Conversation with a Muse

Calliope_by_Joseph_FagnaniJust start writing!” Calliope insisted. “Write about anything! I will help you.”

“But I just don’t have the time,” I wailed. “I am swamped at work in a never ending cycle of reports, spreadsheets, and budgets. I don’t get home until night and I hardly see my children!”

“You can do it,” she urged.

“But I haven’t even had the time to exercise!”

I begged and pleaded with her. “It’s not that I don’t have ideas to write. I just don’t have the time right now to get them all down on paper!”

But my pleadings fell on deaf ears and the muse ordered me to get to work.

And so I gave in and put pen to paper… erm, fingers to keyboard…

I wrote about my personal issues – the guilt I feel from not spending enough time with my children, the guilt I feel from not calling my mother every week, unreconciled marital conflict still festering in my brain for the past 6 years, will I ever get the monetary recognition I deserve at work? When will I lose those 20 25 30 lbs?

Letter Writing - Guercino_-_Persian_Sibyl

I wrote about worthless wishes – I wish I’d spent more time with my grandmother while she was still alive. I wish I’d taken the time to mourn my own losses. I wish Diez had forgiven me before he passed away.

I wrote about life’s challenges waging war for dominance in my mind – my daughter’s disability and how will she survive the teen years into adulthood? Will she ever make friends – just one? Will people take advantage of her? Will she ever listen to me? What will happen to my son? Will he ever listen to me? When will they both learn that life is neither easy nor simple? Will they have to confront racism? Sexism? Will I have a proper social life again? Will I ever truly be happy again?

Years of frustration and hurt and worry and bottled emotions flowed freely from my brain to my fingers and on to the page. Fear, disappointment, resignation. Realization that I’m halfway through my lifetime when every headache feels like a brain tumor and every palpitation feels like a heart attack. A life ever unfulfilled with the potential to have done so much more with less…hindrances…perhaps. I’m always so hard on myself. These are natural thoughts, I tell myself. It’s not so bad.

Then I stopped writing.

The Muse Calliope seemed satisfied at my efforts and decided I’d done enough. She thanked me for my time and wished me well and promised to return whenever I needed her assistance. Whether I called for her or not.

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