Tag Archives: Passion

Defining Beauty

I’ve been thinking about beauty lately, because this is my purpose, to show people there is still beauty in this world, to show them how to feel again. Yet how can I do that if I don’t have a good definition of beauty. Something which has qualities which are pleasing or satisfying is too broad, it lacks definition, so I wondered how to refine this definition.

I’ve always been able to see beautiful things, even when the night is darkest, especially because the night is beautiful in its own way. I don’t know what makes me different, why I find it hard to hate, why I can’t disconnect myself enough to see the ugly.

I was looking at a photo of the night sky as I was thinking this, looking at a photo of something most would consider beautiful, yet how many monsters have people imagined living in the dark of night. What is the difference between the night in the photo and the night where monsters live? So in wondering why I couldn’t disconnect myself to hate I had my answer, or at least a part of it.

You see I think beauty is the opening of a connection to the things that please us. It is an illumination of the things we find most satisfying. When we see a photo of the stars above we feel connected to how vast the universe is, we feel connected to the light shining on the world around us. When we don’t bother to look up, when all we know is darkness we aren’t connected. The feeling of being alone and pointless, disconnected, is so overwhelming the mind finds it better to imagine monsters to be connected with than nothing at all, at least monsters give us a purpose, to run and hide.

It’s easy to find beauty in the normal things, a pretty face, an idyllic scene, and children playing. These things connect us to health, vitality, life, the world, freedom from responsibility. We understand these things subconsciously. We can’t help but look at a masterpiece and feel connected to each and every brush stroke, the creativity and imagination that went into its design. Yet there is so much more beauty in the world.

We show stories of the evil miners and their sites of devastation, so much ugly they created. Yet I can’t always see that. Sometimes I am amazed at life, how tenacious and unstoppable it is. I see the life at the edges of this ugly. I see the weeds and the grass fighting the toxic soil with the sole purpose of brining more life after it. Little by little it edges it way towards the center of the mine site, never stopping, relentless. I feel connected to the edge of these mine sites, connected to very primal nature of life. Life took this world from volcanoes and acid oceans to what we have today. It connects me to hope that what we destroy may be undone, what we tear down can be rebuilt. Is this not beautiful?

We see story after story of toxic people, ugly people, people who are different from us somehow, male or female, Muslim or Christian, black or white. They tell me I should be afraid of these people, that they will change our way of life. I don’t watch enough TV to keep track of the people I am supposed to hate next, but that’s not what I see anyway. I see a man who has walked from Ethiopia to Pakistan after the military shot his brother, I see a woman who gives an incredible amount of time to those no one listens too, I see people afraid, in love, sad, happy, hurt, alone and in leading groups. How can I not feel connected to these people, they are like me. Are they not beautiful? How can I hate what is like me, that would be like hating myself and I know I am beautiful.

I don’t know how to connect people with the beauty around them yet, how to connect them with the feelings these things invoke. I see it in everything around me; I see it in buttons, power lines, raindrops, machinery, mathematics and more. I don’t know why I can see the connections in all these things but I hope one day I can teach others how to see more in the world around them. It’s really hard to hate something you feel connected to. I’ll work it out one day but for the moment all I can do is illuminate one beautiful thing at a time and hope others can see the connections I see. I have part of my definition of beauty now, it’s a start, one small step on my journey.

Image thanks to Jason Jenkins

The Lost World Of Male Desire

man-desiring-world

There is a world out there full of heroes and villains, mountains scaled, oceans crossed, risks taken, accolades won and lovers dancing beside silver lit glades. Yet this world is being overshadowed and lost. It is the world of male desire, a world connected intimately with our identity, connected with our dreams and our passions and it is being buried and covered by the world we live in, this reality we must be a part of. Some may say this is a good thing, but I doubt they truly see how amazing and beautiful male desire is. If they did comprehend, if they truly understood, they would be saddened by exactly what is being lost.

