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Death of My Muse

Rodric Johnson is a husband and father first and an author as time permits. Enjoy his writings. They are a constant work for him to improve.

It was quiet. I sat before my computer screen typing away when I noticed there was no tug at my mind to take a thought and shelve it away for later to expand on. I thought nothing of it. I was busy typing away, refreshing one of my old stories with the nuances of what I had learned over the years from writing.

No, there was no concern that nothing new pulsed from my soul in a while because often my muse, my lovely, beautiful, soft, exciting, enthralling muse often took naps to renew herself. She often sat quietly waiting for me to notice her before she started picking at my brain or pushing words and ideas into my head.

I thought nothing of her silence. She is like that. She will wait days, even months before she would speak to me about something new to wrangle my mind around an idea. So, of course, I did not think anything of this lack of teasing that I noticed. She would always be there.

I went from one piece of old to another piece of old--the things that she had whispered to me before. I refreshed and re-worded improving on the wit of one thing or the explanation of another until drudgery caused my mind to numb into apathy. I closed out of my old works and began earnestly to listen for her to whisper into my soul the word of inspiration again.

No. There was nothing. Months passed. I missed her terribly and longed after her gentle embrace of my mind and her light caress of my intellect. I sought her out in places she would normally come--when I was reading Scripture or studying politics. Nothing. I remembered back to when she first entered my life as a young wisp of creativity. We would sit for hours creating small stories as I played with my toys or drew pictures. She helped with each one from the time I could remember.

I did not understand her to be anything other than my imagination. That's what the adults would call her, my active imagination. Where did she go, my muse? Is she gone? Can a muse leave? Or worse, can she die? Did my muse die? She... died?

death-of-my-muse

I closed out of my old works and began earnestly to listen for her to whisper into my soul the word of inspiration again.

No. There was nothing.

Denial

She was not dead! My muse was just sleeping. I have known her since we were mere cubs rolling in the dirt of imagination and through the grassy fields of possibility. There is no way that she would have disappeared from this plane of existence without me noticing something more than a lack of tugging at my soul strings. The music of her harp always sang something into existence in my heart and moved me to work!

This time would be no different. She would come carefully back into my soul followed by a streak of genius that would spawn new works, ideas, stories, and such. Just because she has never been gone for this long does not mean she will not return. So what if it has been over nine months since she has tickled my imagination with inspiration. My muse is just that way.

I went from one piece of old to another piece of old--the things that she had whispered to me before.

Anger

Why hasn't she spoken to me! This isn't like her to be absent for so long when so much is going on in the world. The elections, COVID... There is so much to write about and ruminate over for bursts of inspiration! I don't normally speak to my muse because of religious reasons, but she is pushing my hand! Why is she so silent! I'm thinking I should just give her a long talking to. Is it wrong to speak to her? I am so angry about this long absence.

Her Silence

Her Silence

All the jars of wine

In his life cannot contain

A drop of her inner beauty

So, he learnt to hold her hands

Knowing that her silence

Loves him loud

— Matthias Pantaleon

death-of-my-muse

I thought nothing of her silence. She is like that.

Bargaining

So, here is the deal. If you come back, I will never let a thought that passes through my mind for a story go unwritten. I figure that is why you have gone away so often for differing links of time. God knows that I need you now. I will never waste your gentle massages of my brain ever again if you give me a little tickle of inspiration right now.

death-of-my-muse

Denial

No, she isn't gone. I just haven't listened hard enough for the inspiration to come. I just have to open the blank screen and trust that the words will flow out.

Anger

Why can't I write anything? I don't need a muse in the first place. This all comes from my mind and I am just playing along with other writers to have a common theme for my strokes of writing genius. This is just an oversexualized fantasy based on Greek misogyny! I should be ashamed to let it go this far!

Bargaining

Okay, I will change my muse into a male that looks just like me. I will even change my muse into a pansexual transgender male if that is what it takes to get her, um, him back. What if that was what I did?

We would sit for hours creating small stories as I played with my toys or drew pictures. She helped with each one from the time I could remember.

Depression

Why won't you speak to me? Maybe I was never worth the time in the first place. Was it the last time I was wrong about a political view? Was I not true to the stroke of inspiration that came to me? Did I kowtow to the pressures of political correctness or did I speak too forthrightly about a subject where sensitivity should have prevailed?

