The Passion Collective

passion collective - A number of individuals working together with a compelling emotion or feeling

The Passion Collective.


col·lec·tive- a collective body; a gathering; a collection of extracts; a number of individuals working or acting together.

pas·sion- any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

pas·sion col·lec·tive- A number of individuals working or acting together with a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.

It was a November afternoon that I sat on the front porch of my local cafe and deeply thought about an idea; Nothing out of the ordinary as I did this often and much. I drank lukewarm coffee and discussed with some old acquaintances the idea of a group of young adults putting together a “Rolling-Stone” type magazine/website; To tell you the truth, many talented people laughed and shook off the offer, for that I am deeply saddened because they’re going to miss one hell of a ride. I proceeded to reach out to all different types of people from all different walks of life, many haven’t even met yet. That is the beauty of it. It’s as if I'm placing together the pieces of a puzzle, slowly but surely. Our generation is in need of something refreshing. Our brains will race and our eyes will quickly process what lies before us. What lies before us is The Passion Collective, a collective production founded in New York. It will be fueled by talent, hard-work, and most of all passion. It will only work if YOU contribute your piece of passion to the puzzle. Everyone is passionate about something. I, Zachary Franck have selected a group of unique individuals who all bring something to the table. From poets to journalists, photographers to bloggers, sports enthusiasts to hip-hop heads, I promise you that there is something for everyone. I truly believe in this and I believe in you. This project will stay true to it's name, always.Unlike other websites/magazines,The Passion Collective will actually make you think. As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Buy the ticket, Take the ride”. Please join The Passion Collective as we all embark on this journey together; Why would you watch the puzzle being built when you can help build it!?

I Wrote This Three Years Ago on Valentines Day

2/14/15

Snowflakes float and fall through the blistering February air. It's Valentines Day - a day of warm sex and cold hearts. The overcast skies prevent the sun from really shining on this grey February afternoon. Flower shops and candy stores love today more than some couples do. I've experienced Valentines Day with a loved one on two or three occasions, it can be a special day for all the lovebirds out there. It also brings all the cynical bitches and pricks out of the woodwork. Me, I'm somewhere in between. On one hand, I am extremely happy for all of my friends that are actually in love, with pure relationships that exemplify that. On the other hand, it makes me cringe to see the amount of fake and diluted "love". It gets passed around like a cheap bottle of whiskey on an early Sunday morning. In this day and age there aren't a lot of things that are pure and unscathed, it's unfortunate. The word gets tossed around like dollar bills at a strip club. Some of us throw them and some of us pick them up.

I'd like to consider myself a gentleman on my best days. I'm not a self-proclaimed player like some of my friends. My heart was broken by more than one person. I broke my own heart by turning into the worst version of myself. I was insecure and envious. Then my first love broke my heart after almost three years together. To be completely honest, it crushed me at the time. But it was my fault that she broke my heart, because I broke hers first. I promised her that I'd pursue my passion as much as I could after I graduated high school. Instead, I turned into a pill-head - I was a pharmaceutical junkie. My heart grew cold and I was no longer the young man that she originally fell in love with. She was gorgeous - with a smile that could cure the darkest despair and depression, a mind that conveyed original thoughts intelligently, and a heart that was golden. Many nights were spent in the depths of each others' souls. We truly knew each other and in those long moments, I felt the world come to a stop. Our hopes and dreams were scattered all over each others' minds. The places that we'd travel together and the amazing things that we'd do kept us content during a time that we didn't know much about the world. We fell in love years before we had sex. I said, "I love you", to her way before I even kissed her. I know what true love is, because I've had it and lost it. And now I need to move on and learn from it.

These memories fill my conscience as I gaze out into the whitened landscape. There is so much more to love than expensive gifts and extensive sex. You should be able to hold your lover's hand and feel their heartbeat. When you kiss, it should make you fall in love all over again. It sounds cliche, but it's real. Conversation is even more important than making love. You should be talking more than you're fucking. If wine and whiskey bring the truth out more than sadness and setbacks, it isn't what you think it is. Money shouldn't even be close to the most important thing, but make sure you're rich with romance. You shouldn't have to prove anything to anybody, there's no need to put your personal life in the public's eye. You can search for love, high and low, but if it doesn't want to be found, it won't. Just know that it isn't in expensive chocolate or designer clothes, romance doesn't equate to dollar signs. You shouldn't have to bribe your Valentine if they truly love you. With that being said, Happy Valentines Day.

