When the Muse Needs a Muse

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t published a blog in a month or so because I got a part time job and I’m learning how to juggle my hours, get my bearings and make room for writing time. Now, I’m almost ready to get back into the writing zone. I have missed it so!

I thought that you might all enjoy this post I put on my http://www.mothersofmusicians.blogspot.com a year or so ago. It’s about my muse and it was one of my favorite posts. Hope you enjoy it!

“Thus with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: ‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.” Sir Philip Sidney, (English statesman, 1554-1586)

OK. So what happens when the muse needs a muse? Believe me. It is not amusing! My computer and I have come to an agreement: If I don’t give it any words, it will not write anything down for me. There is a standoff. I stand across the room from my computer and my computer stays turned off, silently accusing me of negligence and being a wannabe blog writer.

So, today, I confess to you, my reader, that I am drier than an instant potato flake, as shriveled and as hard as the orange I found this morning hiding in the back of the vegetable bin in my refrigerator, as uninteresting as last week’s TV Guide and as uninspiring as this rainy day in March…I have nothing to give, nothing to say. I need help….I need inspiration….I need my muse to rescue me from myself!

In desperation, I’ll lure him to my table, to sit and talk with me. I’ll set the atmosphere like I would a well-dressed dining table for tea, hoping he will see that I went to “all that trouble” and stay awhile.
First of all, I have to get dressed for our little tea party. I put on my good jeans, pull on my boots and splash a little color on my face. Because I can think more clearly when I can see, I put on my contact lenses. I don’t want to miss anything he might want to show me. I brush my hair and dab a bit of perfume behind my ears. I don’t want him to see me slumming around the house!

Satisfied that I won’t scare him off, I make my way to the living room and select the music that always seems to draw him like a moth to a candle. My muse loves Celtic music and it is St. Patrick’s Day. The luck of the Irish must be with me and I put on the Gaelic tunes. I can almost swear that I hear the wind chimes tinkling as he stirs the air by the kitchen window.

I get out my tea cups and remember a Leonard Cohen song that always inspires me. It’s called “Suzanne” and it’s about a young woman who was a muse for dozens of Beat-Poets during the early 60’s in Montreal. She lived in a little wooden cabin and had a poetic view of the river. Cohen would come and see her in the evenings and they would sit at her table. She would light a candle that she had named Anastasia, and then pour them each a cup of Constant Comment Tea. They would sit for a few minutes in silence, drinking their tea, and then they would begin to talk for hours. Cohen probably milked her for all the artistic inspiration she could give. He became the poet laureate of Canada.

“Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by;
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover.”

I smile to myself. I realize that Suzanne did set the atmosphere, and like her, I light a candle and take it to the dining room table. I must attract light with light to get my muse to bite. The law of attraction? I put my computer down on the dining room table, my cup of tea and oranges in hand. I sip slowly and look at my poetic view.

I am surrounded by some of my favorite things. My big wooden book cases, envied by some, flank one side of my room. My teapots and lovely cups are displayed in the oak secretary that sits directly in front of me. I look at my angels of bounty that smile at me from the buffet and my cross stitched “welcome” bell pull by the door that leads into the kitchen. I bask in the golden light of my candle and table lamps, waiting for my inspiration to arrive.
I sit at my table, with my eyes shut. Peace begins to seep into my mind as I pray for the light to cover me and shed it secrets like an ancient tomb that’s just been discovered. I feel my muse slip into the chair across from me, waiting for me to pour his cup of tea.

I pour it slowly, not wanting to startle him. I am so relieved that he came! It’s been so long since I’ve seen him. And we have so much to talk about. I stare at him openly, my eyes taking in the miracle of him, the brightness of him. And all of a sudden, I feel the ice begin to melt in my heart. He brings his own flame and adds it to the glow I have created for him. I just sit there warmed by his presence and the tea we share. The melting ice creates a flow and I realize I am finally connected to the river.

The current is ever so slight, but it flows out of my eyes, down my cheeks, into my heart. I am on his wavelength. He “lets the river answer that I’ve always been his lover.”
I don’t doubt my muse. It’s just that when I can’t see him, I feel uninspired and insecure. It’s been the longest and coldest winter of my adult life, physically and creatively. But I trust him. He always comes when I set the atmosphere. I just haven’t had the presence of mind to do so.

Later in “Suzanne,” Cohen writes:

“And you want to travel with her and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.”

Now I know that I am nowhere near perfect, but I am perfect in the fact that I was perfectly made to discover mysteries of the earth and understand them with a creative bent. As long as I keep setting the atmosphere by invoking the light, playing inspiring music, making tea and sitting at a blank computer screen at my beautifully set dining room table, my muse will come. And I trust him enough to close my eyes, take his hand and travel blindly by his side. I do love his mind!





4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carolina Carol
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 23:44:08

    Once again I am dazzled by your words. I can see you and “your muse.” I can see all the detail that goes into your tea party. I love the place that it all takes me to. Thanks for the sweet moments that your words provide 🙂


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