Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Chasing the bright bauble of passion and purpose

Búho Nahual Speaks
Almost five months ago I signed up to be a volunteer at a local arts and crafts fair. I had few expectations. 
While I didn’t know much about Feria Maestros del Arte, it seemed like a good place to meet interesting people, find stories, and take pictures of beautiful things.

For four and a half months, that seed lay dormant, then suddenly it burst forth into a colossal blossom that encircled me with shimmering petals, filling the air with a new scent, daring me to catch one of the sweet, swirling, snowflakes of possibility. 
I definitely did not expect Búho Nahual, a wood carving that came home with me from that amazing folk art fair to send my mind spinning into a turquoise mist, contemplating passion and new projects. 

Passion, Purpose and Meaning

Sometimes passion sweeps you off your feet.
Sometimes it quietly curls up beside you like a purring kitten.
Sometimes you have to book a cruise and sail off into the unknown ... somehow sure it’s out there, or at least hoping it is while you take the risk to explore a new corner.

While searching for passion, I've been known to make a long list of what I want, thinking it will help the Universe point me in the right direction. Other folks just say, “Bring it on!”

Does it make a difference either way? Or, does the Universe already have a path neatly painted in day-glow yellow lines to guide our way? However, what if you can’t see the lines? What if the abundance of choices paralyzes you as it often does me?

Or, what if there are a million yellow lines stretching before us, morphing into our paths with each step we take. Step slightly left and you wind up married with 2.3 children in Indianapolis. Lean right and you’re in Mexico, sipping mescal with a curandero.

Could it be that each step is its own marker? Maybe the bright yellow paint is actually on the soles of our shoes, 7 billion shades of yellow tracking the planet as we proceed this way or that, creating paths that can only be seen by looking backwards.

So, does it matter? … that illusive, bright bauble in the distance? that siren song of purpose and meaning and passion? Does it have to have a name, a label? Can you follow the wrong star or miss your calling?

Should I take my long list of druthers, spooling behind me like a Christmas list written on adding machine tape, and stamp my footprints onto the cobblestones disappearing into the fog of the future? Or, would it be better to patiently wait for the kitten to awaken and meow its secrets? I could also spin the cruise dial and see where the tick of luck sends me, knowing that wherever I go, that’s where I’ll be and something will be waiting for me. 
Or, perhaps, I should just check out the soles of my shoes, make sure the paint is bright and look backwards more often to see if the footsteps from where I was to where I am mark a path that makes me smile? If so, maybe the only thing I need to do is give the Universe a fist bump and keep stepping out and checking the trail I’m leaving behind me. 

I do smile as I look back. I respect where I’ve been. I like where I am. The one thing I notice is that the trail behind me is a little thin. I’d like to make a fatter, more generous trail, scattering those sparkling petals far and wide. The Universe has gifted me with an abundance of energy, skill with words and images, and a heart that wants to help. Maybe all it asks of me is to share what I've been given.

As I head toward the end of my time here in this earthly form, I think what I most want is to be used up when I reach the end. A friend of mine always joked that he wanted to die “five dollars over drawn.” Like him, I don’t want to leave my resources unused. Unlike him, I don’t think it’s about money. 
As Búho parts the mist, I am left with wanting to have my own form of potlatch, giving away everything I’ve been given to people who need my particular gifts.

Morning after addendum from The Potential Within:


  1. A really interesting read. You really do know how to deliver a story. Will look forward to read more of your posts when I find the time to do so.