I had a key made about three years ago, and I always wore it wrapped around my wrist (often to hide scars). I chose the word "passion" at a time when I felt drained, numb, and cold. It was a word I needed to look at everyday to remind myself of the life I once had within me - the love in my heart, the warmth in my soul.
It might sound silly, but I would meditate with the key in hand, concentrating on my word, focusing on all the things that filled me with energy and longing. And one day, it stuck. I didn't have to force myself to feel. I just did. I still kept and wore my key, however, as it became more than an accessory to me. It was an extension of my heart.
I have a good friend and co-worker, who is perhaps the most intensely passionate person I have ever met. Everything he does and everything he says is full of feeling. He is truly remarkable. But he has been going through some very trying times. He has been quite depressed, totally empty and exhausted by a whirlwind of changes in his life, and regrets of his past.
We recently had a conversation about the things he used to do for release, for joy, for peace. He spoke a lot about art - of painting and sketching, of how cathartic it used to be for him. But becoming a father and making only enough money to get by, he was forced to put away his supplies, bottle up his emotions, and focus on higher priorities. It broke my heart to hear that he hadn't touched a brush or pencil in over a decade. I was so moved that, the very day he told me this, I gathered a few sketching pencils of my own, tied them with a ribbon, and attached my "passion" key. This was my gift to him, a reminder that it's time for him to unlock the passion in himself and let his art come alive again, to allow himself the same purifying release that he had known before. He was touched and even mentioned, perhaps, sketching me.
My key had been through many, many rough times with me. It had served as a tool in the revival of my spirit. Passing it along was something that, for a while, I thought I could never do because I had grown so attached to it. But, after hearing the mix of misery and nostalgia in his words, I did not hesitate for a moment. He was the one for my message. It all just felt perfectly aligned.
It is my hope that, soon, he will be able to sit down and relieve some of the pressure on his mind, to lose himself in the flow of charcoal pencils and oil paints.