No Mo' Pretty Teri ~ Mos' Def'

There’s something to be said for passion. I used to say that a lot. Mostly when Brady was three years old and I would be out in the front yard, talking with a neighbor. He would stop his playing and run up at me full force to hug me around the legs, nearly knocking me over! That was a passionate boy. He’s still that way. I had to stop the running-at-me-to-hug-me thing (since I knew he was bound to be over six feet tall), but he does it with his girlfriend (who is about five foot one and weighs about 97 pounds, soaking wet). She can take it, though. She’s a tough cookie. When their baby, Lexi, was born a month premature, the nurses would have her under the warm light and be beating her back with a little rubber pad to make sure her lungs were working. I would watch them doing this seemingly harsh thing to that baby who weighed just over four and half pounds and think, “Well, I guess it’s making her strong. Just like a baby giraffe.” Kick-kick-kick. “Get up! Get up and run! Before the lions get you!”

Brady also used to be behind me in the car, in his car seat, when he was less than a year old. He would be drinking his bottle and when it was empty, he would just THROW it. Not at anything specific, he just threw it. But I developed the habit of cringing and covering my head protectively as soon as I heard that end-of-the-bottle sound. At one point, I realized this was INSANE! What was I doing? I was frightened of an infant?? I decided to teach him to control this impulse.

Now, what do we do with our passionate impulses? Did anyone teach us to control them? I think it’s great to feel strongly about the things we believe in. But it’s a double-edge sword. We feel passionately excited about the positive things, and we are really really really really pissed off about the negative things that happen with the things we love. The scale is all over the place.

Let’s talk about the holocaust. Yep. People should have been outraged and reacted strongly to that. There should have been such an outcry from humankind that the earth shook. I think just about everyone agrees with this. People were dying and it was wrong. But what about abortion? War? Global warming? Should we be marching about grabbing people by the shoulders and shaking them saying, “WHY aren’t you doing anything about this??” We could say people are dying. We could say people will be dying.

I previously posted a comment by a reader who stated that (yeah I know I said we were going to be done with this, but we’re not!) when Natalie Maines made her statement about the Prez, she brought about confusion in the world about our country and caused the deaths of Americans. What? Fuckin’ hell.

Abortion doctors have been killed in the name of God to save lives. People have been burned at the stake, in the name of God again, in order to save souls. Soldiers are dying daily, in the name of ~ oh probably God again ~ in order to preserve life and freedom. Sheryl Crow jabs and grabs important people, in the name of um… I dunno… (starts with a Go__ … Al Gore? Hehehe) in order to save the earth.

So anyway, misplaced passions. How do we know when ours are defined thus? Well we really never do. We only know when others have gone wrong with theirs. Our own, we treat very delicately because our own precious egos are wrapped in them.


Jami said...

And a post like this is just another reason I'm passionate about you! (Your mind, too.) Hon', I think you nailed it with "We only know when others have gone wrong." It's never us, is it?

cathouse teri said...

Nevah, evah! We are sooooooooooo purrrrrrrrrfect. Meow :)

Brillig said...

Excellent post, CT. It's hard to recognize the folly of our own passions sometimes--easy to see it in others. (Not me, of course, in my perfection. But I see how other people think they're perfect when really they need to change... Wait.)

Crazy stuff about the Natalie Maines quote. WHAT??? Grrrr...

Crabby said...

OOOOOOOO. Nice post, Cat.

Course it doesn't apply to me cause I'm always right. Just ask me.

Shanshu said...

I personally find myself to be passionate about things that only relate directly to things around me: Work, school, friends, family, love, food, fun, movies, books, chess, naughty things, know, the usual.

Don't get me wrong, though. I have world passions, as well. I can debate politics, religion, war, government, history, or the uses of playdough other than what it is intended for...until the cows come home.

PS: They came home last night at 3:21am and didn't leave gas in the car. I was peeved.

cathouse teri said...

of course... bunnies... everyone is passionate about bunnies!

And cows coming home.

Dan said...

