Skip to main content

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.

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

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro