When I was in high school our dance teacher asked us each to write a short essay on why we dance. As a young student suspended between passion and obsession, mine was filled with inflamed statements such as, "Dance is life! Dance is the only moment in which I can truly be myself. I can't imagine a life without dance!" I don't have a copy of the essay, but in my memory it has a lot of exclamation points in it.
Even now, I'm not certain if dance draws the obsessive types or inspires obsession. A
little of both?
If you ask me the same question now, I'd give you a grown up answer. Something about discipline, having a creative outlet, achieving goals. Why? By the time we get to this age, we are shy about admitting our grand passions. We love in quieter ways. We don't always share. We've learned that obsession isn't enough to get us what we want. Obsession alone doesn't make artists. There are other factors at play.
I feel fortunate to have done the same thing for so long. I've gotten to study the fluctuations, the shifts that occur with each new step in my life. The moments when it wasn't actually about me, but about helping someone else succeed. The quiet joy that comes with that. What a strange thing it is to create art.
What about you? Do you feel like you can freely admit your passions? How has your relationship with your work evolved?
43. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater