Muse Hymn Box
writer, Lisa Mahon, a columnist for SharpWriter and One Woman's Writing
Retreat, dances with her Muse. When the muse asks Lisa to dance the dance
of writers they move together, fluidly and magically in a way that takes
her breath away.
My muse is a dancer. Sometimes a flowing, graceful, balletic dancer, but more often a frenetic, mind-of-its-own, 'be a tree - be a rock - be a kumquat' sort of modern dancer. That is not to say that I don't love my muse. I do. When my muse asks me to dance the dance of writers we move together, fluidly and magically in a way that takes my breath away. The words swirl around in such a rush that I'm terrified I won't get it all down; that some line, some word, some nuance will take flight before I pull it into the dance. She seems unconcerned with this, catching the words I miss and tossing them back to me when I drop them here and there. It's these times that I dream of and wish for that seem all to elusive. More often than not I just catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, flitting about like some child-fairy playing hide and seek - a game I am no good at playing.
Our problem, my muse and mine, is, I think, that we're too much alike. She, like me, would rather be outside playing in the woods, sitting under a tree and daydreaming, or dancing circles with the wind. (Something I, unlike my muse, must do only in my mind so as not to have people think I'm a few sandwiches short of a picnic.) A blank computer screen or journal page makes us both nervous and, quite honestly, bored. It's at this point that all focus goes out the window and I have to give it up and come back to it later in the day, tomorrow, or next week. As a matter of fact, we are so tied in together that it is only when she slows down long enough to whisper in my ear, to actually center on something real and tangible, that I am able to do the same. See, sometimes she whispers in my ear without the focus and all I get is an idea that gets my heart racing and blood pumping, only to have it all come to a slow and painful stop when the concentration fades or the story hits a dead end.
But you know what? I love my muse and wouldn't trade her for the
world. She's the one that holds my memories in her pockets and offers
them up in tiny but bottomless hands for comfort and laughter when
I get so frustrated with my writing I want to quit and forget I ever
heard the word 'writer'. When I've hit a brick wall and am pulling
my hair out, she gently pries my hands away and puts them back on
the keys, taking away the craziness as she dances away. And when I
can't focus on anything, she visits in my daydreams and allows me
to dance in a wind full of possibilities, pulling some out at random,
and asking them to dance with us.
Heather Blakey asserts the right to be identified as the author of this work