30 January 2006

The Fickle Muse

Sunday morning, cold winds blew across the barren brown heath that our city's parks become in January. Cheeseman Park, often brimming with activity, was abandoned to a few dogs and their guardians. The streets were still. And, the well was dry.

Every morning I wake up brimming with ideas. Those that don't make it into this blog, end up in my leather bound journal, on my hard drive, on the backs of business cards, or simply stewing until they are ready to be used. Every evening, the race is on to find the glints of insight hidden in some off the beaten track set of government statistics or journal abstract list, and the inevitable call of sleep. Well, most of the time anyway.

Sunday wasn't like that. It was like being in an unsettling horror move ("The Forgotten" comes to mind) where everything looks similar but something is missing. The idea factory had shuttered its doors. On Sunday, I woke up, and the ideas were simply gone. Completely. Poof. I looked, I observed and I saw nothing, thought nothing.

Fortunately, I don't blog for a living. I could function as an attorney perfectly well without having more than one new idea every week or two. Indeed, I know many excellent attorneys who never do. I interviewed once with a fellow whose office is at Exposition and Colorado Boulevard who does nothing but real estate closings, day in and day out, ten and twelve hour days. He takes the paperwork with him when he goes to his condo in Vail, skiing a few hours in the morning and then returning to the grindstone for the rest of the day. He put off his honeymoon off for a year because he was too busy. The least unusual twist produces a referral to someone else. A boundary dispute, refer it out. An easement question, refer it out. An unresolved lien, refer it out. He does nothing but plain vanilla, residential real estate transactions in large subdivisions all day long. I am sure that he is a wealthy man, that he makes very few mistakes, and that he provides his clients a good value for their money, while maintaining the highest level of professional ethics. But, I could never have that kind of practice.

Waking up with the muse departed is absolutely terrifying. The usual kicks in the pants to the creative faculties, like reading, the newspaper, and other small comforts were useless. Indeed, I could barely move myself to even look at the front page. I couldn't move myself to care. I didn't have a fever, didn't feel ill, didn't seem notably afflicted in any other way, but my wife suggested that I was probably coming down with something, and I slept away the afternoon, despite having had exceptionally good evenings of sleep both of the previous evenings. Today, the muse has returned from this mysterious vacation and all is well. But, I can relate to someone who makes their living writing and then suddenly sees their muse depart not just for a day, but for weeks or months.

3 comments:

Michael Ditto said...

Even the muse needs a weekend once in a while!

Elaine said...

Maybe your muse thought she deserved a break after 1000 posts.

tovah said...

a quiet moment in Cheesman can help (much mellower than Wash Park) and I am happy to live 4 blocks away from it.