We all have passions -- subjects and activities which ignite us, spur us to lengthy ramblings, indulge our inner selves, and ramp up our imaginations. A passion is a gift you want to share with others. It isn't a passion if it's locked in a box, neglected on a shelf, and never mentioned.
Writing is my passion. The triumphs of finding the right word, choosing the best perspective, clinching the ending, developing the title are to be expounded upon with others. Seeking nuances and savoring intricacies are perpetual excitements to a writer that must be shared. But sometimes it is not easy to find a listening ear.
My experiences have taught me that in this matter, husbands cannot be relied on. When I read a "polished piece" to Bob, he smiles and says, "That's nice, dear."
Wanting more, I ask, "Did you see how I tied the ending to the title?"
"Just like a neat little package."
"And don't you think my choice of adjectives created a visual landscape?"
"Good choice, dear. I'll call Victor's Landscaping Service tomorrow."
"And what about my metaphors?" I rhapsodize.
"I told you. I did all the chores," he answers, lost to his Sudoku.
Turning to my friends for a listening ear, I enthusiastically give them more than they ever wanted to know about my newest writing topic. I emote about the experience that prompted the topic and include the twist that I hope will make it funny. Verbally, I sketch my outline, elaborating on points I will make and puns I may use. But when my friends' eyes glaze over and their response to a question, despite their loyalty to me, is I don't mean to change the subject but ... I know their cup is full.
So now I talk to Wolfie, my faithful canine companion. He listens intently as I describe new ideas and tilts his head in empathetic understanding when I am frustrated. His golden amber eyes, limpid pools of understanding, lock into mine as I recount the nuances I shaded and the dialogues I created.
But I must, however, be careful in my outpourings to Wolfie. Should I inadvertently use a trigger word -- treat or walk, toy or play -- his eyes take on a new sheen, his long ears perk forward and his skinny tail begins to wiggle. He stands to his full nine inches and gives himself a good shake. There is no retraction of the word. I can't pretend I didn't say it. Action is required.
So what to do? Perhaps the travails and successes of a passion can only be truly shared by aficionados of the same passion. In the future, I'll rely on my writing group for critiques and suggestions. As for Bob, my friends, Wolfie, and you, my readers, I'll share my writing only when it's all wrapped up.