Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making Magic Muses

My muse likes to burn the candle at both ends. She is inspired in the early morning hours and when one would have burned the midnight oil in the olden days. In other words: My muse really hates me.

She is quite like a child in many ways. She will keep me up all night long crying out to me and trying to get my attention. And like any child, the longer you ignore her, the louder (and more obnoxious), she gets. No child, or muse, likes to be kept waiting.

So here I am, at near two in the morning, and I have been trying to put my muse to sleep for at least three hours. She isn’t particularly fond of the idea. She wanted to play dress up, dance around the apartment, and jump on the bed in fuzzy slippers.

Gertrude, as I have taking to calling my inner child-muse, has taken to being instantly wooed by anything Walt Whitman. So tonight, in accordance with our late night soup snack, we read the preface to “Leaves of Grass”, and a few blips of “Song of Myself”. I think that Gertrude loves the idea of Whitman because she is also quite fond of sexual innuendos, she can find a "that's-what-she-said" jokes in things that I am sure dear Walt would have never even thought of. (And indeed, he is probably rolling in his grave even as we type.)

Many other attempts at taming the muse were made as well. (Anything to get a colloquy babe to shut the hell up, right?) We proceeded to try and paint our nails. An attempt that left my nails looking more Picasso than Da Vinci. I only manage to sabotage one hand before Gertrude realized any attempts at femininity are futile.

When that didn’t work, we turned to the faithful lullaby of music to try and soothe the savage beast. Again, no dice: Gertrude would not have it. She wanted something more, something different, not the same old humdrum routine that usually works on her.
Just when I thought I could count on her to be quiet long enough for me to get some rest before I had to be all bright and cheery for church in the morning. She figures out another way to delay my slumber. Muses aren’t the type that will let you get away with things being “just okay”. They will shake you up and melt you down until they have rendered something that they consider feasible to use for their own devious devices. Jerks.

I shouldn’t be so harsh, though. Gertrude has been tried and true. Thru thick and thin she has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a muse to help me sort thru the muck of my issues until I have reached a peaceable, tangible, and often creative solution. She still makes me use clich├ęs though. As a humbling tool, I’m convinced.

But whatever her reasoning and logic, or lack thereof, I am sure of one thing: that there is always a reason for what she does.

Muses, like Gertrude, are of a higher order. Somehow, they manage to communicate with a higher being, and attempt to translate to us lowlifes what the heck is being said. I’d like to think that Gertrude and I have a good working relationship, and that more often than not, she gets thru to me.

This isn’t to say that I am perfectly open, perfectly willing all of the time. I am, in fact, really stubborn especially when I am tired. I would be more than happy to just go to bed and toss and turn all night, smearing my freshly painted eyeliner, than sit at my computer in the kitchen and tick-tack-type away. Yet here I am, at two o’clock in the morning, making sure whatever it is that Gertrude has to deliver is heard. No matter how late it gets.


  1. Your post is beautiful, inspiring, and truthful. You keep listening to Gertrude; I've seen the work you create together.

    Plus, Gertrude is much more appealing than my muse. He is a taciturn, warty, dwarfish type with a bowling pin nose. I don't know his name yet. After a decade, he is still too sullen to tell me.

    Perhaps that accounts for the difference between our art. See if Gertrude can convince him to play nice for a while. I'd really like it if she influenced him a little.

  2. Thanks, Kristi! :D :D

    Gertrude says to tell him to meet her on the playground. She wants to take his milk money.