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A lifestyle blog by Alan Pierce on The Whole 9

The Passion

The Passion (said like it would sound if Snooki said it. [i.e. you have to construe your face into a grimace that looks like you bit into a green persimmon to say it right]).

I had been searching for a job and, in conjunction, searching for my “passion”. In the process of this search, I’d been attending a meditation and writing workshop called “Comedy Karma” led by a wildly talented Sarah Taylor. These evening workshops include 3 meditations of varying lengths with two writing sessions in between. The writing sections are given a beginning by Sarah, and then the writer writes constantly – never stopping regardless of the direction the writing takes until a set time has been reached. This assignment was started with: “What I don’t know about myself is…”.

Setting the scene, imagine me and seven other people sprawled across a living room in a house on a busy corner with a lot of windows. The five minute meditation left us looking like the Jonestown Peoples Temple to anyone looking in the window and afterwards I noticed that three bleary eyed people looked like they’d been roughly awakened from a two hour nap. We took up our pens, and I wrote:

“What I don’t know about myself is… What is my ‘passion’? Of course I just spent the last writing session talking about that, but seriously, it’s getting a little embarrassing looking at people with a completely blank stare when they ask what my passion is. That, by the way, is one of those sentences I used to snicker about when I would hear it. ‘What is your passion?’ And now I understand there is a problem. Does everyone else have an answer for that? ‘Pearly White’ and ‘Croakie Roberts’ over there have cute socks on. I think I’m going to have to get cute socks – maybe something with a puff on them. ‘Purple Scarf’ has tiny little breasts that she’s delighted with. That’s nice. So, I like to meet and collect people. Is that a passion? I also like to drink wine and judge people – how’s that on the passion list? Now we’re back to Shawn Pelofsky’s idea of the two of us having a show where we criticized strangers when they passed us in the lobby of a casino. ‘The Queens of Mean’. Perhaps I should’ve said ‘critiqued’ instead of ‘criticized’. What am I going to do tomorrow? Yoga at 11 and hiking with Tammy Jo at 1pm? Perhaps. Passion. Drat. I hope the passion vine survives the trauma – I really want to see that growing in the garden soon. Some jackass walking by and whistling – is that his passion? Walking and whistling? That might be lamer than not having a passion.”

Let me first point out that the people I’ve mentioned in the assignment are people that are sitting around me for the most part. Instead of writing something inane like “I don’t know what to write, whatever shall I write” eighteen times until I finally think of something to write about, I start looking around the room at my “classmates”. Let me also point out that I’ve changed the names of everyone that was in the room. Apparently comedians are far too sensitive to listen to my “critiques”.

As a side note, what kind of horrible person must I be if COMEDIANS are sensitive around me? Seriously? Most of them just become comedians in an attempt to make sense of the daily heckling. I must be a monster.

I should also point out that I still haven’t found my passion, though at the last networking meeting I went to, I sipped wine and told people I took pictures of the ill-dressed and wrote bad things about them. Apparently they thought I was trying to read my cellphone’s screen when I took their pictures and posted them on Facebook.  I would’ve thought the flash would’ve given me away.

All this being said, I DO have a job at the moment and I’ll be telling you ALL about it very, very shortly. Cuz it’s going to take a village.

  1. I just saw this post! I love your class writings. You are so talented.

    I know here you’re poking fun at it all and I also know you already get this, because you are a wise man: yes comedians are sensitive! Ever wonder why so many of them commit suicide? Gulp. And you are SO not a horrible person. Horribly funny, yes!

    You are great at poking fun at and making fun of people. And now you’re just getting skillful at knowing when and how to do this. Like…if you’re in a room full of people who enjoy a safe place to get vulnerable and creatively bare their soul ;)

    This writing exercise has helped so many people go beyond what their “go-to” habit is when they write; to push past it and write about things they maybe don’t ever let themselves write about or had no idea was lurking underneath. People emerge from meditation more open, vulnerable and in greater touch with themselves. It’s a tender place, but one from which we can create amazingly personal, funny and even touching writing.

    So who knows…maybe in the next Comedy Karma class, you’ll write right past the urge to focus on others and focus on yourself and write about your passion. Or your search for it. When you go beyond your “go-to” Alanisms, I always see glimmers of personal, risk-taking, soul baring brilliance!

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