This is a few days late and for that I am sorry. I’ll be posting on my usual Wednesdays again next week.
The muse. The elusive. The bringer of ideas. The tormenting voice that dwells in the recesses of your mind. Sometimes, you can woo her with liquor, other times, she’ll wake you up in the middle of the night. When it’s bad, she won’t visit you at all. No, she’ll leave you wanting, tangled in your sheets at 4 am, staring at a blank computer screen, unable to reach for your pen. But what about when it’s good? She rivals even the girl with golden eyes. You can feel her, as she whispers to you, as she caresses your heart, you can feel her breath on your neck, your lips. But that, well, that’s only the beginning. When she comes, she brings with her adrenaline, dedication, passion. These, are everything you live for, everything I live for. Those moments, sometimes rare, sometimes not, are more so your life blood than the books on your shelf or the ink, that you swear, literally courses through your veins.
Above this, she is a conversationalist, she is the best you’ll ever meet, and when she whispers, she whispers to you alone. No matter who else may be around, her words are yours and yours alone. This isn’t the only thing that makes her special and you know that, no, there’s something else. Something in the way she inspires you. Even on those dark days when she cannot come, her absence inspires despair like no other thing you’ve ever experienced. It’s a darkness that has no light, you are simply alone. A prison of oxygen, where you can reach feebly for the walls, but never locate them. In this darkness, your characters reach into you more than ever before. They are no longer separate, your pain becomes their pain, and you seek revenge on her by tormenting them. An emotional torment by a thousand cuts of your pen, a thousand strokes of your keyboard.
You can’t help it, lets be honest, when she speaks you beg for more, when she doesn’t, you obsess, you hunt, you find. You search into the depths of your protagonist, tearing out his entrails, but all you find is his darkness. The darkness of humanity, the bleak realization that no person, written or raised, is pure. Their thoughts are out of your control, their motivations are their own. You haven’t written them, per se, you’ve enabled them. She’s written them, the pain of her absence has written them. When you wake up in the morning, however, there is no sinking sense of shame, not a droplet of guilt on your soul. You wake up wanting, needing her to come back. There is no such thing as shame, only pride. Last night, you wrote some of your best work. And if she comes back today, it will be better. If she doesn’t, well, it will be darker, pained, excoriating. Or you’ll be trapped. Relegated back to the prison of oxygen.
The thought of writing will terrify you.
The act will feel like needles between each of your vertebra.
But you’ll get out of bed anyway. At the very least, you can hope and wish she’ll be waiting for you at your desk. If she isn’t there, you’ll deal with it then, right? All that matters in this moment, is that you get out bed, and drain your mug of bitter coffee. Put yourself back down in that chair, and open that document. When the words are up, when yesterday’s success is gleefully before you, that’s when you’ll finally know. She’s here, isn’t she? You can feel her, as she’s sitting on your desk, staring into your eyes. She begins the conversation the same way every time, simple words, behind them, an entire world. It’s almost as though she does so unwittingly, teases out the information with her lips, a phrase here, a sentence there.
The synthesis, of course, happens only in your mind. She isn’t watching you, her eyes are on something else, her mind however, is utterly fixated by you. Her childish smile, childish exterior they are only a camouflage, beneath them, is hidden a much greater character. A much greater woman. I’m telling you things you already know, aren’t I? Because you need not taste her lips, you need not feel her skin, you need only to experience her. Dante knew this well with Beatrice, since the day she smiled at him, he could never have loved Gemma in the same way he loved Beatrice. And he was won, by a simple smile. Carroll may have felt the same about Alice, and yes, I still lament that their relationship is under scrutiny, because on thing is clear, she was his muse.
Perhaps, by now, you’ve experienced her. You’ve tasted her lips, her hand brushed against yours on the street, or she took you with a smile. Origins aren’t particularly important, because she’s with you right now. Her hands are on top of yours, guiding your movements, and the worlds behind such simple words have already begun to take shape. You’ve written a character in her likeness, elusive, beautiful, strong willed, loving. You do your utmost to capture her, not your idea of her but her. Yet, no matter how many times you write and rewrite, you always miss something, you can never do her justice, make her as perfect as she is. In someways, the words she gives you fail you. And so, you scatter her. She becomes your work, she becomes you. Each word of each novel, story, poem, is an attempt to perfect just one aspect of her. Over the course of your life, you’ll write and write, and if you’re lucky, if you’re good enough, you’ll capture her before you’re done.
You’ve fallen in love with her, with your muse.
You’re in love.