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the joy obsessions and beliefs and facts and everything we can't prove (which is everything?)

froggies315's picture

My most persistent obsession is with summer camp.  I’ve been obsessed since age 12.  This obsession has taken different forms over the past decade, but it has always centered around a rocky hill in Vermont and moldy poster boards with song lyrics and guitar chords on them.  In some ways, my friends at school understand my obsession with camp.  At the very least, they know that I am permeates from my pores.  I orchestrate ice breakers and ask for chek-ins and play the banjo and camp people come to visit and I try to convince school friends to work at camp.  I’m pretty open about this obsession.  I’m also pretty aware that my obsession with camp appears childish...maybe it is childish.  Maybe that’s why I feel a little silly for writing this right now.  But when I’m at camp and I say and hear my campers say and experience that everything trite can be true if we want it to be, I don’t feel silly.  I feel awesome.  My experiences at camp made me believe in the fact of my agency and my power.  This is a fact I’ve come to believe in even more fiercely throughout this semester.  I’m glad I belive; I’m happy to be obsessed.  This might be why I loved Laroche so much.  He is so focused and so committed and so honest about loving what he loves and hating what he hates.  I dig that, I can relate to that.        


dglasser's picture

Obsessed or Passionate?

First off, I think your title is great. Hilariously perfect.

Moving forward, I understand obsession perfectly. My obsessions are deep, sometimes embarrassing (which you claim your obsession with camp may appear, which is doesn’t…I love camp!), and are often, like Laroche, changeable. I think the issue here, as Katrina had started to explain in class, is that obsession and passion shouldn’t be used interchangeable. Passion suggests more longevity than obsession. For example, my obsession for the show MacGyver does not equate with my passion for writing. I never get tired of writing. I may get tired of writing a particular story or essay but I don’t get tired with the craft. There are only so many episodes of MacGyver and after watching too many I have to wait a substantial amount of time before continuing because the show becomes stale. Writing never becomes stale for me, so it is a passion.

Besides longevity, passion also suggests, to me, some sort of completion; a completion of self. While obsession seems more external; I am obsessed by that, with that etc. Passion is more of something you take in; my passion is doing; -ing is my passion. Passion is more active than obsession because of its vitality.

There are a lot of flaws with this separation, and it is easy to go back and forth between. Which then asks, can you ever know your passions? I think you can, to some extent, so I see the issues here.