I have a Vision Board next to my desk that reminds me to stay close to my truth and away from all the other mental distractions. I don’t actually know how to really make one of these–I think there’s an official way? But I wanted to sharewhat inspires me to write. I am writing steadily these days, and I feel lifted with the words. It is so much harder not to write than to write.
Items on the Vision Board
1. Three Bunker pictures. From left to right, a picture my friend Heather took of me and him a few months before he died, Bunker giving me some therapy circa 1999, Bunker on the beach in Santa Barbara with his distinguished-old-man white face.
4. My favorite Mary Oliver poem: “When I Am Among the Trees”
5. My Blanket Tag from my Vision Quest in New Mexico 2010. I was the “Record Keeper.” I was honored for my visions and dreams that lead me create a permanent record for all to share. The yellow and red ribbons are also from my Vision Quest. They marked the spot I found sacred, the spot I stayed for 24 hours with no food, no water, just a blanket and nature.
6. A VCFA bumper sticker from the alma mater that changed my life, continues to inform me with confidence, learning, and mostly friends that have changed my life, enriched my spirit.
7. My commitment rock. Back around 2000 when I worked at Microsoft, a colleague was cleaning out her office and she asked if I wanted the rock. I took it and said a little prayer in my windowless office that I would commit myself to writing.
8. Writing advice from Cheryl Strayed.
9. Things I re-remembered after going back to VCFA for the Postgraduate Writers’ Conference last summer.
10. Writing advice from Richard Bausch’s Ten Commandments.
11. A “Non Sequitur” comic strip that my mom sent me in the mail.
12. Sitting in front of the Vision Board is the box holding Bunker’s ashes. Once I tossed it in the ocean in an effort to let him go. The box washed back to me, so now he sits with me as I write our story.
12. On top of Bunker’s ashes sits a paperweight with an owl inside, looking at me always with yellow eyes, trying to help me keep Bunker’s wisdom and share it with the world.
13. There’s also a little laughing Bhudda statue, because Bunker loved my laughter. It made him howl, and I need to remember the release laughing provides.
14. In front of the ashes is the little candle I light when I write. A powerful flame for my spirit twin/therapy dog/best friend and his memory–and for the power of our story.