Think about it. Where do our obsessions come from? Mine: reading, words, the earth, the stars, the universe, melancholy music, edgy images, fairy tales. These are the product of my childhood.
I was born in the desert, a steampunk wonderland of oases and sand dunes, raised on dusty books that smelled like age, fairy tales that took me away from the screaming in the living room (for I must have heard it, though I don’t remember it), the drawn out and vibrating melodies from the record player on the bureau, lulled to sleep by songs about pain and love and heartbreak and searching, songs about life.
Raised by a father born of the very earth, who worshipped rocks and history, relics of forgotten times brought back to life in his fingers. And a gypsy mother, full of hope and redemption and heartbreaking compassion.
And the moon and stars, the universe, what human child is not obsessed with these things, for as Carl Sagan so beautifully and aptly stated, “We are made of star-stuff.” As with the air we breathe and the water we drink, without them we would not be.
And so these are the sum of the things that make me, my obsessions, my loves, my raptures. They carry me through this world reminding me to look up, to feel the crunch of dirt under my shoe, to pause and gaze into a picture, imagining what it would be like to go there, into that land the artist has drawn.
It reminds me to read books like I eat food: slowly, so as to savor the taste better. To caress words like a fleece blanket, enjoying the feel of them against my skin, and to get lost in the music, to go wherever the melody takes me.