Saturday, November 21, 2009

Do Muses Have Muses?



I don't know about you. Or, for my Quaker friends: I don't know about thee. O.K., for my friends who live in antediluvian homes: I don't know about y'all. But my muse is skittish. Or maybe he's Yiddish. Come to think of it she might be Swedish.

Sigh. Someone said the difference between writers and non-writers is that writers find writing more difficult. Let's see... the difference between artists and non-artists is regular income.

"Hey! No negative self-talk!" I am told. Yeah, yeah. Or for my German friends, Yah,Yah.

Point is one day I was trying to find my muse; driving around town looking for someone to sketch, or something to write about. Sit. Sitting. Arch my back, roll my neck around. I'm ready. Anytime, lay it on me.

Nothing. Slack tide. Zippo. So there I am sitting in my car across from my favorite used book store in Port Townsend (William James Bookstore). As if writerly bravissimo might waft its way into my parched desert brain flats. And from the distance I hear, "chagoing, Chagoing, CHAGOING!!" getting closer and closer.

Down the sidewalk a gorilla on a pogo stick boinged by. I am not kidding. My mouth opened to call out, "Oh, Muse!! Over here, I've been waiting for you..." But then my decent inner civilian butted in, "This can't be real. Gorillas don't ride pogo sticks in this town. Don't you have work to do?"

"But." I said.

10 comments:

steven said...

hi richard - i believe you. i just wrote a piece about the conversations, dialogues, duologues, diatribes, monologues that go on in my mind. listen to them . . . . like you did!!! go boy! steven

Karin Corbin said...

I came around the corning one day and say my muses in a Viking dragon boat going down the street in Ballard. Who gave them permission to take the day off?

Like the rest of us they play hooky from work and sneak off for some fun and come back the better for it. Next time your muse goes missing don't chase after it, they don't want to be caught and they can be dangerous when cornered.

Kat_RN said...

Have you ever noticed how much the words "Muse" and "Mood" have in common? For all that, even when you did not feel inspired, I think you did a great job. I enjoy your work, or is it play? The writing on this blog and your pictures (I have not hunted out any of your books yet, though I keep telling myself I will) make me smile. So, if your muse is a gorilla on a pogo stick with a Yiddish accent, enjoy.

Kat (from the antediluvian antebellum).

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks Steven. I'll call you as a witness for the defense of the day dreamer.

I agree, Karin, that you can't chase your muse. Forget it. They are so gone if you try. But do they work? I assumed all they did was play hide and seek.

Kat, for the record, I am not sure if the gorilla was my muse, or simply a nut job. Or, in fact a gorilla on a lunch break. FYI, the first picture book which I illustrated was written by one of your own compatriots, James Dickey, titled: Bronwen, the Traw and the Shape-shifter.

Protege said...

Inspiration is a strange thing; it comes to us when we least expect it and it hides when we need it most.
;)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

That is so true, Zuzana. I guess we may try to coax it or just wait and act like we don't care...

Kate Higgins said...

Oh Richard what you saw was a Pooka! My Grand Da used to mention Pookas...he was Welsh/Irish. They might make good muses but their advice is not always great and sometimes it's confusing, but they usually mean no harm. I'm using a pooka right now to create a story. Good luck with yours!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi ya, Kate! Maybe I should have a talk with Grand Da. Pooka sounds a lot like hookah. This muse business is not what first meets the eye (or the other four windows of perception.

Suzanne Williams said...

"The difference between artists and non-artists is regular income." Ha-ha and ouch. So true. And since we're self-employed, we can't qualify for unemployment during the truly down times. Still and all, I prefer the life of a writer. :-)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Yes, Suzanne, I agree, the self employed are closer to the earth. And writers have their ear to the ground.