I made a connection today, in my head. I often wonder what it is about the Carolina Lowcountry that inspires me and makes me feel so strongly, yet I’m never really able to pinpoint any concrete reasons that effectively convey why it’s such a special place to me. Or why I feel compelled to write about it. Or why I think anyone should care. There is, of course, this region’s inimitable charm and aesthetic, but for me, an appreciation for its beauty feels superficial and does not suffice as a complete explanation.
I read this article today about one of my best friend’s bands. They’re definitely my favorite local band, but partisanship aside, they’ve been able to make a name for themselves in a relatively short time, not because they are the best band ever (Alabama, hello) or because of some magical serendipity that brought four amazing musicians together, but because they love what they do. I mean they really love what they do.
When asked exactly why I think they are so good, pointing out each band member’s talents and their natural tendency to play for their audience never seems to sum up why I love them. Their contagious enthusiasm is authentic and interminable, evoking a feeling in their audience that is hard to ignore. So much so, that they have even succeeded in beguiling a rather reserved introvert with a seriously debilitating stage fright to join them onstage to sing a song. More than once. I may or may not be talking about myself… It’s because they make you feel something, pleasantly demanding you to enjoy their music to the fullest. After that thought, I realized I don’t need reasons to explain why they’re so good, because the pleasure you get from listening to them comes from that feeling they evoke. It’s like their passion for playing is osmotic and you can’t help but get on their level.
And that’s when I made my connection. There’s no rationalizing or reasoning with passion. I sit here and wonder what it is that moves me about the Lowcountry when instead, I should think about how to take those feelings and make something out of them. Passion is an energy that moves you to feel, something I think we all possess for something or another, but it’s those of us who can recognize it inside of themselves and then do something with it who are the luckiest. Like the guys in Cranford & Sons.
So as you go into this new year, I encourage you to find what it is you’re passionate about. Find what makes you really feel something and try to do something with it every day. You’ll come up with a million reasons not to, but reasoning is not what it’s about. If you think about it, all successful people do something they’re passionate about, and nothing great in the world has ever been achieved without it. I know it’s easier said than done–I’ve got bills to pay, expectations to meet and a life to live also, but wouldn’t it be awesome if all those things can be accomplished by doing something we’re passionate about? Just a thought.
Hope y’all have a Happy New Year!