What are your tools and talismans?

Sage CohenProductive writingLeave a Comment

When graphic designer, illustrator, art director and painter Liz Kalloch invited me to be a part of her year-long Tools & Talismans story/painting project several months ago, I shared with her a photo of my most prized work tools and precious writing talismans—and wrote a short description of each, as requested.

Tools & Talismans

Choosing and honoring these precious objects gave me an enormous infusion of gratitude for my work, my life, and the intentions I bring to both. For example, I wrote:

HENRY Scrabble pieces: Henry was my soulmate dog. When he died three years ago, a friend gave me these Scrabble pieces that spell his name. They remind me that we compose our stories, our memories, our loves, out of what we are given. And also out of what is taken from us.

When Liz sent me a link to her finished work a few days ago, I was overcome with the beauty and tenderness of her rendering of my little collection of treasures. And I considered anew how much momentum I’ve sustained over the years by simply honoring the objects I keep close at hand.

That’s why I am now inviting you to do a similar inventory: What are your 3-9 most important objects that inform and inspire your work? What do they mean do you, and why? I’d love to hear about one of them, or all of them, here in the comments! Whether or not you share with me, I hope you’ll take a moment to look around at what you’ve collected and give thanks for how they’ve been markers, and maybe even jet fuel, along your path.

You can see Liz Kaloch’s full Tools & Talismans project and read about what the rest of my talismans mean to me here! 

I encourage you to “meet” the 22 other writers, artists and creators featured in Liz Kaloch’s project. I was especially delighted to experience Naomi Shihab Nye’s treasures.

Thank you Liz Kalloch for reminding me that a close study of the small and the familiar opens us up to the vast expanse of ourselves and our potential.




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