Turning a passion into something that pays the rent.

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Peace and Blessings be with you.

Why am i sitting at my mac at quarter past eleven on a Friday night updating my blog? The question i find myself asking, well myself. I enjoy doing it. I really enjoyed writing last night, and find myself in the same sleepy frame of mind tapping away at my keyboard tonight. I realise that as much as I try and deny it, i like putting my thoughts down somewhere  that i can see it, out in front of me, where i can look at it and find out what of what I am saying is actually what I am saying. I also realise that this form of expression may be what people refer to as a passion. Having a passion however more often than not (at least as far as my internal set up is concerned) does not get the rent paid at the end of the month, and after slinging a camera on my shoulder for the last 17 years and still not living off my passion as it were has to call into question the transition of passion to financial freedom, at least in my case!

As far as self examination is concerned, it has always ( and again, in my case) led to a frenetic bout of activity that at times seem to be as headless as the chicken I am hoping to catch for dinner! The furious activity is then meticulously plotted and orchestrated until I allow myself to become sufficiently distracted to let it slide into the oblivion of another “to do” list that pops up every time my machine boots up! 

I found myself earlier scratching through the nether world of my hard disk for pictures to post, and through the nether world of my own being for a reason to post them. Then i realised that i dont always need a reason.

On a wall in an alley in the city, Berlin.

Is this what I am, walking the streets of life trying to hold onto moments to qualify an existence? What i enjoy most about writing when i am tired is that the body is tired, the mind is tired, so the sincerity of the enquiry has not to contend with the “critic” inside, the pessimist that waits to spring its trap and uses your time to shake of an indistinct feeling of melancholy that you cannot explain. That part of us the Sufi’s call the Nafs ( lower self)  wants to be warm in bed, yearning for instant gratification, no different from a two year old has lessened its grip on ones truths indignantly abandoning your Being to an intimate Humility. Being able to look at a facsimile of what you have seen in the past is an incredible possibility, the putting together of puzzle pieces that fit into a bigger picture that you Know resoundingly Must exist.

the kitchen curtain.

The ‘Mustness’ of the elusive bigger picture leaves us clues in the empty shape of the missing piece, in the clairvoyant outlines tracing an unknown Destiny. We do not always realise it, but we are the puzzle and we are the missing piece in the same way that an orange blossom is the seed sprouting supple translucent green leaves reaching for the sky of its own infinity. May The Gardener Grant us a Blessed unfolding. 

Woodstock is cold, and the imagined cast iron stove that i am planning to install does little to warm the space around my cold feet, though the thought brings with it a warmth that lightens my heart.

My wife is writing an exam on primary health care and in the universal (ie all over this singular tiny planet) definition includes the acceptance of what is an economically viable norm, which means that the definition of what primary health care is, is dependent on the socio-economic standing of the community you are intending to find the definition in! And here I, the idealist, thought that it referred to the basic treatment of illness regardless of the price of a panado! 

We rush headlong down the road of defining our reality according to a system of concepts and structures that are in the first place responsible for the blatant neglect, no, disregard of basic human dignity; and are impressed with our academically astute analysis of the dehumanising figures we confuse for fact. Below the poverty line for example is a well known and oft quoted jingle that has no bearing whatsoever with what it feels like  going to  sleep hungry.

Our slumber to the world of illuminated hearts, justice whose actions speak in the sparkle of the laughter of a secure and protected child and what it means to have a Soul content with itself is encouraged by the distraction of corrupt politicians, and the wholesale pursuit of aspirations peddled and bargained for in the market of the highest bidder overseen by the creators of modern culture.

Was it ‘midnight oil’, or INXS ….” how can we sleep while our beds are burning?”

Beautiful destruction.


So much for paying the rent.



  1. Yasser, you have written a fascinating stream-of-consciousness rant, part existential angst, part spiritual reflection, part observation of daily life. I am curious about why you think you should be able to make a living from your passion… of course, it’s a photographer’s folly, isn’t it, but so common in every area of interest, from gardening to golf. I would love to be paid a living wage for something I would do regardless, for something which feeds my heart and soul, but at what point does working for money take over from working for love? I do not know the answer; I only know that a few people in every field have had the courage or innocence to invest their lives and been rewarded with fame and fortune (or, at least, a decent living), while so many others have fallen short, and fallen far.

  2. Thank you very much. maybe part of your answers lies in the very notion of what we interpret as “work” in contemporary society. personally it has always had the connotation of something that one had to do to survive, and that was , is the underpinned by the money one needs to buy food, pay rent etc.i am glad you ask the question, because like you, i too do not have answer, but it does bring the question to bare on my being. perhaps another way of rephrasing the question is to ask when does the effort one makes to survive become loveless?, or thankless within ones own being? Work by its nature is task oriented so i think on specifically what it is one is working on, and what one’s goal is with the remuneration of the work.
    I worked as a camera man shooting brand activations for a big chocolate company in various malls wearing a purple fuzzy hat and a spandex branded top!! was I passionate about it? with a view on the bigger picture, good client, good cash, rent and food, taking care of my wife, yes would be the answer. so another question…. is it because we loose the purpose or goal of our personal journey along the way , that we work for the sake of working?

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