Nothing is what I feel inside about writing anymore. The desire is fled. Worthless is what I am without my muse. Did you hear that Muse? I should never have attempted to write in the first place. How will I live without you?

Anger, denial, bargaining is just so stressful. I remember when it was all so simple. The floor was lava and the throw pillows were safe places to step. I remember when the clouds in the sky were different animals that we could ride off into adventure. I remember when we would play with other kids and I was Lex Luthor and my best friend was Superman in his backyard. We would take turns using his swing set to fly. I loved being Lex. Muse gave me so many ideas on how to stump my friend on who would win the day. We were five.

The wonderful thing about that time is that I did not know that Muse existed. She was just there one day. Just like I did not know she was there back then, I don't know if she is there now. She has not been here for quite some time. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. She came and enriched my life only to go away as unassuming as she appeared. Always, I will adore the streaks of inspiration she has brought to me in the past. I have them before me and am grateful ever to have been able to write and imagine them. Thanks, Muse for being my muse. Is this acceptance? Yes. I can accept that you might truly be gone forever. I am good with that.

What is that? Is that a tickle I feel to my brain? Muse, is that you? Are you there? Should I be more attentive to you? You never stopped giving me strokes of inspiration, you say? I just never listened, so you thought I was dead. Me? You haven't been able to inspire me for almost a year! Where was I!

Oh, Muse...

© 2020 Rodric Anthony

Comments

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 01, 2020:

Zulma, you are right. Now that my muse is back, I have already started to revert told behavior. I decided to write in my journal to avoid this. I just have to keep up the practice.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on October 23, 2020:

Exasperated? Perhaps. But the reality is she never left you and never will. She probably just needed to rethink her strategy on how to reach you.

I love that you took the time to really see her. That should make it easier to recognize when she's trying to inspire you.

Enjoy your day.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 22, 2020:

Ruby, thanks for the kind words. As long as we have a mind to write, our muse has to be around somewhere.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 22, 2020:

Thanks for reading Bill. I need to get situated with taking your writing class. I have been so off with everything happening in life. I need to email you.

You inspired me to write about my muse. I was reading a comment that you made on someone else's article. I don't remember where, and it started me to thinking about what inspires me to write. I have to honestly say, you inspire me to write. You are not my muse, but I get encourage each time I read your words. That is the truth!

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 22, 2020:

Zulma, I thought about what you wrote while I was writing this piece. I mourned for real! I thought she was gone. Bill inspired me to write the piece when he spoke about his muse. I started thinking about my muse giving her a personality and personification. I realized she was there in the end. I am pigheaded and don't listen sometimes. That poor muse is probably exasperated.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 21, 2020:

Your muse was sitting right by your side as you wrote this beautiful piece. I know the feeling, my muse left without saying " goodbye. "

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 21, 2020:

Even a muse needs a vacation, dude! I'm with Zulma - this was a delightful read, my friend. We've all been there.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on October 21, 2020:

This was such a delightful read. You mourned the passing of your muse yet she inspired you to write this.

Clearly, she hadn't left. She was just whispering so softly you couldn't hear her above the cacophony of everyday living. I'm pleased you heard her.

Enjoy your day.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 20, 2020:

Pamela, I am so glad you love the article. I thought it was a good take to truly indicate that my muse is like have a relationship with a friend that grows over time. I believe inspiration can only come if it is sought after. A muse needs to be sought out, I determine in order to stick around. In other words, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you and such.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 20, 2020:

Ivanna, you are kind. I wanted to write some more about it, but I remember reading a comment about letting the reader determine some of the meaning of what is written helps to build a connection. I think I am going to try that in my new writing instead of having to control the entire universe of the things that I write.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 20, 2020:

John, thank you. I am going to listen to my muse. I have put so much on hold due to one thing or the other and finding the inspiration to write again after so long is important.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 20, 2020:

I really love this article. You are even trying to bargain with your muse, which probably does not work. I am so gladyour muse returned at end after all that agony and I will look forward to what your muse produces next, Rodric.

Ivana Divac from Serbia on October 20, 2020:

This is really great. You described the whole process of losing your muse and finding her again, and you did it brilliantly.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 20, 2020:

Roderick, I am so glad your muse finally returned. Now don’t stop listening to her/him/it. This is such a well-written piece.