 

Prescribing Life Lessons: Broken Faith & Hidden Motives

I have numerous reasons to write this book. I think about it every day, the ideas slowly cross my mind like snapping turtles  in the midst of a young summer. Sometimes they make it to the otherside of the street, resulting in pages tattooed with black ink. Other times they get ran over by pickup trucks of procrastination and self doubt. Their shells crack and explode like roman candles at backyard barbeques, never to be seen again. Most are drowned out by the humidity of the northeast, others become syncopated with the chirping birds of the damp woodlands that surround my house. I can't help but wonder what the Native Americans thought about the place that I've called home for the past twenty years of my life. The way in which they respected the earth and connected to God is something thatmodern America could care less about. As a people, they lived in synergistic harmony with their surroundings. Something that most of us know absolutely nothing about. How could we?

That's the darkened beauty that makes life so irreversibly fragile. We just don't know what the truth is, it's one big tale of existentialism. And you get to write the ending to God's beginning. I sometimes question the reasons and superstitions of men and women that don't believe in something greater than themselves. I mean, I do understand their point of view to an extent. Without faith, are we stronger? Many seem to feel that way, like they are the sole masters of their destiny, they are their own Gods. It's a respectable concept that I applaud, but am unable to buy into myself. 

Cynics deter critics and sink ships like loose lips. It's in all of us. Levitation is a figurative word for rising, something that we all need to do on certain occasions. But we don't. More often than not, we never tap into our true potential. The imagery of the tip of the iceberg, with it's mass submerged under the icy water of an arctic lifestyle. If you can't feel the sun on your face, is it shining as bright as you think? If we aren't experiencing an event first-hand, does it have an effect on us?  The human nature that's instilled in all of us has tremendous power when amplified by the reckoning vibrations of trauma. Whether passive or aggressive, it can sink it's razor sharp fangs into the jugular of your purpose. Procrastination prevents access to progression, it's illusiveness can embed itself into your most private thought patterns. A parasite that carries a virus that destorys ambition and saturates hope with every negative feeling that you've ever felt. Many have spoken about the idea that we are all our own worst enemy, and the factual backing supports this like a paid off politician. 

On one shoulder, an angel with broken wings. On the other, a devil with a sharpened pitchfork. We've all been made familiar with this imagery. Our core lies face down between the two, trapped in a jail cell that we guard ourselves. The irony of our flawed characteristics pollutes our uncommon truth with diluted needs of attachment and falsified acceptance. It happens more than we actually think it does. I can feel myself slipping into a place of uncertainty, like I have so many times before. It's a dark corner where dreams go to die and misguided faith is sold like wax envelopes of heroin. Down the street, others will spend half their lives in psychiatrist's offices that are held together by hidden motives. A business that is built on the pain of being alive. Deathwishes are scribbled on prescription pads as a plastic smile tells a pale face to take a number and wait in line. We obey societal standards like the well-behaved mammals that we are. With our lives stringed together like clotheslines under a Southern sun - tattered and barely connected by the feeble efforts of broken clothespins. Symbols of the fractured facades and diminished desires of a human being's life on planet Earth. Forget losing track of time, I've lost track of my life. It dangles under a dark sky that's blanketed in atmospheric diamonds, floating out of reach like a red balloon filled with helium. I'm nothing but a child, grasping at thin air, as it drifts more and more out of reach. At least that's how I sometimes feel. 

Wet Concrete

Wet concrete is more poetic than it looks,
So is the fact that the branches of Weeping Willows,
bend but rarely break.
Imagine the delays that airplanes would face,
if they only flew through clear skies.

Running water doesn't have to sprint to us,
While others have to walk to where it sits.
Wasteful tendencies consume our nature,
Most were raised to claim earth for themselves.

