The wall came down
Every time I had an image -- a misty field, a haunting flower, a mysterious junked car in a field -- I would scratch down a note to myself that was supposed to prompt me to write about it.
The notes collected on the wall beside my desk. The created a set of creative shingles -- pink ones, white and cream, in all ink colors.
It’s been an obsession to keep notes of everything I think about, in case one day I run out of ideas or images. I have suitcases full of ideas for stories, poems or essays. That way, I reason, if I find myself unable to think one day -- say illness or mental disorder -- I’ll always have something to start from. Even if I lose the ability to create new ideas, I’ll still have something to write about.
The wall came down, recently. At the Tibetan Bazaar in Atlanta I purchased an inexpensive print of the mandala made by the monks of Drepung Loseling. I decided to set aside some money to have it professionally matted and framed.
I couldn’t put this new image on that papered wall. So all the notes came down. As I removed them, I read them, and remembered the images that prompted them and wondered, Will I ever get to put these in my novel?
The images now sit in a folder beside my desk. It’s not so important whether the notes are in a folder or on my wall. What matters is how well I can take everything I’ve seen and been curious about, in my entire life, and fold it into a story, at the instant I sit down to write, everyday.