a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

Chris Martin’s best friend in times of depression

CM photoshopped

Apparently Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman, can’t get over his ex, Gwyneth.

Even though the two of them “consciously uncoupled” two years ago, Martin has revealed he is still depressed and lonely, and has “struggled to find happiness.” His companion during these dark times: literature.

He says certain works from great thinkers and writers have helped him get through his tough times. He named The Guest House, a 13th century work by the Persian poet Rumi, and Man’s Search for Meaning, the Holocaust memoir by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

I can’t imagine needing that much help to get over Paltrow, but she must have had something for him. I also can’t imagine turning to the Frankl book, how ever excellent it may be, to get over depression. I read this in college and frankly it left me in a funk for weeks; finishing it was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I have that problem with Holocaust material. I’ve never seen Schindler’s List or most of the other well-known movies on that subject for the same reason.

But to each his own: when I was depressed I watched the movie The Hours, and it actually helped me despite it being about suicide. I suppose everyone is different in what they find therapeutic.

But what Chris Martin and I have in common is we both have turned to literature. It’s a powerful comfort, a powerful learning tool, a powerful force that so-called “educators” now basically want to see out of American schools. (But that’s another rant.)

Literature helps you see truth through other people’s eyes. Just think about how big that is for a second. It’s also one reason I personally am not fond of escapist literature, or fantasy unless the point of the fantasy is grounded in reality. I don’t read (or interact with any form of art) in order to forget. I want to experience The Real World, in high relief. That’s why art does that mere documentary cannot.

And I think, somewhere in his gut, Chris Martin senses this too. I’m glad he’s found literature instead of drugs, alcohol or many of the other things rock stars fill up their lives with. Literature—it really is good for you!

 

 

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