As young children boys can no longer be boys. Their world of good and evil, guns and cars, play acting of their role models, its been deemed disruptive to class. Offending boys are suspended from schools, dosed with Ritalin and their play time removed. This is the world of a boys desire, the world they use determine right from wrong, the world they use to explore ethics and morals, the world they use to understand action and reaction and this world is being lost. How can these boys grow to become leaders of men, meant to change the world in their desire for a better place if they are not given the opportunity to understand this world? Those who are strong enough internalize this world and never speak of it again, those who aren’t become lost in a system where they only comprehend that the system is right and they are wrong.

When they say they want to be a doctor they no longer mention they want be the one to cure cancer.

As teenagers these youths can no longer be youths. They enter a world where they are trouble, where they must be stopped from making mistakes. The real world is a place where risky behavior is deviant behavior, a world where risks are inappropriate and the only approved outlets are games of sport. Yet even sport is not the rough and tumble game of risk it once was. This risky place is the world of a youth’s desire, it’s the place where fears are conquered and youths become the men they are destined to be. This is the world where a youths desire to take the world by its horns and wrest from it the keys to greatness is discovered and learnt. Those who are brave hide their ambitions and passions from the world, they keep them close to their chest. When they say they want to be a doctor they no longer mention they want be the one to cure cancer. When they say they want to be an astronaut they no longer mention they wish to be an adventurer of old discovering new frontiers. Those who never learn to be brave become pushed and pulled by fear and insecurity instead and their passions smolder to embers having neither direction nor outlet.

… torn forever trying to prove they are not the monster that the world tells them they should be

As young men a much sadder lesson is taught. The world tells them they are monsters, violent rapists looking for their next victim. They are told they can not be trusted, that they are not wanted, and that they are nothing more than fodder for wars or backs for endless drudgery. They are shown that even if they succeed and become married they are nothing more than boorish fools incapable of even the simplest household and fatherly duties. There is a world inside these men, a world of both sexual and romantic desire. In this world epic tales are dreamt where they learn about seduction, mystery, allure and romance. Where they learn what it is to bring a women to the edge of passion, what it means to deeply connect and what it means to touch both a partners heart and mind. But this is wrong, men’s sexual and romantic desires are wrong. Those who are wise continue to dream these epics, they learn to release these lessons in mere smidgens waiting, hoping, to one day find a partner they can fully express these desires. Those who never learn wisdom, those who let their dreams fade, become torn forever trying to prove they are not the monster that the world tells them they should be, trying desperately to keep close the knowledge that they are passionate human beings too.

The world of male desire, this is the world where the strong become leaders, where they are born and created, activists whose desire is set on the path to right the wrongs in the world. When these men cross our paths we can’t help but follow such desire. This world of desire is a world where the brave become the front-runners of progress. These are the entrepreneurs, the inventors, the artists and adventurers, the men who take their desire and use it to mold reality into the shape of their dreams. When we come across these men’s paths we can’t help but follow the trails their desire has cut. This world of desire is a world where the wise know the true meaning of romance. Where Gomez’s relationship with Morticia is the true expression of male romantic desire and not laughed at as an Adams Family eccentricity. When we see such men we can’t help but fall in love with the ideal of love, a love which shines through their every action.

This world of desire is hidden though. We have strong men, brave men and wise men but always they keep their desire close to their hearts. They achieve such wonders but you can only guess at their desires through their actions, never do these men they truly reveal such desires to the world around. I don’t think the world understands what it is losing with the suppression of male desire. I wonder what would happen if a brave, strong wise man let his desires be fully known. Would the world tear him apart, would it know what to do with such a man? I think such a man would be a force to be reckoned with. Gandhi, Henry Ford and Pierre Curie all rolled into one. Is the world ready for such a man? Does this world deserve such a man? This world of male desire is not a thing to be feared. Scratch the surface of this world instead of burying it because underneath great marvels lie in wait, hoping for a time they can be set free.

Originally Published at The Good Men Project 

I Believe

I Believe. I believe I can pass my test. I believe I am a person of value. I believe I can make a difference. I Believe. The two most creative words in existence. These two words have moved mountains; held back oceans floated cities and put man on the moon.

