My mentor’s paintbrush, a woody knob cut from my favorite willow tree, a felted pickle with a face, an amused moon, a lake-smoothed stone set on a gold ring, a baby food jar filled with rings from ex-boyfriends, my sister’s first passport photo, a blue and white bowl of fortune cookie fortunes, a tiny beaker holding a tiny butterfly wing, half of a robin’s blue eggshell, a key, a lock of hair, a wooden snail from my grandfather, an orange plastic paperclip, a postcard, a flattened penny.
These things I carry with me from one home to the next.
But there are other cherished things and places and people that I cannot contain in a shrine on top of a dresser in my bedroom.
My inherited love of Doppler radar, a couchsurfer friend, the gossamer song of a wood thrush, a bumble bee that visited me three mornings in a row, my hometown, the strange coincidence that I have so many run-ins with spiders, good luck, the tingle of a really good poem, my second hometown, my third hometown, my housemate, the taste of a particularly good Côtes du Rhône, falling in love, being in love.
These small illustrations, made from lines burned into wood, gouache, and gold ink, are my offerings – a few of my precious touchstones.