I walked into a sub shop. After casual conversation, I informed the clerk that I worked in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her retort was an instantaneous and hearty, "Roll Tide". Tuscaloosa is the home of many residents, colleges, the University of Alabama and their football team that dominates, or nearly dominates its conference annually. The Alabama Crimson Tide are national champions for the 14th time. A part of the regional ventricular is to say "Roll Tide" to fellow Alabama fans. It's said in grocery stores, bookstores, gyms, Starbucks, and etc. Where else in the United States is the morning greeting derived from a university's football team? When I moved to Alabama, in the late 1980s, I could not fathom the love that a state has for a football team. Merchandise, cars, and homes are decked out with Alabama paraphernalia. When the Tide is on television, the state shuts down and many business establishments close during championship games.The stadium is filled to capacity with screaming, cheering, pom-pom waving, cussing, and after the first loss to LSU, crying impassioned fans. The former coach, the iconic Bear Bryant, has reached the status of a demigod. Bear Bryant's black and white patterned hat is on sale in various department stores. The current coach, Nick Saban, has his own bust. I am not an Alabama die heart or even a fan, but I do like their passion. Passion and Alabama fans are synonymous.
Passion is the appetite for life. Passion has its own heartbeat. The heartbeat is not slow and steady. It's the beat you feel right before you make the decision to either fight or to flight. Passion is what makes a kiss that lingers. It makes you feel, scream and declare your loyalty to sometime or someone.It's the sex that satiates. If passion were food, it would make us fat and obese and tongue tied. Passion is the opposite of all the things we have to do; passion is the intangible that make us want to do. Every artist must fight to harness passion for his or her craft in spite of the cares of life. We must be diligent not to spent all of our effort on things that we are not passionate about. We must be like Alabama fans and cover ourselves with the elements of our crafts. We should live and breathe our various forms of expression. We should have an exuberant love for creating, performing, and producing.
Isadora Duncan, the mother of modern dance wrote, "I was so into my work that I would go into a state of static ecstasy." Such passion, according to Gene N. Landrum, breaks down almost any barrier and in doing so becomes a pathway to productivity and peace. Gene writes that great entrepreneurs "become so excited, so dedicated, so intensely involved in one's dream that the ultimate result will be success." If you are not passionate about your craft, you probably will not be successful. Remember the Alabama fans and be zealous about your art, poetry, writing, music, education and life.