Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fossils, Relics, & Artifacts

My writing desk is flanked by two windows, though you might be surprised to hear that I don’t look outside very much. Often I close the blinds.

“Appealing workplaces are to be avoided,” says writer Annie Dillard. “One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”   

I like to keep fossils, crystals, or other cool stones nearby when I write. Sometimes when I’m stuck or when I’m pausing to think I pick one up one of these stones and hold it in my hand, feel its substantial weight. Writing involves words and ideas, which are undeniably powerful, but at certain times they seem floaty and insubstantial. Holding rocks and relics in my hand, feeling their dense mass and solid weight, helps to keep me grounded. They remind me of the ancient world, the eternal life spirit, and the unstoppable power of time. 


  1. I love the connection between words and weight. Thanks for sharing this insight!

  2. Beautifully stated! My office is in the basement and as much as I feel like I am in a dungeon when I write, there is no better place for imagination to come alive; like a mushroom growing in the dark. Okay, that seemed stark, and kind of gross, but quite accurate. :) Well done, Ralph!