Discoveries Made From A Life-Long Book Addition: Identity

I don’t know where I bought it, or even when, but the more I read the wisdom and insight in A Cup of Comfort for Writers, edited by Colleen Sell, I am grateful for having found this book.

Strike that, I didn’t find this book, it found me. Chris, you are weird and a wacko, books can’t find you! I know, but there is something about those serendipitous moments wandering aimlessly throughout the many shelves of books–unopened treasures–only to be called towards a book that knows that I need what’s contained within. Deep down inside, my soul knows what I need, even when I don’t. It calls forth into the great mystery of literary art, preparing a long list of books to pursue me over the course of my life.

Okay, poetics aside, back to A Cup of Comfort for Writers. In an essay by Meridian James, “Me, an Artist,” she writes about her journey of discover and eventually owning her title, label, and ultimate role in life: Artist. I was struck by the simplicity and truth of her closing thoughts, allowing them to reverberate throughout my head and heart:

“People who do not feel complete unless they spend time on creative expression are called ‘artists.’ Artists are driven to look at things their own way and share that vision, and are unhappy when they don’t follow that impulse. Artists are deeply nourished by things others overlook: a shape, a splash of color, a few words.”

Those very words began to shift on the paper, melt and merge into a reflection of me. They had transformed into a mirror, reflecting who I am back to me. I read the words to my wife and immediately she laughed and said, “yup, that is you.”

I have learned that I need to spend time expressing my creativity or I suffer from deep depression. I tried to fight it with Zoloft, but the reality was that only bringing forth the art buried within my soul could remove the burden of melancholy. That is why I write so much now. It has become my medication. That is why I make documentary films each month for Innovators of Vancouver. And that is why I enjoy public speaking, by myself or with my friend Bruce Elgort. I am full, complete and each day striving to uniquely express my calling: Who I am, what I see, and what I think about the world.

I have finally owned my label, my title, my ultimate role in life: Artist.

That is the power, and primary reason why, I will always be addicted to books: There are discoveries to be made about my life.