Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Return of the Muse

October 30, 2010

The creative process is often a mystery to me. I’d like to understand it on a deeper level, but I have this sense of it that says it’s best not to examine it too closely or it will cease to function. What I do know is, in the context of my own creativity, external stress damps it down to a virtually non-functioning level.

It’s an unfortunate fact of our society – a person is expected to want to climb the ladder of success. Whether you’re successful or not, you MUST want it. You must buy into the grind.

Okay – define success.

I’ve spent my working life taking steps up the ‘corporate’ ladder, only to discover I’m really a writer. The older I get, the more I realize that while my day job(s) have certainly provided me with the means to live comfortably, the daily nine-to-five grind has exacted a toll.

Perhaps I’m simply tired, having once again lived through the yearly process of setting the corporate budget for the new year. Ten years ago, it took two weeks, start to finish, to get all those involved to sign off on the budget, and move on. Yea! Success! Let’s all get back to work and do some good in our community.

This year, it took two long, whine-filled, miserable, argumentative months.

It’s been awhile since I fervently wished women ruled the world, but after dealing with so many little boys wearing fancy suits and scuffed shoes, I’m there again. Be careful what favors you need, fellas. I’m not in the mood to share my meager departmental resources.

And while things worked out favorably for my little niche in the operations, my heart longs for something else. It cries for the comfort of my home office. The quiet. The serene view of golden leaved trees through the windows, instead of the blur of cars cruising the streets. My dog sleeping behind my chair as the prose flows from my fingertips. The real me. The writer.

It’s all behind me for another year, but I mourn the loss of two months writing time. The muse, if you want to call it that, flees when stressed. It’s not a good thing. She controls more than writing. She’s that part of me that goes around the house ‘fluffing’ things, that knows how to rearrange the furniture, what new recipe to try, and how to string a new bead necklace in the perfect color combination. When she vanishes, there’s not much going on inside.

But you know what? Maybe she’s a smart muse. Maybe she needs a little vacation from time-to-time. With the stress behind me (or is it us?) she’s back, and she brought a truckload of ideas with her. It’s pretty evident this October morning that instead of hiding, she was merely resting quietly, giving me the space I needed handle outside affairs.

The words once again flow, birthed somewhere deep inside that well of creativity that constantly astounds me. Why I was given such a gift is a mystery, one I can be thankful for even if I don’t understand everything about it.

But then, maybe I’m not supposed to understand it. Maybe I’m supposed to simply enjoy it for the gift it is.


Melissa Bradley said...

Amen KC. Glad to hear that your Muse has returned and your wonderful words and ideas have started flowing once again. I hear you, though, when my Muse is quiet, she is dead silent and no amount of praying, wishing, hoping, etc. seems to work.

KC Kendricks said...

It's scary when the muse goes quiet. I worry she won't come back, but so far she's been right on schedule. Things at work get resolved, and it's like a floodgate opens.