Dry leaves of maroon and bronze,
Scattered like pennies at the bottom of a wishing well,
Cracked like Bronx pavement, in piles like Bronx garbage,
Hustle off the trees, rustle in the streets

Sense, makes less,
While fear takes more.
A book covered in dust is wise,
In a digital world that is updated daily.

This Is The Way It Is: This Is Who I Am

It's far from easy to unequivocally become a master of your craft. I feel that it has become especially difficult because of the distracting world that I reside in. Time slips through my fingers like sand on an August day at the Jersey Shore. See, I have all these great ideas that drift through the hallways of my mind like ghosts - I can't see them or take hold of them but I know that they're there. I often think about what it was like to be a writer fifty years ago, before the Internet and cellphones. Submerged in a world of typewritten pages and cigar smoke, aged scotch and old jazz. Here I sit, with an iPhone and computer screen, my brain has become addicted to the over-stimulated society of today. My soul aches with the wisdom of a grandfather, my mind with the wanderlust of a child, my heart with the unconditional love of a mother and my body with the disgruntled attitude of a blue collar father. This is the way it is, this is who I am.

Writing is like Washing Dishes

The art of writing is smiliar to the act of washing dishes. The writer has to be the sponge - he or she must absorb water in order to get their job done. Water is the creative inspiration, without it the sponge is arid and useless. The dishes are the pages and the sink is the mind. Sometimes there are five dishes in the sink, other nights there are twenty-five. You obviously can't wash dishes without soap. Soap comes in a variety of colors, scents, textures etc. The soap is the magic - sometimes the bottle is full and sometimes you have to add water to the last drop in order to get another dish into the drying rack. The typewriter is the drying rack. And the warm air is the ink. Because the drying of clean dishes is a simple process all in itself. Once the pages are filled with ink they're moved to the folder. The folder is the cabinet, a familiar space for safe-keeping. A sink filled with dishes can eventually be a mind of ink-filled pages - scenes, characters, dialogue, drama, comedy, triumph, and tragedy. But a cabinet filled with clean dishes can be a folder filled with real stories. Don't just stare at the sink, get washing - even if you have to add some water to the last drop of soap.

May your cabinets never be empty, but always have space.

- Z. Franck

Spring Brings Self-Reflection: Autumn Brings Reinvention

4/6/16

Death is present, it always has been. It's outstretched wings cast shadows over all of us. Some of us fear the night that life vanishes into the dark abyss, while others sprint into it with open arms. What makes us so different from each other?

I feel as though I've been surrounded by the ugly evils for years. From the aggressive, semi-genuine streets of New York City to the pale emotion that hides under the brightened fakeness of the suburbs. 

The raindrops fall like the tears of mothers who have lost their sons. The tree branches sway like personalities between seasons. I sit, alone... wishing, waiting for the truth to set me free. My sickness shrivels to the bone, like a tumor under the spotlight of radiation. Still, no matter how miniscule it may become, it's almost always there.

They say, "Only the good die young", but the greats live forever - anarchists against the very formalities of life, swimming against the currents of mediocrity for the rest of eternity. I want to be great. My physical vessel will sink eventually, but the ocean will never fade. The transition in between the two will be somewhat seamless, at least that's how I'd like to think of it. I will be happy, and so will you. We fear the idea of death, and rightfully so. I'll be the first to say, I'm not ready to die. Nope, not yet. I still have so much to accomplish on this planet, this floating sphere of earth and water. Although I lose time to distractions and mistakes, the quality of my purpose will never be cut or diluted. It's locked into my identity. I am who I am, I'm a writer. There are some people who like the idea of becoming an author, and there are some writers who like the idea of becoming a writer. I need to seek the path that stands out to me, the path that calls to me in the shower, at my desk and on my commute to and from a job that I dislike.