I Believe. I believe I won’t win. I believe I am not good enough. I believe nothing I do will change it. I Believe. The two most destructive words in existence. These two words have felled cities, destroyed nations and left man alone and afraid scared of his neighbors.

I Believe. With these two words the very universe itself can be opened before us or the truth in front of us can be hidden from view. These two little words can bring forth man shining brightly towards a glorious future or dump man into a cesspit of his own waste waiting only for the final bell to toll signaling our doom.

Scientists scoff at these words. They want facts, not beliefs but they do not realize the irony in their words. With a dream and a vision held tighter than a miser’s gold they seek to prove their beliefs true because no man wants to prove his beliefs are nonsense. All unknowingly the beliefs they profess not to have unravel the very secrets of the universe.

Mystics abuse these words. The want followers of their own beliefs and they realize the irony in their words. With circular logic they obscure their follower’s beliefs hiding from them that their beliefs are as powerful and as magic as the mystics. All knowingly the mystic’s beliefs hide the truth and wisdom held within each and every one of us.

The passionate live by these words. They want to live by their own beliefs and they realize the power in these words. With a dedication that endures they endlessly seek to achieve a greatness that cannot be rivaled. Shining with a light that cannot be dimmed the passionate seek to make the world a place worth living in, a place filled with wonder unmatched.

The politicians kill with these words. They want you to believe in them so you hand over your power with those words. With endless self-aggrandizement they seek to gain dominance over society so their greatness is unrivalled. With a howling wind these pied pipers seek to make the world a place for their monuments, a place no longer worth living.

But I believe. I believe I am great, I believe I can and I will change the world, I believe there are things worth discovering, I believe there is a universe out there to challenge, I believe I can make this world a better place one tiny piece at a time, I believe the world is a place worth living and I believe that if enough of us believe there are no words for the wonders in store for us.

Passion

I’m 39 years old and for the first 38 years of my life I never had a passion. Then last year I picked up a pen and started writing. I write somewhere around 3000 words a week and I would write more if I could but life gets in the road of that. It’s hard to describe what having passion is like, I didn’t really understand it before and now that I have one it’s still hard to describe what it’s really like.

Passion is not the same thing as an interest, something you pursue because it’s amusing or fun gives you some form of pleasure. It’s also not the same thing as obsession. An obsession is targeted at someone or something but there is no creation in obsession. Passion goes beyond that. Passion is life changing, it becomes a part of you and you set your entire life goals around meeting that passion. You will see people with passion described as driven but that is a view from someone on the outside, it’s like saying a bird in a tornado is flying or a toy boat caught in a flash flood is sailing. You might see the word dedicated describing someone with passion but dedication is saying you are using your willpower to achieve a goal, with a passion you have to use your willpower to stop doing it.

You see having a passion is scary, big scary. Scarier than appearing naked in front of 50,000 people, scarier than jumping out of a plane or scarier than telling someone you love them. When you create from a place of passion you are creating from your very imagination, not an imagination based on how you think others see the world but on how you see the world. When you create from a place of passion, whether it be an artist, musician, writer, engineer, software developer or architect it 100% you that gets invested into what you are creating. It’s your deepest desires, hidden frailties strongest loves are expressed in the very things you create. The things you create expose every nook and crevice of your identity to the world and you know it. When the things you create are then sent out into the world for people to look at, to judge, to love, to hate and to criticize you feel every bit of that because those people are looking at you, judging you, loving you or hating the real you which was invested into what you have created.

When you have a passion every moment of every day slides into your passion. As a writer almost everything I see has a potential story behind it. A friend will post a Ted talk on passion on Facebook (Linked below) and for three days the urge to write about it has been burning in me. When I get the urge to write about something I can’t stop it. I can delay it, I can put it off but at some point my heart says enough and at 12.30pm at night (it’s currently 12:45pm as I write this) when I should be going to sleep I will write, because it’s the first chance I have had to do it.

