Words and Images courtesy of Moriah Joy.
Feature photo by Lisa Hogan.
For many people, this past year has been anything but pleasant. From not being able to leave the house (or not feeling safe to do so), to major life events brought to a screeching halt and the general state of the world feeling chaotic, it’s easy to want to forget about this year and just pretend like it never happened. However, I believe this year has also allowed many for the time to reflect and appreciate the small victories in life. I feel like despite the hardships, I’ve learned something extremely important that we can’t forget, no matter the state of the world.
To fully understand this lesson, we must look back at our life to the first time we can remember true bliss. The thrill of being an uninhibited child, unencumbered by the maladies of this life. Exploring anything and everything until you gravitated to one idea, one object, one act. This was the birth of passion. Finding something that brings you joy in the midst of sorrow. As we mature, this passion takes many different paths as it changes, expands, diminishes, or sometimes turns into something completely new.
My passion has always been performing or being involved in performances in any way possible. I still remember being five years old, scared out of my wits standing on stage in front of my entire church (maybe a hundred people but it felt like the Sydney Opera House to me) getting ready to sing. I was shaking, and couldn’t stop crying through the performance but it felt like something I needed to do. I never truly understood until this past weekend when I had the opportunity to stand on stage again in front of families and entertain them.
Nervous excitement coursing through my body, a sense of anticipation as people began to arrive. My mind raced wondering if they would appreciate the hard work and actually participate with the storytellers. The ceremony of getting ready, putting on my costume, and preparing the space to perform, all of it creating this sense of magic and wonder.
While the turnout was only twelve people between both performances, there’s something truly special about getting to see a child interact with your performance then afterwards hear the parents talk about the child repeating parts of the story for the rest of the day. Something as simple as using a story to connect with each other, displays of humanity and joy in otherwise dark times are extremely important. It’s one of the reasons I feel like watching stand-up comedy routines has become so prevalent over the course of the last few months. We as people want to feel joy and connection in whatever form that we can.
This is the joy of performing and art, being able to positively impact someone’s life even if the moment is brief. However, I’m very aware that some people may experience this type of passion through sporting events, decorating for the holidays, cooking, etc. Whatever you’re passionate about, even if it may just seem like a hobby, please continue to explore and create.
My hope for anyone reading this is that is what you take away from this year is a renewed sense of passion. May we never lose sense of what makes us human, allowing us to see beauty in this world even if it comes in brief moments.