Last week on Twitter it was suggested that the reason I had such a fascination with bees was that they were my totem animal. While I maintain that my fascination has more to do with their role in the ecosystem and its impending collapse, the suggestion helped me to finally find a good name for an idea I’ve had for quite some time: the spirit geek.
The spirit geek sits at the top of your influence pyramid. They are the discovery that leads to all of the other discoveries. They inspire you to learn more about a subject, be it a fictional world, a technique for creating software, or anything you might geek out about. They might be a fictional character, a writer or journalist, a historical figure, or your mom or dad.
Whoever they are, the spirit geek is the one person, and I think there can be only one at a time, who most inspires you to seek whatever it is that you seek.
My spirit geek is Michael Chabon, though Joe Hill is ever closer to supplanting him. His essays, more than his fiction, are what puts him at the top for me. I love his novels, but it was his book MAPS AND LEGENDS that clarified for me how empty the distinction was between genre and so-called literary fiction. It’s also full of references to writers and artists who influenced him. I’ve gone on to read some of those writers, who led me to other writers, who led me here.
So, who is your spirit geek? Tell me in the comments or on Twitter. Who knows, some of us might even find a new spirit geek to follow.