Chris Malcomb


“I’m an essayist and I’ve been working on a collection of personal essays on the intersection of life and spirituality. Particularly mindfulness practices. I read mostly non-fiction but when I do read fiction I enjoy a lot of Japanese authors. I noticed over the past few years that whenever I felt myself getting in a dark place I read a Murakami novel. I haven’t thought a lot about why that is, but I think it’s because there’s something so magical about his work that it reorders my brain and makes it work in a new way.”

ChrisMalcomb-12“What inspires you to write?”

“That’s a really pertinent question. I’ve been without that inspiration for awhile. I think the waining inspiration started before my diagnosis, but certainly when I got diagnosed it was like ‘why even bother’? Recently I’ve started feeling more of a spark though. And it’s not about writing directly, it’s more about teaching. When I’m working with my students and I see them doing the work it reminds me ‘Oh yeah, there’s something on the other side if facing demons’.”

“I find my greatest inspiration for writing when something comes together, even just a sentence, in a way that feels original and that it’s what I wanted to say. Sometimes it’s even placing a semi colon. It’s like ‘Oh yeah, that’s really impactful. And I did that!’ Haha!”

ChrisMalcomb-9“I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a cancerous tumor in the left eye, in September of 2015. It’s a rare cancer. The treatment is radiation directly to the eye, or removal of the eye. I was told if the cancer metastasizes there’s no treatment for it. My tumor…not my tumor…the tumor is over my optic nerve so doing radiation would mean blindness in the eye. I wasn’t ready for that or the surgery so my path has been one of exploring various alternatives systemic therapies in an effort to arrest the growth of the tumor and possibly shrink it. YouCaring has been great because it’s allowed me to try different treatments. We’ve raised over $31,000 so far!”


“One thing I’ve learned is that cancer is a symptom of a greater issue. Emotional, spiritual, an imbalance of the system. My focus is to get back in balance. It’s a harder path to address the root cause that’s leading me to illness. A big thing for me during this YouCaring campaign is learning how to receive.”

“How do you like to express love?”

“I’m a good gift giver. I really enjoy thinking about someone I care about and thinking about what would give them joy. Especially if it’s something I could only have known by paying close attention to them. I’m also a sensual person. I think I struggle with a lack of touch and connection and a lot of times I want to freeze frame a moment and ask someone, ‘How much do you want to be hugged right now…’?”

“Do you want a hug?”

“Nah, I’m good.”


“Do you feel more comfortable giving or receiving?”


“Do you feel you have a purpose?”

“Yes, but I’m not in touch with it so there’s some doubt. I’m going to say this, and try to do so without judgement to myself, but I do not feel a strong impetus to live. I am putting faith in the idea that there may be something greater at work that’s leading me back to connection with life force. I guess I’m just being honest that I don’t know the answers. I don’t know why I should I find inspiration. But I accept that it important and I’m going to accept it in whatever form it shows up. Even if the only thing I have to feel great about is sitting down and drinking tea. In that moment I can heal.”ChrisMalcomb-4

“Do you feel like what you’ve done with your life has contributed to humanity? Is your existence a plus or minus?”

“It’s a plus. Maybe a fews years ago I would have said-”

“Hold on, how does it feel to acknowledge that you contributed?”

“It feels good.”

“Where in your body do you feel things?”

I feel a sort of flush of strength and confidence in my chest. I feel a little bit more grounded. A little bit more relaxed than I was a moment ago.”

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July 29, 2016