Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Search of the Muse

I did not leave the house once today. Not once. It had not been my intention yesterday, but today when I awoke I decided to stay sequestered and get some writing done. I did not even venture downstairs to check my mail.

I have been known to do this in the past. Not leave the house for a whole day. But when I had an office to go to, that would only happen on a weekend when I needed to decompress. Never a Thursday when the rest of the world all seems to be someplace.

I forgot what happens when I plan to write. I can’t. But I keep trying to focus because I have to get something done. You see, I still hold myself to the self imposed standards I did when I had that corporate job. THINGS must be accomplished, every day, all day. Push, push, push.

Since I couldn’t write, I tried to accomplish little things in the hopes the little stuff would lead to words. I cleaned up email. I tried to figure out how to best connect this blog with my blog on the 85 Broads site. I made a few phone calls.

But still I wandered, desperately wanting to get that urge to let my fingers go flying on the keyboard. But the muse couldn’t seem to find me.

So I resorted to what I often do when I can’t get anything done. I clean. I have this idea that if my apartment is freshly dusted and vacuumed the muse will find it more inviting to visit.

An hour later, my apartment sparkled but the muse was still nowhere to be found. I thought maybe Oprah would help me find her, so I clicked on one of the three episodes that I had saved in my DVR. It turned out to be Lisa Ling covering the newly homeless now living in tents in Sacramento looking for a way out. Not only did I not find my muse, I was swirling into the vortex of the economic mess we are in and having one of my, what in the world am I doing embarking on a new career right now, it’s a tough world out there, moments.

So I decided to lay down for a bit. It is what I have always done when things get to be a bit too much. Go lay down for a bit.

And then who showed up as I was lying there, starting to giggle at the absurdity of myself. Yes, my muse.

I remembered that I had days like these, where it seemed impossible to get anything of substance accomplished, when I still had an office to go to. And sometimes the very thing I did when that happened was exactly what I started doing today. I cleaned.

I straightened up the papers. Dusted those places the cleaning people never got to. I made room to get things done the next day. I closed up shop feeling accomplished. I stopped trying so hard.

And as I lay there remembering and giggling, I realized I had to get up. Suddenly I had something to write. I had a blog to post. Just like that. When I stopped for a moment and stopped trying so hard to find the muse, the muse found me.

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