I have just finished reading a book called ‘Grievous Angel’ by Jane Hill. It follows the life and love of a woman betrayed by the one man she ever fell for, who, years later, goes in search for him, learning the hard way that every story has two sides to it.
It wasn’t, in my eyes particularly well written; it wasn’t at all unpredictable and yet I powered through all 391 pages in half a day. (It’s one for the poolside this holiday if you’re in need of some literary suggestions.) I for one devoured the book, oblivious to the real world waiting outside my room.
And I find myself now at a loss for what to do.
There are books out there that, despite their lack of subtlety, leave you reeling afterwards. The conclusion was by no means a shock to me and yet I sat in a still silence for almost an hour afterwards, not sure what to think or say, unwilling to break the web that I had spun around myself. There can be a delicacy to the atmosphere that a book leaves behind when it is closed for the final turning of a page. It’s as if the author is trying to tell you something, a deeper truth that goes beyond the facade of the plot he/she just dragged you through. And as I listened to the silence, one word formed on the edges of my brain:
It was, I think, the main drive throughout the book. Passion can lead us to the very extremes of what makes us who we are. It can be the spark of love that ignites in our soul and stays with us for all eternity or it can be the motive behind a brutal crime. It drives us to crave human company for alone we are reminded that we are just a shell in an empty house. It was certainly the incentive for the protagonist to fly around the world in search of the man she had loved for twenty years.
Is it passion, then, that lurks in our hearts and aids us in every action, every choice we make? Do we delude ourselves into thinking we are in love before we really feel it? Are the first tendrils of love simply a rollercoaster ride of joy that tricks us into thinking that this is ‘The One’?
I don’t know the answer for everyone. But for me, passion is essential to survival. It is the will to live and sometimes the desire to die. It may be the spark that reignites a lost love but it is also the flame that keeps it alive. It is what drives me to do the things I love in life and take pride in what I accomplish. I am who I am because I embrace passion.
Passion whispers to me in the last silence of a closed book.