The Passionate Pen

Nine Card - The Passionate Pen


“Painters must want to paint above all else. If the artist in front of the canvas begins to wonder how much he will sell it for, or what the critics will think of it, he won’t be able to pursue original avenues. Creative achievements depend on single-minded immersion.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


P is for Passion


What is passion?

Is it love,

is it lust,

is it the agony and the ecstasy,

the rage and the fury,

something within,

which bleeds out.

Is it a stream,

a bubbling brook,

a tumultuous torrent,




catching you in its flow.


“The self expands through acts of self forgetfulness.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Passion captures us easily in a natural flow. We get caught up in the feeling and dance to its beating heart, but try to capture passion, deliberately, especially in an image, when you’re thinking about it rather than feeling it, and it can prove to be elusive.

I am passionate about thinking, however thinking can at times snuff passion out as though it was a flame on a candle deprived of air, of the oxygen which keeps it alive.

I had an idea, but I thought too much about it, and almost killed it… it almost killed me.

Then I remembered a scene from a film – Why Stop Now? – in which the characters spoke of losing themselves in an action through which something greater than their human selves expressed itself. One was a gifted musician, the other was an athlete. When they did these things, they became one with it.

To capture passion I had to become one with it, forget about it, about me, let it catch me in its flow… then it would express itself.


“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


 The Passionate Pen - 1


The pen is a symbol of passion for me,

for when I write I lose myself,

become the words,

and the words become my paint,

my ink, my blood,

(although in this case it’s food colouring)

the page is my canvas.


The Passionate Pen - 2


The mirror is a symbol of passion for me,

it does not represent vanity,

it offers perspective,

self reflection,

another angle from which to view the same thing.

(The wind kept trying to knock the mirrors over,

which added to the creative mess)


The Passionate Pen - 3


Shadow and light is a symbol of passion for me,

they are symbiotically intertwined,

the darkness enhances the light,

the light enchants the darkness.

(I used the Sun for lighting in these photos,

the shadows were caused by my figure getting between the Sun and the subject)


The Passionate Pen


This is the actual photograph,

without added Photoshop.

I love Photoshop filters,

as they allow me to add subtle aspects of passionate vision.


I am very pleased with my final image,

so much so that I don’t care what anyone else thinks or feels about it,

or if they, you, are indifferent to it,

that may sound arrogant,

however it is not the brazen bravado of ego,

it is when I know that I have achieved passionate expression,

been true to the flow.


“It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


I am however always interested in what others think and feel,

for when we share our passions,

we create another kind of flow.


 What is your passion?


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