by Whitney Sparks
“… love can be defined in a more accurate way as the desire of being desired.” -Yann D’all’aglio
Do you want passion? Or do you really want desire?
Did you know? Desire > Passion – little known fact.
Desire has gotten a really bad rap. It has got to be in the running for the most misunderstood character trait in human nature ever – I would even go so far as to call it the least understood value of all time. That’s right, value.
“What is the value of desire?” you may wonder. Consider that desire has to do with the unknown, which as Sun Ra points out is infinite and will never cease to be. Passion is great, but – just like what gets called “love” a lot of the time – it can be an easy cover up for zealotry, posing, posturing, pretending, pretentiousness – all just to grip onto a brand of weak emotional security.
I say, don’t fall prey to passion– let desire consume you instead! Feel the want!
Pop gurus nowadays spend a lot of time talking about passion. How to find your passion. Follow your passion, they say, and then they offer seminars to guide us in how to mine these passions. Trust me, especially when it’s streaming out of the inter-telly, from House of Cards to the Beyhive, we soak in a pornography of passions.
But passion is overrated. It’s too fixed, actually. It’s decided, like a thermostat, indoors, set to the highest degree. It’s obsessive. I’ll be honest, it’s a bit sick!
Desire, on the other hand, offers none of the claustrophobic contagion of its rival. Instead of passionately giving orders on what to do and how, or worse, pointing fingers, desire raises its hand for permission to speak.
It can feel like a tease sometimes, beckoning with bold eyes, but desire is ours. Desire wants us just as badly as we want – whether we want our wants or not! Just breathe, open your eyes, open your hand, and take hold; desire will do the rest.
Desire is neither solved nor resolved (although one may become resolute about it). Desire is ever present in the now, yet it’s made for the future, as well. Where Passion tends to instruct, desire questions. It is the want that doesn’t need to be found, because it is already here inside, finding us, burning away, an endless fuel for creativity. Desire doesn’t ask to be praised either. In fact, nobody need know your desire, necessarily; it could be your own motivational secret. Desire needs only to be pursued – and probably thanked later.
Passion has the habit of whipping out a soap box, standing upon it, and shouting to the balconies above about what it loves (that those upstairs may care nothing about). Desire keeps it moving, whisking us through stations, driving us across transitions, navigating our sudden or subtle changes of heart. It is powered by an engine all its own and directed by a compass that is, incorruptibly, uniquely ours. Desire: It’s what you want!
So, may I make a recommendation?
Feel the feeling of, “I have to do something about this!” You will. Stop stalling and smoking with insecurity. And why flirt with with guilt, that bitchy ex of an emotion? A dreamboat awaits you with precious pleasures untold – get in and do what your desire tells you. That ought to be fun! It may even be revolutionary.
Whitney Sparks wrote her first published essay for Freedom Challenge, a book about African American homeschoolers, when she was 9. In it she largely chose to focus on the subject of mythology (which continues to fascinate her). After growing up, going to schools (completing a Bachelor’s degree from Yale, a Master of Fine Arts in Switzerland, and becoming certified yoga teacher), dealing with heartbreaking loss, roaming the world, and moving to Berlin, she still retains an overactive imagination and wild spirit, which she likes to express in her visual artwork (mostly collage and film) as well as her writing.
Collage art above also by Whitney. Find her at her blog, her website, or at Coming Into Being, a collaborative project.
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