It is a beautiful Autumn day here, warm and sunny, and I am sitting in the yard attempting to awaken my muse, who has been affected by my crazy hectic life for several months now. She has popped her head out here and there, for an occasional article or a blog or two, but, for the most part, she has been in hibernation for quite some time now. Today, she is lethargically creeping around me, drawn out by the vibrant colors and secret language of nature. She is dazed by the dancing of yellow, red, orange and brown in the trees overhead, by the golden sunshine and bright blue skies streaked with pure white clouds. She watches a leaf, mesmerized, as it dances on the breeze to its final resting place in the herb garden between the rosemary and the sage. She closes her eyes as the trees speak to her, their leaves saying who knows what to her as they flutter simultaneously in the wind. She giggles at the sight of several sparrows perched upon a fence nearby waiting for us to leave the yard before approaching the bird feeder again. Yes, my muse is quite distracted.
I coax my muse to sit in the chair next to me and she does so with an exasperated thud. “What do you want of me today,” she asks in a whisper.
I tell her that we need to discuss my book, the one that was put on the backburner several months ago because of my hectic daily life. “I want to start writing it again,” I tell her.
She plays with her long hair, wrapping it around her fingers, watching the strands twirl, disinterested, distant. She sighs heavily and replies finally, “Well, you were the one that put it aside, not I. Perhaps we should just put it to rest.” She is being difficult. She has every right to be. “Besides I am too tired. I tugged and tugged on your brain for months but you were too busy. You are always too busy.” She leans her head against the back of the chair, crosses her arms defiantly across her chest, and shuts her eyes.
“I always heard you. I was always jotting down notes, when I got out of the shower, while I was cooking dinner, on the way to work, in the middle of typing a report. I heard you every time. I know what we have to do. We just need to fit it into the schedule.”
Her head whips around towards me, wagging a finger at me. “The creative process is not something you schedule, Dear!” Uh-oh! She called me “Dear”. She’s pissed.
“Yes, I know I am.” Again, her arms are crossed, this time triumphantly.
How can I make peace with her, come to an agreement? Now I am distracted by a leaf dancing to the ground. It’s bright yellow and catches the sun’s rays as it falls. The sparrows are inching closer to the feeder. A bolder one has just landed there. What to do, what to do? I know. “Can I take notes whenever the creative process takes over and then I can type it out into the book on a scheduled basis?” Makes sense, doesn’t it?
She reminds me, “You have several pages, post-its and paper towels with notes scribbled upon them that are sitting in a file on your desk already. What about those, huh?” She taps her foot demandingly.
“I’ll type up those right away.”
“In the meantime, I’ll already have more notes for you!”
“So I’ll jot the new ones down as I am typing the old ones,” I suggest. “You know how good I am at catching up with my typing.”
“This is true,” she answers hesitantly. She is thinking, considering.
I cross my fingers, hoping that she will agree. “And who knows what will happen once I get in there and really start banging away at the keys? It may all start just coming out in a torrent, page after page...”
“Chapter after chapter!” She is smiling, sitting upright in the chair, excited now.
“Yes! And before you know it, the book will be complete!” Now I am excited.
“Can we still write other things too though?” She is fearful. She does not want to be held down to one project. She wants to write and write and write. “The blog, the articles? Maybe some to be published in magazines and anthologies again?” She gets up and sits on the arm of my chair, puts an arm around me. “You know how much I love seeing your name in print!”
“We most certainly can.”
The sparrows are no longer scared of us. They come within a few feet of us. A pair of mourning doves have also appeared. My muse and I look at each other and say in unison, “The element of Air. Creativity. The creative process. The air is cleared.” She and I laugh together.
She points to the laptop. I can hear her thoughts. They are streaming into my head from her own. She is practically sitting in my lap as my fingers begin flying across the keyboard. She is humming a tune to the birds as she watches the words appear on the screen. She is happy, content, in her element, her brain dancing through the air to gather new ideas, new words to be jotted down on bits of paper or to be typed into a new document, the pages of that book. She no longer feels tossed aside, ignored.
As my muse and I finish writing this, she gives me a kiss upon the forehead and says, “I missed you.”
“I missed you too,” I tell her.
“Now let’s go drag out those notes for the book and see what’s what.” She is quite determined, isn’t she? That’s why she’s my muse. She always gets what she wants.