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4.16.04 Chasing Passions

Last night we watched "The Stone Reader." It's a quirky documentary about a middle-aged guy who finally reads a book that's been on his shelf for 30 years. He is completely swept away by it and wants to find what else the author wrote. But the author seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. The guy decides to make a documentary of his quest to find the author.

He finally finds the author, a broken down man living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But the movie is really about a man's passionate love of books. What he seems to enjoy most, as he travels around the country tracking clues, is just talking to interesting people about the books they love.

He is a man obsessed. A man following his passion. He spends a year and lots of his own money chasing what could have easily been a phantom.

Orchid ThiefIt reminds me of "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean. She's a writer for The New Yorker who gets interested in why people are so passionate about orchids. She considers herself rather passionless, so is intrigued by people who go absolutely nuts tracking down rare orchids.

Passionate people are either fascinating or unbearable. My husband has been serially passionate about many things. My passions run in spurts and I think it's of a different type from chasing down Kodak cameras, mysterious authors, or orchids.

I think I'm more passionate about process. I'll go to great lengths learning to write a novel, post a website, produce a video. In the Kiersey Temperament Sorter world (also Myers-Briggs), I'm a tool person, an ISTP "crafter." The company isn't bad: Clint Eastwood, Michael Jordan, Katherine Hepburn, Woody Allen.

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