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Conversation in a coffee shop...

Sitting in a coffee shop most people ignore you. Each patron is insulated against the other as if there were literal walls between them, barrier that if crossed must be immediately apologized for.

I sat next to an older man the other day, who I quickly learned was not one for barriers, or acknowledging them. His opening line? He asked me what I did with my life that moved me. A rather deep question for a stranger, but I thought, what the hell.

So we talked about the passions of creating art. He with his paintings, and I with the words I put onto paper. We roved over the topics of how many people say things like “I have a story/painting/sculpture I know it would be brilliant.” But how they so rarely take the steps to accomplish it.

Because of fear . . . False Evidence Appearing Real, was his acronym and I immediately loved it. Because it is so very, very true. False evidence appearing real . . . we stumble to start when we see a fear we believe is solidly in front of our eyes, when the reality is, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

This man didn’t start painting until he had retired, he’d let his passion go for years as he supported his family as a naval officer. Now his paintings are in museums and art galleries all over the world. What an achievement, but especially at an age when so many people are ‘done’ with reaching for their dreams and instead reach only for their golf clubs.

How many of us want to chase our dreams but are told not to? Are told perhaps that they are just hobbies, or that no one makes money at writing/painting/art/creative passions? I mean, I was told that, over and over I was told there was nothing for me in my writing dreams.

As you all know, I ignored the naysayers and I think I’m better for having done so.

If your passion, no matter what it is, calls to you. Don’t ignore it. Recognize that you won’t ever see it succeed if you don’t feed it. Starving your passion will surely cut you off from a part of your soul. I know it, I’ve done it in an effort to fit in with what the world demanded was normal.

And if the man I spoke to was any indication, it is never too late. Even if you’ve starved your passion, if you’ve put it away in a dark closet to be ignored, it isn’t too late to pull it out, dust it off and start again.

Jack Ford Fine Art- www.jackfordfineart.ca