Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meeting the Muse

Today's theme for the Blogathon (five places I like to write) is one I'm really struggling with as it touches on a rather sensitive topic for me just now. Three nearby coffee shops offer cozy tables, great pastry, and strong brew all made to foster creativity. The desk in our apartment affords a great view over the street we live on and the neighboring gardens. Our kitchen table, though, is perhaps my favorite. It is where, more often than not, the Muse and I sit down over coffee to catch up on the latest news and ideas. It is there with notebook and pen in the silence of early morning that we meet.

Well, where we used to meet, I guess. Like any long-term relationship, the Muse and I are going through one of those rough spots. I regularly visit our old hangouts, but she's not there. The coffee tastes bland, and I tell myself as I nibble on the cinnamon and raisin bun we both love that maybe the rain is keeping her away. Or it's the sunshine and she's forgot we planned to meet that day. It's hard to say. Blaming doesn't help in the long run, but I can only make so many excuses before I need to face the fact that I'm working alone again.

We meet occasionally at the kitchen table these days, but it feels awkward. I'm there every morning, but she's not. Or if she is, she's distracted, and then my pen always seems to run out of ink just as the conversation gets really good. Then I'm out of coffee or one of us needs to step away to the restroom, and the thread of conversation breaks. Back at the table, we fumble for words and inevitably the Day can be heard just outside the door not so subtly rummaging through its sack of chores. The notebook closes with the pen clipped to the side. Our eyes don't meet as we mumble about meeting again tomorrow morning.

How long can this go on? It's hard to say. We're in one of those spots that feel horrible, and I know she probably gets as upset as I do about it all. While I'm sure she sees others, I did think we had something special together. I look at my calendar to see how to pencil her in, but the weeks fly by without a good chat. Maybe a long weekend, just the two of us. Or just sneaking off for the day or even a morning. A sort of "date night" thing to help us get some of the magic back, to reignite that spark, to remind us of what brought us together in the first place. Meanwhile, I'll set my alarm to meet her at the table with fresh coffee and extra pens.

10 comments:

Anjuli said...

Well I guarantee you ...your Muse definitely met you for this post!!! WHAT AN AWESOME post!!

I love reading about where people enjoy writing- but I loved even more the little twist you put on this post. GREAT READ!

Julia Munroe Martin said...

You have no idea how familiar this story is to me right now. Hope you're not alone for long...

BIKE LADY said...

Sad. She'll be back. Meanwhile, maybe it's time to focus on reading and research. That can help bring her back sooner than you might expect.

Tia Bach said...

I blame myself for my Muse's withdrawal. I let the evil fairies (Chaos, Clutter & Time) take her place. My Muse comes by, and I miss her. She leaves messages, I swear I'll get back. Thanks for the reminder to make her a priority. Chaos, Clutter and Time be damned.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks, Anjuli. You are the kindest commenter ever! I'm glad you liked the post. It was really difficult to write as has been everything of late. A lack of space - figurative and literal - is the real culprit, I think.

Julia, you, too! Maybe we have the same one and she's out carousing...:)

Jackie, Thanks for the good ideas. I do have a review to finish reading and writing, and I've got a long list of goodies on Google Reader. Could be the refresher my Muse and I both need.

Tia, It's those same ones that gather to chat outside our door with Day, too. Somehow, they also manage to duck in the door. Worse than the herd of Dust Bunnies living under the couch, I think!

Michelle Rafter said...

Poignant and well written, your muse was obviously with you at the kitchen table for that one.

Some days I handcuff my muse and force her to sit with me. Other days she sits in the corner feeling neglected because her sibling - the god who inspires editors - has all my attention.

Michelle

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks, Michelle, for the good words. Handcuffs are an idea, that's for sure. This time around I think it might be me, really, that's not fully at the table. Those editor gods sound rather intimidating, though.

Fear of Writing said...

Joan, this was so sad and poignant. And beautifully written. I would love to reprint this on my blog if you think you would like that.

~ Milli Thornton

P.S. I came here from a link love post by @intralingo who I met today via my blogger friend Julia Munroe Martin. Glad to discover your blog. Your heart shines out of it.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Thanks for the good words, Milli. And I'd be pleased to have you reprint the post on your blog. Thanks for asking!

Fear of Writing said...

Thank you, Joan. I will be very excited to feature this wonderful post on FoW. I'll DM you over on Twitter to arrange a date.