Last night I started reading a thread on one of the forums over on Scribophile titled Describe your muse. I haven’t stopped to sit and think about how I would answer this today … but about 10 years ago I wrote a piece titled “She” … and in my mind “She” is my muse. I didn’t think that was the right place to post this, so … I will post it here. 🙂
I thought she had abandoned me, but then I heard a whisper, caught a scent, glimpsed from the corner of my eye a darting shadow … and I realized She hadn’t left me. I have been neglecting her.
She is always with me. You can see her if you try. Look, over there. She practically lies in the chair, her body relaxed; claiming the space with a sensual casualness that simply says … she belongs.
She has a glass of lemonade in her hands. She always drinks lemonade. She says that the experience of the tart sting on the tongue, softened by just-barely-enough sugar perfectly matches the sensation of life on the soul.
I am so used to her that I hardly notice the faint scent of vanilla and cloves that lingers in the air around her. I can move through the room, through my life for weeks at a time without even glancing at her. She doesn’t seem to mind. I swear it is out of sheer impetuousness that she will shift – casually stretching out a leg just to watch me stumble, to shake things up for me. Somehow my boring, my mundane, it sustains her. I think it is because she can hardly comprehend either concept for herself. She is never boring, and never mundane.
While I am hard at work she sits and stares out the window daydreaming of adventures passed, or future … or maybe only imagined. There is no melancholy in her far off gaze; only, maybe, a touch of yearning. I wonder at the hunger that seems to lay eternally coiled in her belly.
How can anyone be at once so settled, comfortable, easy; and also be so vivacious, high-spirited, voracious?
When the inspiration becomes too great she moves, like a lithe and stalking panther, out of her chair and into my path.
Sometimes I think that she is my phantom lover, that her hunger bubbles up and spills out of her, infecting me, leaving me full of that conflicted want and satiation. I wonder if you can see her circling me, weaving her spell like some Pagan Priestess. I wonder too if you won’t get caught somehow in the spell.
We dance, she and I, and I sweat vanilla and cloves. My kisses taste of lemonade. Perhaps, if you are lucky, you will reap the rewards of our toil. I wonder if you see her, if you know that she is there?
And when I vacuum or dust or drive to work … are you aware of her there in the corner lounging so casually and watching us? I’ll bet … now that you know, you will see her if you try; sparkling eyes, ice clinking in her lemonade, innocent lovely mirth as she shifts casual and comfortable, stretching out a leg, the subtle scent of vanilla and cloves lingering around her.