Lee and I first met at Nelson the Seagull when I was being introduced to her brother to learn the art of bread. Lee and Jon were the first South Africans I knew that lived in Vancouver, now I swear I know them all. Lee’s motto is to keep your brain on ice and your heart on fire. This was never more apparent than when I first saw her office space which was a table top with milk crates for legs with books, tools and projects stacked high. She will tackle a problem head on, and once she has an idea in her head, there is no stopping her!
“Knowing that there is more I can understand, more things to experience, keeps one getting up in the morning. We are very lucky to be here at all, and it seems like a waste to just wait here for it to end.” - l. snelgar
What does passion mean to you?
It used to mean that I had to find something that I loved, and do that thing. Now I am able to find passion in a lot more things. I don't believe that one thing makes you happy, or that you can be in a continual state of passion.
What is your most significant and meaningful passion in life?
Problem solving in many areas is my passion. Understanding people and most things through knowledge and learning. People get unnerved by my passion because I bring up politics, religion and taboos which are the conversations I actually enjoy.
What was it that intrigued you about this passion?
The more you know, the more you realize you don't know. It’s a wonderful place to be able to accept that, as it allows you to live and let live.
Throughout your life, was there a common thread that linked you to your passion?
Being gay must be a link, because you spend a lot of time trying to figure yourself out. Especially when you think that what you are is fundamentally wrong, it forces you to look at other people who you might think are wrong and to see some understanding.
What is the biggest change you can make to focus more time on your passion?
Definitely worrying less about what other people think about me or where I should be going in life. This has freed up the most time for me and space in my brain. I have never particularly been self conscious or susceptible to peer pressure, however, I have noticed a lot of people’s energy goes towards what others think of them.
How does your passion motivate you?
Knowing that there is more I can understand, more things I can experience, keeps one getting up in the morning. If I felt as though life is something I had fight through or just survive through I don't know if I would have the energy to get up. Realizing it’s a never ending experience, a train of knowledge makes it worth moving forward. Very lucky to be here at all. Seems like a waste to just wait here for it to end.
Don’t squeeze the soap too hard, it will pop out of your hand. Attempting to find a passion is not a great thing. There is a lot of joy to focus in on your interactions with people. Your passion will come, it doesn't want to be found it will find you.
“Life is passionate for me, and the only way I could lose passion is if I was dead.”
- l. snelgar
Check out the cafe at www.nelsontheseagull.com
next interviewee: to be announced