Those who recount to us their life stories
and speak of their journey into adulthood,
at the beginning of which,
they had a burning passion for poetry,
but upon deeming themselves to be bad poets,
put down the pen and took up careers
in brain surgery, I.T., academia, and so forth,
are the very type which, on days such as these,
when my head hurts, and I look out
at the teeming rain with this empty feeling
of having wasted the whole afternoon,
I can’t help but envy.
I have enjoyed listening to these two lectures about Kierkegaard’s attempt to solve the problem of having a duality of soul and body, an abstract and a concrete, by relating to another, or, as he puts it, to have infinite passion for the finite.
This “other” could be a person, or it could be a cause, path, practice or ideal, I think.
It made me think of how Michael J Fox shared the existential crisis he went through after being diagnosed with Parkinsons. This would be what Kierkegaard calls “despair”, which he theorises has been present all along, but was previously covered up by the distractions of addiction, celebrity, and work in Fox’s case.
The crisis was resolved by transforming despair into bliss, by relating to the cause of promoting Parkinsons awareness and raising funds for research in order to find a cure.
Getting diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome definitely caused me some despair, but when I embraced the idea of making positive changes to improve my condition, options began to appear.
Through relating to this healing journey, my approach to art has also changed, as I now look for non-toxic mediums, and find the constraints of my RA and a low budget actually inform my art.
So transforming despair into bliss by having passion for both the healing and artistic journeys, while sharing it with you here can hopefully give the relationship the additional aspect of inspiring others to do a similar kind of thing.