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Follow Your Bliss: Leading the Impassioned Life

Follow Your Bliss: Leading the Impassioned Life

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Published by Sherry Jones
Author Sherry Jones talks about the highs and lows of the impassioned life, and challenges readers to find, and follow, their own blisses.
Author Sherry Jones talks about the highs and lows of the impassioned life, and challenges readers to find, and follow, their own blisses.

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Published by: Sherry Jones on Nov 27, 2010
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01/27/2011

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Follow Your Bliss: Living the Impassioned Life
 by Sherry JonesIn 52 years of marriage,Vladimir Nabokov wrote hundreds of love letters to hiswife, Vera.This I find touching, even moving. But surprising? Hardly. Nabokov was a writer,after all, and no doubt he expressed himself most perfectly via the written word.He was also, as anyone knows who has read “Lolita,” a man of great passion. Asdegraded and delusional a character as Humbert Humbert, the protagonist of thatcomplex, beautiful, disturbing book, could only have been drawn by an author in touchwith his own dark side, someone fully aware of his passions, both repressed andexpressed.Reading about his letters -- Knopf will publish 300 of them next year as a book,“Love Letters to Vera” -- has me thinking today about passion, and my own approach tolife and love.For as long as I can remember, passion has informed my life’s choices. I lovedschool -- which my teenage daughter finds extremely weird -- and threw myself into mystudies. I graduated at the top of my class in high school and, throughout the 28 years ittook me to earn my bachelor’s degree in college, received only two Bs, neither of whichwas my fault, of course.When I was young, I was very religious. I remember feeling envious of black  people, whose church services teemed with excitement and self-expression. When Idiscovered Pentecostalism, I was fascinated by the shouts and waving of hands andspeaking in tongues and simultaneous, sometimes spontaneous, prayers filling the chapelwith discord. (It’s too bad that Pentecostals are also passionate about the whole “God isthe head of the Church and man is the head of the household” schtick.)In my career choices, I always followed my bliss, opting for journalism over engineering, for example. A whiz at math and science as well as English, I eschewed themoney-making profession because of my love for words and my desire to make adifference in the world. Those same passions fueled the writing of my first novels, “TheJewel of Medina” and “The Sword of Medina,” which took six years to research andwrite and caused me to lose my full-time newspaper reporting job.Yesterday, I celebrated not only Thanksgiving but also the six-month anniversaryof the day I met the man I love as I have loved no other.Part of our celebration included reading aloud the love letters we’ve written toeach other. This was my idea and, I must admit, I worried that it might come off as toosentimental. But it worked beautifully, reminding us how our feelings for each other  began -- what it was that attracted us to each other, what held us there -- and showing us

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