My life hasn't turned out the way that I once envisioned. I never saw it like this, how could I? Nobody plans on being a drug-addled college dropout. I saw what my mind wanted me to see, instead of what my eyes did. And for that I've suffered, but ignorance is sometimes bliss. I can still remember those late June afternoons spent at the reservoir, fresh out of school for the summer, allowing myself to become tangled up in the hallucinations of the future. Truly believing that destiny would carry me comfortably to my wishful destination. Well, it didnt.. And it won't. Life doesn't work that way. Destiny is the meter that you forgot to put a quarter in, fate is the police officer that's writing you a ticket.

I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be. As much as I'd like to believe that it's all okay, it's not. As a human being, I need to accept the terrible mistakes that I have made. Not only do I need to accept them, I need to embrace them. Because if I dont, those outstretched wings will pay me a visit and my friends will attend another funeral, and I won't be standing next to them. Deep within my soul, I know who I am and what I'm supposed to become. Self-doubt may creep in from time to time, but it'll never fully derail me.

Sure, it'll cause delays but it will never derail me.

Most people would probably feel that I have no business talking about life lessons, and to most people, I don't. I'm not a prophet nor a preacher. For others, the minority, I most certainly do. To all those struggling, I have a message to send. It's not clear or precise, but it's real.

I'm not out of the woods. In fact, i'm still lost in them. Everywhere I turn, I stumble, and eventually fall. Like clockwork, again and again. My eyes don't glisten like they used to. I'm not as hopeful as I once was. Fairytales don't exist in my mindstate. One of the only feelings that I;m unable to shake is hollow disappointment. I've let myself down, I've let my family down, I've let God down. I believe that I was given a distinct gift and I haven't fully accepted it. My passion lingers like the stone colored smoke over the East River on 97th street. I am nothing but a face on a bench, I can only watch as it comes and goes..

Prescribing Life Lessons: Message In a Bottle [Excerpt]

So I'll shove my message in a bottle and send it to the stars. Or should I throw it into the ocean of lost dreams? Like so many have done before me, I don't think so. In a world like ours, who is the hero and who is the thief? Blurred lines deviate black and white. You're the only one who can answer that. Feel the truth in your bones like a freezing wind on a mid December morning. I can, and I know you can.

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Prescribing Life Lessons: An Ancient Relic Worth More Than Silver & Gold

Mistakes can flip your life upside down, again and again, like a sports car over a guard rail. Even after your car gets towed from the scene of the accident, evidence always remains; skid marks, broken glass, twisted metal. So on and so forth. The situations decompress and magnify like the pulse of a gunshot victim. Life can be a giant charade at an elementary school or an award worthy film at the Oscars. Most of the time it's up to us, some of the time it's based on our surroundings; The light rumble of train cars barreling over the tracks in the cloudy distance, the sounds of airplanes soaring through a grey sky. Both symbolic in the fading friends and lost direction of this life we live. An atmosphere of sharp turns and stuttered words. Sometimes I can't help but fail, fail to understand the crooked misdirection that most of us live in. Especially myself. More so than anyone. After all these years, I still can't seem to get it right. But have I really tried? The discipline hasn't been grasped and the conviction of my craft hasn't been mastered. But it can be, and if I want it, it will be. Stephen King wrote, "Life doesn't imitate Art, Art imitates Life". It's true. If my soul isn't balanced, my life will teeter back and forth like a seesaw in suburban New York. Which will then translate into broken tomorrows and exaggerated satisfaction in the past. The potential and ability is there, I can feel it move through me, I believe it. I can sense it like a full moon in the winter sky. The drugs have stolen time but have gifted me with perception. I've been given more second chances than the junkie son of a police chief. 

Still, I choose to stay lost. Lost in my wicked ways and fabricated excuses.

Instincts don't always transcend into productiveness. I need to find my voice in order to thrive and prosper. And the only way to do that is to pour my heart into these ghostly pages. An immense ocean of concentrated misery and hopeful prerogatives. It's time to hop the fence, and test the waters on the bayside of this darkened metropolis. The vision has never been the problem. I could stand on the edge of summer and watch the horizon run from me for hours. Wishing and waiting for it to come back, only to watch it over and over again. Never capturing it's true essence, while always thinking that I have. A photographic memory doesn't always catch memories worth remembering, saving some that you'd instantly like to forget. That's the reality of the situation. All of our darkrooms are set up differently, it's how we develop these images that truly matters. Emotion liquefies into the portraits with an unruly presence. We can only ignore it for so long. Some of us are unable to come to terms with this intimidating fact. Hiding from the inevitable truth that is buried in the core of our being will handicap us, and it will do so for as long as we let it. 

