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86 Year Old Reader Is Stirred by Relationship Jazz
Written By: Mark Smith



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I received an envelope from my editor this week that he said contained a letter from a reader. When I asked him if it was a positive letter or hate mail, all he could tell me is that as far as he could tell the envelope did not seem to contain any anthrax powder. As encouraging as that information was, I still approached the letter with a little bit of trepidation. I was quite thrilled then when I read the following words"



Dear Mark Smith,



I have just read your column Find your Passion and you willl find your People and I knew that I had to respond (because I am a writer). You have an interest in writing. If you have been given the talent for writing (and you have been) you have to write. In fact, I think that you can combine your talent for writing with the talent of giving help to people because that is what you write about.



I am not a teacher or a professional at all. I am just an old woman " 86 " who has written on scraps of paper over the years. I finally found a friend who took all those scraps of paper and made it into a book. I have given away over 100 copies of my first book. The second one is in the process. A secret - I can not even remember the name of the book! OK, I went in the other room and got the book Clarissas Poems, Essays and Thoughts to Keep copyright 1999.



The one thought that I am reminded of is If you do not see the sunshine maybe you are looking out the wrong window. I do not know if you are open to suggestions or not, but you have already written enough for at least one book (do you have others?). Put your column in book form. I want to be in line for the first one!



You have your way to conclude a column and here is mine: "love and God bless!" Clarissa



PS I am very shaky today.



That is about the sweetest letter that I have ever received. I liked it for many reasons. I was honored to discover that my column stirred the common passion of writing in my new 86 year old friend. How cool is that? She is one of my people, and I am one of hers. I also like it because she was so elated and enthusiastic about her book project. I liked the letter because she challenged me to stretch myself and get a book project pulled together myself as well.



When you find a true passion you are also blessed with community. Whether it is playing poker, riding bikes, cooking, gardening, playing basketball, walking, playing bunko, or in Clarissas case writing you will find wonderful like minded people to share your enthusiasm with. People who share passions are egger to share what they know in an effort to make you better. Lonely zestless people are people who have not found a true passion to give their lives meaning and context. If you have some strong interests see if one of them might grow itself into a life enriching and a community building hobby of a lifetime.



I share the following quote by Pearl S. Buck in honor of my great new pal writing Clarissa and for all of my creative readers out there.



The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him...

a touch is a blow,

a sound is a noise,

a misfortune is a tragedy,

a joy is an ecstasy,

a friend is a lover,

a lover is a god,

and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.



Those of you who are creative or who are in relationship with an artist of some sort know the wisdom of that marvelous quote. Thanks for your input Clarissa! I would love to hear from more of my readers. That is all for now. See you next week.



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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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