I come from a long line of people who regularly consult coffee grinds and confer with the dead, so I suppose that my accumulation of talismans, through the years, was inevitable. Most I’ve collected, but some have been given to me. I could list them, even explain them, the eye of God, the yin/yang rattle, the Marino Marini coin, but they wouldn’t hold much meaning for you. You have your own to contemplate.
Some tokens might be meant to cheer, or to provide focus or encouragement. Others might serve as a physical reminder of story. Some may be part of a writing ritual. Some might even figure into the stories.
Somehow, for decades even, we keep up with these objects. For the memory maybe of the circumstances of their acquisition. For the promise they hold perhaps to ward off evil or bring good fortune, even if we don’t quite believe in the promise, or maybe we do. There is, as well, a welcome physicality to them that we writers, so used to plucking things from midair and trying to pin them to the page, might find reassuring. Certainly, reassurance and hope are at the heart of the whole endeavor.
In some parts of the world, providing talismans, like fortunetelling or witch doctoring, is a profession. In my part of the world, each person finds his way. Me? I’ve got a dried horse chestnut in my pocket as we speak. You?
Comments welcome and edited to include first names only, and website, if provided; never your email. Photo credit: istockphoto.com