Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Living a Life of Passion

Once in a while I'm reminded that there are people out there who have mastered the art of living life with joy and passion--they represent the goal and the dream.

[caption id="attachment_6716" align="alignright" width="584"]Sarah bought me a butterfly today. A symbol of my need to change, find my beauty, and fly. Sarah bought me a butterfly today. A symbol of my need to change, find my beauty, and fly.[/caption]

Artists, writers, non-profit advocates--people who don't think about the paycheck or the title, but live to create, to learn, to share, to love, and to enjoy life.

I admit that, when that reminder comes, I feel a twinge of envy, and a dollop of regret. I find myself wandering into the realm of "what if . . . "
  • What if I became brave enough to let all the "have to's" go and live the life of "want to's"? (I don't mean that in a selfish way, but in the creating and doing work that I am truly passionate about)
  • What if I believed in my creativity and had faith that it will not let me and my family fall apart if I take some risks?
  • What if I finally said enough is enough to the jobs I no longer enjoy, and focused on working toward things I am passionate about? What would happen.
The other day I attended an alumnae event for my alma mater, where a former theatre professor of mine, Andrea Hairston, performed a reading of her newest novel to the musical accompaniment of her creative partner Pan MoriganThe book description of Redwood and Wildfire, as found on, states:
Winner of the 2011 James Tiptree Jr. Award, Redwood and Wildfire is a novel of what might have been. At the turn of the 20th century, minstrel shows transform into vaudeville, which slides into moving pictures. Hunkering together in dark theatres, diverse audiences marvel at flickering images. This ''dreaming in public'' becomes common culture and part of what transforms immigrants and ''native'' born into Americans. Redwood, an African American woman, and Aidan, a Seminole Irish man, journey from Georgia to Chicago, from haunted swampland to a ''city of the future.'' Gifted performers and hoodoo conjurors, they struggle to call up the wondrous world they imagine, not just on stage and screen, but on city streets, in front parlours, in wounded hearts. The power of hoodoo is the power of the community that believes  in its capacities to heal and determine the course of today and tomorrow. Living in a system stacked against them, Redwood and Aidan s power and talent are torment and joy. Their search for a place to be who they want to be is an exhilarating, painful, magical adventure. Blues singers, filmmakers, haints, healers.
The book merges together everything I've loved--theatre, women's stories, historical research, social issues, culture and race. In other words, this amazing former professor has written the book I can only dream of writing. She has done it with powerful imagery, a true understanding of character, and the ability to bring her words to life.

The first few sentences:
 "I can't keep running."

Christmas moonbeams snuck through a break in the live oak trees, and Redwood Phipps planted her eleven-year-old self in the cold silvery light. Long legs and all, she was bone tired. Big brother George, her teary cousins, and wild-eyed grownups were leapfrogging through grandmother oaks, much wider than they were tall and so tangled up in one another, could have been a square mile of one tree . . .
I haven't read much further than the first page, because my head has been filled with the "what ifs" that Professor Hairston raised in me. Will I ever find my voice in this powerful way? Will I ever create a life like the living example of passionate and creative she and Pan provide?

What if I believed in myself to live the life of my dreams?

I have no answers yet, only thoughts, questions and hopes. It may be time to learn how to fly.


[caption id="attachment_6713" align="aligncenter" width="340"] Seasons of Flight. My zentangle this morning Seasons of Flight. My zentangle this morning[/caption]