I think’s it hard to fail if you are truly passionate about something. Even though your fears and worries are there your very passion gives you a shield against it as well. I know the Ted talk below says those who make excuses will fail to follow their passions, but I have to wonder if they truly had a passion or just had an interest. When you have passion you don’t do it for other people, you don’t create something for approval of validation, you create it because you really don’t have a choice. Making a name for yourself, earning a livelihood off it or becoming the best in your craft, well they are consolation prizes. At the moment I have written about five kids fables based around magical creatures. I have done this for gifts for friends and simply because I had to but I am going to write another five to ten of these short stories and publish it on Amazon as an eBook. I am not writing the short stories though to be published, I don’t even care if a single copy ever gets sold, I am writing them because I have to, because I want to, because when I do it fills a part of my soul that I never knew was empty.

I don’t know how you find your passion, I really just stumbled into mine but I hope you do. It will change your life, turn your life upside down and completely change your long term goals. I can say though that when you do find your passion you will definitely know it.

I have included this poem because when I say that parts of you are buried in what you create this is what I mean.

A man is worth a thousand pictures

A million words swirl in a man’s head
A thousand pictures ready to be painted
Ethereal they swirl, almost untouchable,
And yet each a double edged sword.

They can be crafted and shaped
Guided on to a canvas or paper
Messages for those who can see
Or art for those who can not.

Will a man paint a remembered crimson sunrise
And seize the wonder he experienced
Displaying for all who wander by
“This amazed me, captivated me and held me breathless.”

Or will he paint a solitary sailor on dark stormy oceans
Adrift and alone,
Fighting nature for his very existence
Fist held to the sky yelling “Is this all you’ve got.”

Does he paint a portrait of frail graying man
A man who has seen so much,
With such sadness and wisdom in his eyes
That say to the viewer “I learnt almost as many lessons as I made mistakes.”

Each and every word tumbling
Can cut into his soul
But they are double edged
They also cut into canvas

Every scratch left on canvas is now filled with a piece,
A piece of the man who was once cut by these words.
His every creation he cannot help but paint
His very existence displayed for the world to see.

He can paint what is not
Or things which have never existed
Except that in every painting
There is always himself lying naked and exposed.

His paintings are messages to himself
Regardless of whom he gives them to.
“See, here you be, this is who you are.”
“Be comforted that you know yourself just that little better.”

And when a thousand pictures have been painted
If this man had opened his heart and mind
He can join those pictures into a mosaic and say
“A thousand pictures paint me.”

Copyright Luke Davis 2014

You Control Everything You Create

We often go through life wishing things worked out differently, that there is something we could have said or done that may have changed the outcome. That if we behave a different way or someone would just listen, or help we could do so much better. If only people would be this way instead of that way things would be different or better. This dissonance is where our brains vision of what should have been or could have been meets the reality that we actually control very little.

So what do we control? The simple answer to that is that we control what we create and conversely what we destroy. We can create a book or a painting and while we are creating those things we have infinite control. We can control the characters, the events and the background but what we can’t control is who if anyone will like it or buy it. We can create a sphere of influence, a marketing network as such, but we can’t control who will join it. We can publish our work and create a vector out into our network and statistically a percentage of those people will buy our work, but we don’t control the individuals who do buy it.

This applies to all aspects of our lives. Socially we can create an image of ourselves, it may even be very close to the real you, but when we extend our hand in friendship we can’t control whether someone will accept that hand. Through hard work and practice we can create ourselves to be someone who is confident and good at their job but we can’t control whether any individual employer will hire us.

All is not lost though. The things that you create, they do have influence, they do exert an attraction or repulsion to those who notice. If you create a beautiful classical music piece and someone who enjoys classical hears it then they will be attracted to it. Another who doesn’t like classical may be repulsed by it. You don’t control their reactions but the things that you create will attract the people who like those things.

So when you look out into the world and wish that things were different turn your gaze towards yourself. What can you create that will make your world different. The very creations you control will exert an influence on those around you, these creations will attract the people who like those things and repulse those who don’t. If you want be a passionate driven person you need to create that person inside of yourself and you will attract those people who want to spend time with a passionate person. If you want a better world you must first create the person who sees a better world and then you must create a better world in the environment around you. If you attract enough people who also wish for a better world then eventually enough people together will create a better world.

Photo credit: (altered) Flickr/Sean MacEntee