It's a beautiful sunny warm day here in Harrisburg today. I even brought my running clothes and hope to go for a run along the river during lunch. I haven't done that before and people tell me that spring is the nicest season here. If many of the days are like today I'd have to agree. Tomorrow it's supposed to reach 70.
This weekend winter officially ends and spring officially begins. Spring is symbolic of rebirth, new life, and new beginnings. I suppose that's certainly appropriate in my world at the moment. People have been asking me what comes next for me and I haven't had time to think about that much yet. We'll see.
I've had some time time to reflect on events leading up to where we are now and I'll admit that I've learned a thing or two. Some of the things are things I already know but have been re-emphasized. One lesson is that communication is the fundamental life blood of relationships and when that breaks, the relationship itself is seriously compromised. When the blood stops flowing, the body dies. Similarly, when the communication stops - it either needs to be recognized as a critical indicator of deeper issues and addressed or people need to come to the realization that things are about to end.
I can look at personal relationships in my life that have ended and if I had to choose the single most important element in them it's communication. And when that communication breaks for some reason the relationship itself often gets irretrievably altered, or dies.
Although one of the tendencies people seem to have when a relationship breaks is to find fault or blame. I take full responsibility for what has happened between myself and the Center. I'm not blaming anyone but me. Sure, there are things that have happened which have led to where we are now but I'm not about to point a finger at anyone. That would be the chickensh*t way out. But a key word in ALL of this - and I do mean ALL - is accountability. And that key responsibility isn't mine alone. It is shared.
That being said - we have both publicly acknowledged that our parting is amicable and it is. We have both publicly confirmed our mutual continued dedication to the strategic goals of the Center and that's true. We have both publicly stated that a key element to this outcome is significant differences in strategy to achieve those goals and setting priorities. That, too, is true. I'm not about to engage in a blame game in any sense with an organization that took a significant risk when it hired me, and to whom I made significant life changes to join. That would not be productive, nor is it necessary.
This organization has never been more visible than it is now. Not surprisingly, expectations have never been higher as well. I'm hopeful that the organization can move forward the way that it wants and that the local community gets the Center that truly lives up to its unlimited potential.
One of the things I want to consider today is a concept we commonly call "Passion". It is a topic as old as humanity itself, and the balance between the percieved polar opposites of Passion and Reason has been source of significant contemplation from Plato to modern times.
I find Kahlil Gibran's writing in "The Prohpet" to be particularly compelling on a number of topics, including Passion:
Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafairing soul, if either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.Is there such a thing as being too passionate? Frankly, I think there is. Passion sometimes overshadows reason but there's a Yin and Yang balance that often needs to be maintained. Sometimes, though, one overshadows the other. Is that something to apologize for? I think not, as it's simply being human.
There's a line near the end of the movie Serendipity that I particularly like. One of the characters wrote a eulogy a friend and noted: You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: "Did he have passion?". Whether I like it or not, passion is a key element to my personality, to what drives me, to what fulfills me, to what disappoints me, to what enables me, and sometimes to what disables me. Can I explain it? Not really. But as with coming to peace with my trans nature a dozen or more years ago I've stopped having to explain some things and have learned simply to accept them because they are. The "why" is unimportant.
Passion is to character as communication is to relationship as blood is to life. When passion dies, it's tragic. It's a symptom of some deeper problem. And, in this case, I'm happy to say that my own personal passions remains as strong and as bright as ever. Events of this past week have re-affirmed that. I'm not just talking about events here at the Center, but the fact that my mom ended up in Intensive Care, and that I'm having tests for potential kidney issues, and that people half a world away in Japan are facing unimaginable horrors. To have passion is to feel, and I feel acutely.
So back to my original hypothetical question - is there such a thing as too much passion, too much feeling? Probably. But that's something to be nurtured rather than diminished.
Another of my favorite Kahlil Gibran quotes:
“Rest in reason; move in passion”I do. And I am.