Musings: The Evasive Muse
I haven’t written anything for about a week now. I guess it would be truer to say that I have not been able to write anything during this time. Some people call this “writer’s block”. I like to think that my Muse needs a rest or a vacation now and then.
There are several different schools of thought on this matter. There are those who think that if you are a writer (or painter, or any other type of creative person), you should just blast through the block, force yourself to write something (or paint, or whatever), get something going. Others think that this is not natural and that if the creativity doesn’t flow, then leave it alone.
I happen to be of the second opinion. Even though it is frustrating for me to come to the end of a day with itchy fingers but nothing running around in my head, my heart, or my soul, I think it is right (for me) to wait until the Muse decides to come home from her vacation, opens her suitcases, and spills out whatever treasures she brings home to share with me.
I guess I need to clarify here that it’s not that my mind has been totally blank. I know I still have a writing to do about the glorious Cowboys game that we experienced in Tampa a few weeks ago (even though they weren’t so glorious against Denver last weekend!). To be noted that there’s another posting about “mentors” that’s creating waves in my heart. And my soul is contentedly nurturing a whole juicy article abut Zhanra’s, a restaurant in St. Augustine that is fast becoming my favorite Sunday brunch spot.
What happens for me, I think, is that my Muse needs head, heart, and soul lined up in some sort of synchronicity. They all need to be on the same page (no pun intended!), singing along in harmonious arcapella. And then, of course, I have that devious little fellow, de-pression, who hovers out in left field waiting to strike me out.
Yesterday, however, Rich and I drove up to north western Georgia with some friends. We are sharing a weekend with them in a gorgeous log cabin in the mountains. My heart and soul are both jumping for joy and sitting in serenity. Just to be in the mountains after living in the Florid flatlands is a gift from God. My soul is very connected to rocks and mountains.
As well as the mountains, we are also surrounded by woodlands that are made up of more than pine trees. (Trees are the next soul connection after mountains for me.) It is early Fall and the colors are creeping into the leaves. As I look out over the wrap-around porch that I am sitting on there are lovely shades of yellow and bronze with some soft deep pinks and russet reds here and there.
Just below the cabin there is a small lake and to one side of us I can hear the running waters of a creek that feeds into the lake. Birds are singing all around us and the squirrels are having such fun scampering up and down and in and out of the trees. From where I am sitting I can see three large squirrel nests.
As the evening closed in yesterday we lit a log fire in the outdoor fireplace on the porch. The night was still, the fire crackled, and all around us were the sounds of the night. Crickets and other insects formed the string section of the orchestra. Various frogs tuned up their woodwind instruments, and some unknown creature of the dark provided a strange soft trilling sound.
When the sky darkened into full night we were treated to a magnificent starry display. We are far from any major town so city lights did not spoil the effect of God’s night-time creation. As we gazed up we realized we were seeing the Milky Way and there were a gazillion other stars up there. I saw three shooting stars, one that was big and bright and seemed to cross the whole heavens on its journey to extinction. And I was reminded of another night, another starry sky in Umbria, Italy many years ago.
And as I sat and bathed in the beauty of it all, I felt a subtle internal shift. I knew that Muse was on her way home and that soon my itchy fingers would be flying across the keyboard. I am grateful for her return and, as if to confirm her presence with me right now, a watery sun is dappling through the trees to bathe me in a soft morning glow.