Writers and artists will tell you that the Muse visits at the most unpredictable times. It is all too true. Most often, my Muse visits in the wee hours of morning before dog or human is up. Or, she comes wistfully whispering lines of poetry or prose as I am tooling down the highway with no place to stop.
As a young student, writing was assigned an hour a day by the my teachers. The idea of Muse, or inspiration, or creativity somehow escaped their drive to "teach" us to write. I remember the exasperation one of my instructors had when after an hour of sitting with blank sheet and pen in hand, not so much as a scratch had been placed on the paper. "But Sister," I said, "I just don't feel inspired." You can imagine the response I got!
Funny, all those years ago, I had been told I would never be a "real" writer, whatever that is. Fortunately for me, I had a mother who believed that if you put pen to paper linking words in a way that informs, entertains, encourages or illuminates, you are a writer. My identity as a writer has never suffered from others inability to see my creativity.
Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist wrote, "It is often said that thekey to success is knowing what you want, but I think, rather, that the key to sucess is daring to want what good sense tells you that you cannot have." Good sense told me that a kid from the projects of Boston did not become a writer, or a teacher, or a lot of other things. But, I believed from age five that I was a writer. Therefore, I am.
This morning at dawn, I was awakened by a cacophone of bird song. Louder than my alarm clock, the birds, and my Muse woke me with the following words tumbling from my semi-conscious mind.
The collective call
Shatters the somatic silence
As the first rays of fiery radiance
Slip stealthily over the mountain top.
Morning splendor mounts the starry void,
Bringing dawn bashfully down into the valley.
© 6/29/07 Linda Rhinehart Neas
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