Okay, that’s not really fair, but it is fair to say that my muse and I have not always had a great relationship.
I have abandonment issues. I won’t deny it. I am working through them. But my muse has not been a lot of help in this department. For decades, I have sought inspiration in my writing and my muse has let me down. He was more “mute” than “muse”.
For years, my pen has hovered over my notebooks, tantalizing close to writing, but ink doesn’t transfer. My fingers have hovered over computer keys, ever so close to making physical and spiritual contact, but the flashing black line in my Word document taps its virtual foot in anticipation of ideas yet to flow.
And even more frustrating, my muse can be a right royal inspiration tease—giving me glimpses of ideas that simply turn into moments of premature ideation, leaving me feeling used as I clean my laptop.
What I realized recently, however, as that my muse isn’t my muse. He is, in fact, a muse—the irony of that phrasing is not lost on me.
Inspiration isn’t something that comes to me. I have to go out and get it. Hunt it down. Leash it and bring it home. And in keeping with good psycho-eco-social practices, release it back into the wild when I am done.
Here I thought I had become so bloody advanced because I had an opposable thumb and personality that worked in clever union to produce written works of a certain majesty (more often than not, Ethelred the Unready, but majesty nonetheless).
Instead, I find I am still the hunter-gatherer of history. Leaving the comforts of home to find sustenance in the wilds of the universe or less melodramatically, a park bench watching people, the zoo watching animals watch people, a coffee shop watching the level of coffee in my cup recede.
Slowly, I am becoming a better hunter-gatherer. The threshold does not seem so high. I can generally snatch a muse without doing too much damage to it or myself.
Oh, it still doesn’t want to get caught, but what that means is I have to change my position slightly. ALL muses are bastards.
(Photos taken at Minter Gardens outside of Chilliwack, BC. An amazing place to hunt muses!)