Elvis and Passion


For New Year’s Eve, my favorite boy toy and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.  While we aren’t big fans of Elvis Presley, we went to the exhibit since we were already there.  I was glad we did.

The photographer, Alfred Wertheimer, had unlimited access to Elvis.  While some pictures were posed, most were not.  The curator showed a short timeline in 1956 when Elvis went from a nobody to a superstar.  It showed the good and bad, from the finicky artist who expected his music  to be the way he wanted it to the “hound dog” that chased after women no matter where he was visiting.

I was fascinated with my mother’s generation swooning over him and their eagerness for him to look at them and acknowledge them.  I was equally fascinated with the picture of him at home with his parents and of getting off the train to walk home, days before he became a superstar.

What appealed to me the most though was the passion in the exhibit.  Elvis’ passion for his music to sound exactly right.  Wertheimer’s passion for Elvis and the women who followed Elvis.  The curator’s passion to arrange the photographs and descriptions so that regardless of your opinion on the topic, a clear and interesting story emerged.

Passion makes the biggest difference in everything.  I’ve read books about topics I knew nothing about, not because I wanted to learn, but because the books were well written and drew me in.  I read blogs for the same reason.  In the process, I learn things, but that wasn’t what I was seeking.

My blog and my photographs reflect passion.  I can often tell later which ones had passion and which ones I merely did.  The ones with passion, that I did because the subject appealed to me, have a sparkle to them.  There’s something a little different in them.

photoclare at 366 Days of Photos recently posted a blue door for her daily photography challenge.  She said it tugged at her.  I can see why – it clearly sang some little song and the picture is interesting.  I left her a note that I thought she passion for her subject.  It shows.

Passion makes a difference at work too.  I have a niche specialty.  Not a lot of companies need what I do, but when they do, there aren’t a lot of me out there either.  Most everyone who has worked with me, from interns to permanent employees, develops a passion for the specialty.  They see it for the growth opportunity it is, the things you can accomplish, the satisfaction of solving the puzzles we have nearly every day to do our job right.

So the next time you ask, does this matter, remember – if it matters to you, you can make it matter to others as well.  They will be fascinated with what you like, because you’ve made it fascinating to them.

Of course, passion means different things to different people.  Or dogs as it were.  I took this during lunch today.  Luke is a VCU student and was out playing with his dogs when I snapped these photos.

Have you checked A Daily Life?  Guest blogger JudithB has a book review on “A Creative Writer’s Kit” by Judy Reeves.

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