I'm a living testimony to what I write. I try not to speak on what I don't know. And if I do, I submerge myself in it. It rushes into my mind like air into the parachute of a skydiver. There is no faking what I feel. Empathy will always trump sociopathic urgencies. The piercing wind on an evening in February leads me to think more than most. I guess that isn't always a bad thing. The search for serenity is much like the search for an ancient relic in the depths of the Amazon. Many never achieve it. Many never even try. There's no gimmicks or shortcuts when it comes to it. A strenuous search into places that you've never had to go; places that you've always chosen to ignore. There's always a way though. Nobody ever comes close to accomplishing such a magnificent task without a team behind them. Even when poison surrounds you, it doesn't consume you, unless you surrender to it. Your mentality isn't shattered when it breaks, a pressure crack doesn't always cause a cave-in. In fact, it's actually natural. So when you're in a canoe heading up the river of your soul, don't stop paddling. Never stop paddling. The jungle awaits you, as it awaits everyone. Seize the gift that God has given to all of us. An ancient relic that has existed since the creation of mankind; it's worth more than all of the silver and gold in the world. 

Prescribing Life Lessons: Once in a While We All Need to Step Off The Cracked Asphalt Street

The smooth sound of trumpet floats through the room as I calmly sip my cup of coffee. I watched as the leaves outside my window slowly change into an illustrious array of color. They sat against a setting October sun. Bluebirds and robins chirped, they sang in unison, melodies rang through the damp air. Another year has come and gone, autumn brings the beginning of it's departure.

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Prescribing Life Lessons: Absorb Your Surroundings & Evolve Into Your True Self

The sunrise shined bright upon a lawn blanketed in morning dew. It looked like a million mini streetlights, lit up with every early sun ray that poked through the clouds. Every drag on my cigarette became slower as the moon faded above me. Time came to a sedated halt, seconds became hours.

I was alone but I didn't mind - not here, not now. Birds sang melodies of Miles Davis as I provided the rhythm, tapping my foot on the cold cobblestone below. For once, in that moment, I was at peace. No unfamiliar faces or familiar phone calls. There were no cars on this winding back road, not on this particular morning. It was Sunday and the summer was young. Mist floated over, under, and around me. The breeze was warm like the mid July sun.

In this time and at this place, we take two steps forward and three steps back. The paradox of our very existence. The figurative yet literal combination of space and time. We, as a species, are meant to adapt and evolve; we must accept this fact or we will never survive the future, not together at least.

We need to become comfortable in our own skin. If we rely on the happiness of others for our own personal serenity, we will come face to face with disappointment every single time. It's solely up to us, to be responsible for our own emotions.

My 14 Rules To Happiness & Success

Over the past ten years my youthful innocence has disappeared and reemerged. I have experienced many life lessons through the trials and tribulations of drug addiction, thievery, heartbreak, death, failure, depression, anxiety, and disappointment. My highs have reached distant peaks while my lows have cascaded into the abyss; I've seen a lot in my 22 years.

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Prescribing Life Lessons; Pink Sunrises & Blue Moons

