Passion is a good thing, right? I don’t mean hot, steamy, sweaty passion, which of course is not too shabby either, but passion for a hobby, or your work. If you can say, “Hell yeah, I’m absolutely passionate about my…cockroach collection!” for example, then count your lucky stars because many people don’t feel that way about anything. Well, except for the hot, steamy kind they felt…for a moment, before they got married. It is a gift—or is it?
In a way, passion is just a nice way of saying ‘obsession’. Nobody likes to be referred to as ‘obsessed’. Passion, of course has numerous great connotations, such as devotion, and hard work. These attributes are commonly associated with excellence, and success, unless we are talking about your cockroach collection. In that case being passionate has its own value. Being passionate about your hobby, or work generally means that you do your best, you pay great attention to detail, and you unknowingly spend endless hours at it. You are driven. The downside of this consumption is that it may exclude other good stuff, like relationships, and health. Ah hell, that stuff’s overrated anyway.
I have the passion problem. Yes, I said ‘problem’. Without it, I’m an empty vessel floating in the sea, endlessly. SOS. First, I was consumed by music, then by medicine, and now, writing? We’ll see about that. From the fourth through seventh grades I built model airplanes. Not any model airplanes, but exclusively, World War One fighters. When done with one I had to wait until I earned enough money to buy another. Strange, that almost sounds like addiction. Ok, I’ll admit it—it was the glue I was after. Just messin’ wid ya. But it did smell pretty good
Being devoted to medicine was easy to justify. After all, I was saving lives, right? True. As a pulmonary and critical care doc I had oodles of opportunities to save lives, and yes, that is a good thing, and I’m grateful. However, why are some of us so passionate? Ok, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is self-serving whether or not you’re saving lives, or polishing cockroaches. We do it because we get something out of it. It fills a deep seated need. So…what need(s) are being met? Oh crap, I’m getting heavy now, and I’m about to poop all over the wonders of passion, except of course, the hot, steamy kind.
Here are a few guesses; the need to feel worthy, to gain praise, respect, to stay busy, distracted, to do anything but be still. I’ve clearly learned that being alone in my head with no preoccupying focus is dangerous, and downright miserable at times. Self-loathing fills the space, and that’s oh so fun. Take Mother Teresa, for example, she worked tirelessly in the service of others. Why? Oh God don’t strike me down or send me nasty emails. She did it because she got something out of it. Of course her devotion was justifiable, wonderful, valuable, and yes we give her praise, and respect. Beats the hell out of being a passionate serial killer. Can one be passionate about doing nothing? Ah…that’s too Zen for me. Am I too cynical? Nah, really, I’m not…well maybe a little.
Alex Winthrop MD, the star in my book, Broken Cure. He is passionate about his work as a critical care doc, and he’s good at it. But, passion turns to obsession when he becomes suspicious about the deaths of several patients. The deaths seemed reasonable considering the serious medical problems they had, but Alex questions everything, even the obvious. By the way, that’s the definition of a really, really good doctor, in my opinion. He is consumed by the details of how they died, latching on like a pit-bull with a lamb-chop. As is sometimes the case for those of us who go after something with extraordinary zeal, Alex’s unrelenting quest helps him stave off his demons. But his passion turns dangerous when it leads him on a journey he never could have imagined. His intuition and motives were spot on. That should lead to a happy ending, right? Read it and see.
God Dust is book 2 in the Broken Cure series which should be out in early 2022. I started this book when COVID-19 was at it's worse. It is a pandemic story but with twists unlike others you may have read. The pandemic is a backdrop for something even bigger.