” … a quest is a passion, not a dish served cold like revenge.”
Umberto Eco The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
I’m reading Eco at the moment — “The Mysterious Flame … ” is my upstairs book this week — and the quote above jumped off the page this morning and stuck around for a while, prompting a think on quests and passions and the inverse of each.
People have asked why I spend so much time, energy and effort researching and writing on adoption … after all, even when paid to compose page after page on the topic the compensation comes nowhere close to covering either the quantity or quality of the work … but as my former editor — a skilled and dedicated professional, unlike her incompetent, bumbling usurper — knew well, it was my passion that kept my contributions coming day after day.
That the passion is fueled by a quest is certain, and the quest is nothing more or less than a determination to protect the option of adoption for the children of the world.
Unlike those who seek whatever nourishment they can claim from the “dish served cold”, I don’t suffer from residual adoption fallout, I harbor no resentments and cultivate no spores of revenge. No few birth mothers and adoptees, and the occasional guilt-plagued adoptive parent, insist that this somehow disqualifies me from any discussion and negates the veracity of my thoughts and opinions, but I suggest that a cold dish takes less well to any warming the heat of passion serves up and begrudges all attempts to provide fodder for varying appetites.
As a traditional practice, these last few days of the year will be spent in myriad positions of contemplation, of processing and sorting, of filing away for future use and jettisoning the crap that simply clutters. Before 2007 fades to history, there are windmill tilts to tot, sacred cows to milk, sour grapes to squeeze and any number of other sticks to rub together.