It's not often we get to escape the watered down reality of the life we never planned for, but it is possible and a silver lining will always show through even the darkest clouds, eventually. On this journey to the center of our souls and the crossroads of our lives, we need to remember to stop and smell the flowers of our bonded synergy. For there is an undefinable reason that we get those shocking jolts of ideal inspiration; it's our duty to seize them from the sky above and interweave them with the minute morality of a lost society in despair. It seems as if we're each given a dream that seamlessly glistens in the distance of reality and utopia. Many will feel it in the depths of their heart and mind, even more will choose to ignore it. We're taught that miracles only occur on days with pink sunrises and nights with blue moons, but what if that isn't true? What if a balanced life of passion and success is achievable for most everyone? No matter the degree; big or small, fragile or strong. The gateways to these paths may remain closed in the minds of most, but for the ones who open them, they do so without ever looking back. Slowly but surely, skipping across the stepping stones through the river of prosperous euphoria. It's not always going to be calm, the current has ripped many below and it will do so again. This is an absolute fact as our vessels float atop a surface of catered agendas and conservative mind-states. It's up to us, and only us, to paddle upstream before we reach the waterfalls of our youth and the identity of our true selves. And if you may get caught in the riptide and pulled against your will by the current of mediocrity, remember that all waterfalls return to the surface. It may be calm before the storm but it's blissfully serene after it.

Prescribing Life Lessons; Simplicity Isn't Always Simple When It Comes To My Shipwrecks In Life & The Lighthouse Of My Dreams

I don't know much about a lot but I do know a lot about a little. I know that I'd rather sail into the abyss than stand at the dock watching the ships sail by. You don't always need a mapped out route to successfully travel to the destination that you need. Hunter S. Thompson once said "So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” I am both unfortunate and blessed to be the first man. I have shipwrecked more than once before and I probably will again. But one thing is for sure, when I reach my final destination, it will be worth the strenuous voyage. I used to be a negative man but that's not who I am. I am a different kind of man. It has been my plan, to be the risk taker who treads his own path. A path that is perpendicular to the masses. I will get what I deserve, if it's the last thing I ever do. I don't write for money, I write because I need to. I have this uncontrollable, burning passion in my heart and mind that will not let my soul rest - not until I complete my adventurous exploration into the unknown.  I mean, what's the point of playing it safe? Myself, I have no interest in leading a life that I don't love, only to arrive laid out in a coffin, wearing a tuxedo. If the sun sets on my dreams before I reach them, I will die knowing that I pushed my soul to the absolute boundaries of sanity. My words will never die though. I don't know how people can die knowing that they could've done so much more. Not yet, at least. In my eyes, being a slave to the dollar doesn't equate to success - unless you're an entrepreneur who works for yourself. If you're self-made, I have respect for you. Why would anyone want to break their back day in and day our to make a rich man richer. That logic doesn't sit in my mind the way that society would like it to and I'm damn proud of that. I'm a round peg in a square hole and I will not change for anybody besides myself. My inspired motivation may not last forever but while it's here, I'll make good use of it. I must. What if Jack Kerouac never dropped out of Columbia? What if Hunter Thompson never left Louisville? What if Bukowski never attempted to be more than a drunken postal worker? We wouldn't have three of the most interesting and important writers in the history of American literature... and don't get it twisted, they are three of the most important American writers of the last one hundred years. My opinion on life is not for the standard man or woman. That doesn't matter to me, I couldn't care less about them. They don't understand what I'm trying to accomplish and most likely never will. It's okay, I don't expect a monkey in a suit to understand a creative calling. People will mock and attempt to insult my intelligence and that's just fine. The fact of the matter is that they cannot even begin to comprehend my passions and desires. I am manifesting a voyage that is extremely important to me. The waves of life may knock my ship into the rocks, but I will seek the lighthouse of my dreams until I reach my final destination.

Prescribing Life Lessons; The Sweeping Realization of Wasted Talent (Days Like Today)

Days like today remind me to refuse to let our spiraling society get me down. For me, it is not an easy task but an essential one at that. On this fine mid-April afternoon in Denver, mother nature reminds me to show gratitude toward this complicated life that most of us live. The sunshine warms the surface of the sidewalk with ease as my friends relax outside on the deck. Today is magnificent. An early Spring breeze glides through the air like a bluebird making its way to the nest. It's not difficult to romanticize with a Tuesday that convinces the masses that Spring has finally arrived. Every human slows their thoughts down a notch on days like today. Pale frowns slowly turn to tan smiles, bare treetops become full with leaves once again. Shadows stretch across the pavement like the solid yellow lines that lay parallel in the center of the street. Does everybody sees days like today like I do? I sometimes wonder - I presume that some do and some don't.

