Tools & Talismans #31 — Lisa Parks

I am continuously intrigued, surprised and enamored by the things that people choose to include in their collection of tools & talismans. I’ve come to believe that many of the things that we hold on to, collect, keep as treasures, or use everyday, are representative of who we are, what we do with our days and how we maneuver through our lives — well, at least that’s what I’ve found out through studying myself, and I can’t help think I’m not much different than most in this respect.

I don’t know Lisa well, in terms of day to day — like stopping by to have tea, or heading out to yoga together, maybe painting in the studio with her {though I think that would sure be sweet}, but I know her as I meet her in various social media locations and occasionally in person at an art retreat. And yet, Lisa’s collection is filled to the very brim with how I see her, how I experience her and how I think about her: color, so very much color, tools both practical and whimsical, treasures that she holds close to her heart and stories that are real and true and touchable.

Have you ever pondered how your everyday tools and trinkets, your talismans and keepsakes say so much about who you are? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this intriguing idea! And now on to Lisa:

Paintbrush: Even though I have some really nice paintbrushes, I always come back to these cheap ones from the hardware store. They feel great in my hand and lend a quality of roughness and imperfection to my art that I am loving. The paint clings to their handles of unfinished wood and over time they become works of art themselves.

Tea: I am a morning person and my energy becomes low and slow in the afternoon. I need one or two cups of tea around three p.m. My current favorite is passion tea, mainly because its bright taste and hot pink color make me happy.

Mexican Coin Purse: My family traveled a lot when I was a child and I got to choose one souvenir to remember each trip. This little red tooled leather purse is from the seventies and one of the few souvenirs I still have. I carry it with me in my bag every day and it holds random treasures. Currently it contains two brass milagros, an acorn, an earring that lost its twin, a receipt with the words "you choose" written on it that I found on the sidewalk, and a chuck e. cheese token from my daughter's 6th birthday party in 1991. I have always been a forager and collector. Tiny things that tell a story bring me great comfort.

Pencils: I prefer to use pencils as my primary writing instrument. I love the whisper sound and the soft drag as the lead moves across paper.  

Mala Bracelets: I wore my first mala, a gray labradorite, during a really rough time at work to assist me with transforming negative energy. Each subsequent bracelet was added for it's stone's energetic properties. I wear them nearly every day. When I look down at my wrist, it feels like a colorful timeline of protection and purpose.  

Tiny Green Buddha: My little Buddha (tiny b) goes everywhere with me and is often featured on my blog and instagram feed. I started snapping photos of him several years ago in both random and significant locations and settings to remind me to stop and appreciate the ordinary beauty in my immediate world.

Aqua Aura Crystal Cluster: I don't really know the qualities of this particular crystal, I just picked it up from the table one day because I had a strong feeling it needed to be with me.  

Old Family Photographs: My mom died unexpectedly a few months ago. Taking frequent visual forays into her life and history have meant everything to me.

Lisa Parks — artist, teacher, child protection social worker