#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


VISION

It has been SNOWING for the past hour or so. The flakes have stopped coming down, but the draw I overlook as I write this is dusted with white.

Did you watch the HBO mini-series, “John Adams”? I did, and I loved it. Oh, for more material of this quality on television! I was so sad when it ended–and I’ve preordered the DVD, which won’t be out until June. (I wonder if it will still be snowing then. :))

I did some reading and revision this weekend, and also some art. (To use the term loosely. Van Gogh, I ain’t.) Current projects include another ‘affirmation’ collage–this one for VISION. Not eyesight, though thank God for that, but “Where there is no vision the people perish” type vision.

I’m listening to some history lectures on my iPod (the Teaching Company), one of which consists of extensive profiles of the greatest Presidents. The professor said something that really resonated with me: that the truly great Presidents all had a very clear VISION of where they wanted to take the country and how to get there. And it occurred to me that, really, that’s true in all areas of life. You don’t have to be a Washington or a Lincoln or an FDR to do great things–maybe you just want to lose ten pounds, organize photo albums, or take some extension classes at your local junior college. Maybe you want a better job. You get the idea. You need a vision of yourself, doing whatever it is you want to do, and a plan to get there. Don’t have the whole plan? No biggie. Establish a vision first, and the plan will come, perhaps all of a piece, perhaps one baby step at a time.

So, anyway, I’m making a VISION collage. My first one, a whimsical piece that says “Allow your feelings to come and go”, delights me every time I look at it. Is it great art? No, definitely not. But it’s cheery, and a powerful way to stay on track. Right now, I’m planning a big one to facilitate the development of my Civil War series. You see, I have a BIG vision for this project, and I want to keep it before me throughout the process.

What’s YOUR vision? If you have an artistic bent, make a collage. If you don’t, make a picture in your head.

In the darkest hours of the Civil War, Lincoln had a VISION of the country reunited and thriving as one nation. At Valley Forge, with soldiers starving and going barefoot all around him, George Washington had a VISION of a free and independent country standing on its own, taking its place in the world.

If they could do things like that, surely we can achieve our more modest goals….

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From the end of the Civil War until 1890, some 10 million head of cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas.

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