment, those that have touched our lives, can just as simply and tragically be taken away. The worst travesty we can commit in our lives is to take someone for granted.
"...So long as a person exists in the hearts and memories of those he loves and who love him, he can never truly die."
In Honor of Rick Reindel