Last week after class, my yoga instructor thanked us for “allowing her” to teach us. She said she LOVED teaching us. She loved sharing her passion for yoga with us. She LOVES yoga; she could do it all day long. (Really??? All day long???) And she feels really lucky to have found what she wants to do with her life at age 33 when other people NEVER find their passion. Her whole faced just radiated happiness as she said all this.

I could relate. That’s sort of how I feel about my writing. And about my mandolin. Though I feel a different kind of passion for each.

Shortly after I took up the mandolin this summer, I met with an out-of-town friend for lunch, and I told her how I’d always wanted to learn to play the mandolin and how I’d just bought one on a lark and found myself a teacher etc. She said, “are you going to give up the writing to be a professional mandolin player?”


She said, “Yeah, it’s hard to imagine you not writing. I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be a writer more than you. But did you know your whole face lights up when you talk about that mandolin? I’ve never seen your face light up like that.”

What? My face doesn’t light up when I talk about my writing???

My mandolin teacher has six mandolin students. He says his “dream” is for us (us including HIM) to form a local mandolin orchestra. Every time he brings it up, I say, “I’m there!” I love playing with guitarists and ukelele players, too. I just love to PLAY!

My teacher also talks about “gigage.” (That’s his word, not mine.) He’d like to get us all some “gigage.” As in he wants for us to play in local malls, coffee shops, restaurants etc. (Many of his students have already done this around Iowa City.) I love to play, but this is not something I feel like I need to do. I’m not a professional musician (far from it!)…I have no need to go out and play in public.

My teacher says, “but what’s the point in playing if you don’t play for other people?”

Uh…because I love it?

I just like to play for myself. And to get together with my new musician friends and make music with them. Just for us. Isn’t that enough?

Is that passion?

It’s not quite the same with my writing. I would not be content to just write for myself. I’m not very good at the whole publicity thing (I don’t enjoy it and I’m not very good at it)…but I like having real books that are available in libraries and bookstores. This has always been my dream…to publish books and build a career as a writer.

I believe I am passionate about my writing in the same way my mandolin teacher is passionate about music and/or my yoga instructor is passionate about yoga. I AM a writer. I simply play the mandolin. On the side.

But my yoga instructor makes a good point…everyone should have a passion. And if you can find that passion at a fairly young age, you are indeed lucky.

11 thoughts on “Passion

  1. gigage!
    Love it.
    That’s a new one on me.
    I would say, yes– you want some gigage. Or jam-age, at a minimum.
    There are things that you can get from playing, off the cuff, with total strangers who don’t know your rhythmic inclinations or list of prepared tunes that you just can’t get on your own, or from a lesson, even if it’s a group lesson.
    Don’t sweat the audience. Get on out there! It’s good for ya.

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