Hey Teri I feel very passionately about your post on passion. OK, I'm a smart ass. But seriously (shit, do I have to be), I don't have any passion so it impossible for me to misplace it (I told you I didn't have to be serious).

We never want to look at our own faults. It's always the other person who is doing something wrong. And yes, it's because of our fragile little egos. Except mine. My ego isn't fragile. My ego kicks ass! Burp.

anno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anno said...

Pretty Teri sure writes smart. Keep it coming.

Turtle Guy said...

Passion and discipline are often linked, and as I read your post, I thought of this... from a Taoist meditation I read not that long ago:


Self-discipline leads to higher spiritual states
Only if practiced with understanding.
The clearer the goal,
the greater the result.

We must distinguish between discipline with a purpose and
blind discipline. Discipline with a purpose is merely a means to
an end and is healthy. Blind discipline does not have a true
purpose and so becomes fanaticism. In the past, there were
many spiritual people who believed in harsh asceticism. They
would flog themselves, live in cold and damp caves, twist
themselves into uncomfortable postures, fast for dangerous
periods of time. All too often, these people lost sight of their
goals. We must be strongly disciplined, but we must not lose
sight of our inner meaning.

Austere living with a clear understanding of why and how
we are doing things does not require esoteric practices. Few of
us mind going through extra effort and even hardship if we
know that we will gain something better for it. That is all that
discipline and austerity are about: You make extra efforts to
gain a better life.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to delicately respect other peoples passions. I think that many, many people in this world lack empathic abilities or emotional intelligence; that which enables us to allow other people their own paths. I get passionate like you described about the good and bad things in my life...but I'm learning to keep it to myself and not take it out on others. And I'm learning that if I present my exciting passion, and someone else doesn't feel so passionate about it, just accept that and move on. In other words, don't try to push your passions onto others, and that includes your spouse.

BBC said...

Well, someone has to save this planet, God sure isn't going to, unless mankind wakes up and sees that he/she is God and starts making it right.

We still have a lot to learn, and a long way to evolve. Or not.

But the best place to start is by tossing out a lot of the crap they taught us. Hugs.

BBC said...

Hey, I'm perfect. I'm a perfect me. :-)

Keshi said...

I can be so accurately wrong :)


zog said...

Oh, Teri. What a fabulous post. Great food for thought, and my brain's been on a starvation diet lately. Thank you.

Adventures In Waitressing said...

Speechless. One of the best blogs ever! You hit the nail on the head lady!

Fourier Analyst said...

Who say you can't be pretty and smart and passionate? You demonstrate all 3 in this post!!

Worker Mommy said...

Brilliance, thy name is Cathouse Teri!

Jenn in Holland said...

Me, I believe everyone is entitled to MY opinion.
That's not wrong is it?

To tell the truth here, I just couldn't agree more CT. We are indeed passionate and rightly so over some issues. Others though? Let's have a little training and learn to bridle it just a bit so others don't feel they have to duck and cower when we enter a room. Fear of being hit over the head by an opinion causes ya to start avoiding the end of the bottle situations. Right?

The Exception said...


When passion is balanced with reality, it works.
When people are blinded by passion... well, the results aren't always pretty.
Can one achieve a state where he/she is driven by passion and yet is able to stay open to the world at large? Open to see, accept, and change when or if necessary?
Can there, in other words, be a voice of reason when there is so much passion involved?

The Lazy Iguana said...

The funniest car thing I have seen was when I was on the interstate going somewhere. The station wagon in front of me kept changing speeds. The brakes would light up for no reason, and then it would speed up again. So of course I followed to see what would happen.

Hey - entertainment is hard to come by on the open road.

Anyway at some point the car started to jerk back and forth. And slow down. So I decided to pass the "drunk".

And while passing, I see a woman in the passenger seat totally turned around beating kids. And the man driving was using one arm to control the car and the other arm was wildly swinging around looking for a kid to smack.

So I figured out what was up. Someone said "do not make me stop this car" one too many times.

BBC said...


That is a very visual thing.

Liquid said...

I am LOVIN' your blog!