An Artist’s Crystal Clear Vision

Amy Hallberg Blog Leave a Comment

I brought my writing partner a tumbled carnelian last week. We were trading shiny objects for Christmas, and I just had a feeling Katherine would love the vibrant red-orange crystal, known as an artist’s stone. It was so HER. Sure enough, her eyes lit up, especially reading the card.

“I love this key word: Courage. That’s what I need in my writing.” She set her card and stone on the table.

Katherine and I quit trading pages long ago. We keep our system simple: a long-standing play date. The barista makes our drinks when we walk in the door. We sit at parallel tables and share what’s speaking to us. We bring shiny objects as props. We take turns coaching each other—on writing and life. Since we write creative-nonfiction, they’re largely one and the same. Then we say goodbye and we work. For two full hours, we sit side by side.


At the end of our recent session, Katherine thanked me again for the stone.

“Courage.” She beamed. “That’s so right. How did you know?”

“Funny,” I said. “I was thinking creative inspiration. It’s on the back of the card.”

“Is it?” She held up the card and squinted. “Ugh. I can’t read it. I’m wearing old contacts—and I need bifocal lenses. I’m using these ones up.”

Her words caught my attention.

“What does that tell you?” I asked. “You’re getting ready to see more clearly? But it’s not time yet? Be patient?”

Katherine interrupted, laughing. “Or I could be less cheap and buy contacts I can see through. These don’t work anymore!”


Often the simplest answer is truest. Katherine’s brilliant solution has echoed into my week. I’m also letting some old lenses go. They served me in the past, and I’m grateful.

I’m ready to see what’s in front of me now, as I say goodbye to 2017.

So I wonder. Which lenses might you let go?

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