I sit behind this typewriter as if its the steering wheel of my vehicle, my transportation through this divided world that we live in. I may be twenty-two but my imagination breathes heavy with the youth of a child. There is no limit, there can't be. A limit to imagination is a limit to happiness. A limit to blue skies that rest above mountain peaks and ocean breezes that dance over beaches of golden sand. A warm cup of coffee on a cool morning in September, a cool beer on a warm day in August. It is these simple things in life that we deserve. We deserve to gaze upon sunsets that slowly float int the Hudson River. We owe it to ourselves to breathe fresh Rocky Mountain air. Moderation of these things is boring and can even be cowardly. Have some fucking fun and don't buy into the blatant mediocracy that they sell on your television screen.

If you're passionate about packing boxes or washing dishes than so be it, i'm just telling you to follow your dreams outside of dusty warehouses and steaming kitchens. I've done mindless work and I will not do it for the rest of my life, I cannot do it. What i'm trying to say is that I have no choice but to be a writer. This isn't some phase, this isn't me trying to be something i'm not. This is me. Words float through my mind on a daily basis as i'm pulled to the keyboard by some universal force that is much greater than myself. To some, this may sound like a fairytale - equivalent to unicorns or mermaids. Trust me, I understand that people that think money means success probably think this is fucking insane. To others though, the ones who feel that jolt down their when they listen to a certain song or cry tears of pure humanity when they watch a scene in a specific film; They know what it is that i'm talking about. They can feel it. These people cannot be forced into boxes easily, many are able to escape the mental slavery with extreme effort, these are the blessed ones. Others fight for as long as they possibly can before shoved into a state of forced normalcy. Another name tossed into the folder of 'Wasted Talent' - these people know that it's true, they'll be the first to admit it. Over time, they begin to come to terms with the fact that they have lost the battle. They feel as though they have no chance so they raise their white flag with grimacing expression outstretched across their face. I've seen the damage first-hand, it's violent with emotional grief.. and on a warm night in the midst of early June, they can sometimes feel it once more, that buzzing energy of passion and creativity. When the moon reflects off the waters' surface just right and the peepers echo across the vast valley of wavy meadows and rolling hills, they are somber with the rawest feeling known to man; Regret. They sip their scotch on the rocks and take a long drag off of their Marlboro as they sit and watch their youth fade into the distance like the last goodbye of a relationship they thought would last forever. The sweeping realization of wasted talent has the ability to knock the strongest man off his feet and make the wisest of souls grow weary. So as I stand on the very edge of my future and my past, I make a promise to myself that will last a lifetime. I will never take this gift for granted and realize that opportunities that aren't seized will burrow themselves into my heart and mind forever.

The Mighty Metropolis: A Sunset Stroll Over The Bridge

I gaze at the mighty metropolis as it sits upon an unforgettable Hudson River horizon. Overcast skies lay across the top of dark blue and black waters. In the distance, cotton candy clouds float through the slightest tint of the palest pink I've ever seen. The brightest star in the sky burned steady and patient as it slowly set. On the banks of New Jersey, foliage filled cliffs scream back at the towering steel structures that scrape away sections of the sky. With a broken camera on my phone the only thing left to do is write.. to take creative notes of this truly breathtaking view. Standing, suspended thousands of feet over a frigid Hudson River on a massive stretch of steel and concrete has my spine stiffened straight. It's almost overwhelming at times, to walk across the bridge at sunset. To look over the edge. As I reach the island of Manhattan, I'm greeted by a few pairs of tennis courts, besides them lay a snakelike set of railroad tracks. Trains transport millions of human beings in and out of the mighty metropolis. Next to them are the various on and off ramps of the West Side highway, straight ahead apartment buildings with clusters of fire escapes and rooftops sit. The view is nothing new to them. Now the sky is a pinkish orange. It sits in layers and acts as a backdrop to the skyline that I seem to love so much. As the sky falls and shadows fade to black, the city lights turn on by the thousands. They glow throughout the youthful night sky like fireflies on a summer night upstate.

 © 2015 The Passion Collective