Passion

Passion

I love you, she told him. I always will, he replied.

Passion. /ˈpaʃ(ə)n/ noun

[mass noun] strong and barely controllable emotion.

[in singular] an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

Origin: Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer.’ [As defined by the online Oxford dictionary]

Passion is often used in conjunction with a feeling between two people. It is a very powerful emotion and it is said that none is more powerful than love, so sometimes we combine (or mix-up) the two. Tonight I experienced real passion and I will share it, as it was shared with me.

I am in Maastricht, Holland. Everybody at the university uses extremely well spoken, high level English. It was here that I attended an open mic night. The night involved people telling stories, playing instruments, singing, and reading poems amongst other less definable performances. Not all of them moved me. In fact some quite the opposite. Yet everyone there had a passion for what they were doing and they believed in it. They believed in it enough to stand up in front of a huge group of people, many their friends, many unknown, and perform. It takes more than belief to stand up in front of such a crowd and do something so bold. They had passion.

I will highlight a couple. A guy in an unusual hat came to the stage with a girl in a long dress. He started to play Hallelujah and when the girl sang, her voice was higher and more perfect that I could have hoped for. They left the floor in a shower of applause and delighted cheers. One bearded gentleman shared his vision of a future that could work for everyone. I didn’t understand much of it. He did. There was a rendition of George Carlin’s poem, Modern Man. I just watched it again on Youtube, but I won’t post a link to it here. If you are interested, search for it and watch it. It will be three minutes of your life that I feel are well spent if curiosity leads you in that direction.

A girl, not old, came to the stage with nothing but a bottle of water. She moved cautiously, carefully, clumsily. Not dissimilar to a child. She would like to sing a Turkish love song but she is nervous. Without musical accompaniment, she started singing. The room hung on every intelligible word in silence. Moved. The room exploded as she skipped away from the performance area and back to the safety of her friends.

One girl wrote two songs herself and sang them while playing the ukulele. For just a moment, yet another performer shared with us, her tears, her memories, and the songs that they provoked. My favourite was a lone girl with a guitar. She demanded that the whole room sing about Africa as she tapped and strummed away on a guitar, swinging her hair around. The whole room loved taking part. By herself, she lifted the energy of everybody in the room. When the show had finished, she came back on once more to play the final song of the night. She chose to play Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a personal favourite of mine.

Everybody sang the chorus.

A few people even tried some of the verses, although the girl herself often hummed along to these.

It didn’t matter. For a few moments, I shared in many people’s passions. I have never known these people and I will never know them. But I am grateful. On this page is a photo. It is a moment of passion that I stole from two people and I share it with you. Make your own story. They held onto each other at great length before finally parting ways.

From watching all these people, finding, following, and chasing passion is both brave and desirable. Happy hunting.

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