“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Of starflowers & vacationing muses

My muse has skedaddled.

Muses not having to pay for gas or airline tickets or even having to worry about packing, makes it so easy for them to just whmmppfff - be gone one morning when you awaken, and it doesn't really seem fair, but sometimes I think they just want to see what we'll do without them. My muse being a bird, I pay quite a bit of attention to any flutter of wings outside - which meant that I saw a robin this weekend, perched on a bare limb in the catawba tree, and my heart gave a little happy leap, even though spring isn't here, because robins are such a good omen, and later I saw several robins together, discussing where they'd been the last few weeks, and questioning each other as to whether this was a good place to stay for the next little bit - apparently deciding no, they'd find somewhere an oonch warmer, for I've not seen them since. I've looked for birds hiding in unlikely places (as muses are so prone to do), but alas, mine seems to have really left me to my own devices, and is no doubt on a beach somewhere, soaking up some sun, and pondering whether she should return or not, and perhaps deciding she, too, will wait until it's warmer, wondering if I will do anything without her by my side.

It is hard. I feel no great inspiration, but maybe in the muses's absence, one is just supposed to keep taking steps, just keep typing or painting or taking pictures, and not expect anything great, just keep doing. Henry Miller once said that not everything he wrote was a masterpiece, that the grocery list was just a grocery list. So off into Mary's garden I went, camera in hand, nothing beckoning me - in fact, the whole place seemed quite depressing; where the cannas were is now just a spot of brown leftovers, the wisteria just bare vines, hydrangea bushes empty & brown, brown, brown. It is definitely winter, and despite the green grass & sweet olive tree & blooming camellias . . . wait, there is green grass, there is the sweet olive tree, there are blooming camellia trees, pink & white, and full of bees - sometimes 3 or 4 to a blossom. There are a few paperwhites, and more to come. They will be followed by daffodils - I can see them pushing their way through the leaves. And the leftovers from this past summer and fall aren't without some charm - the little star flowers above, for instance, reminded me of a pair of earrings my mother had when I was a little girl.

So lesson learned, little muse.
You can come back now.
the startling reality of things is my discovery every single day ~ F Pessoa


  1. I think when one muse leaves, then another one can't be too far behind?

  2. What a beautifully inspired piece of writing. Your muse is somewhere close by, perhaps in the night, like a Gossamer fairy ~ but instead of keeping nightmares away, she's dusting you with creativity. That's actually a nice image. :)

    I like your blog so much! ~Cindy

  3. Winter is a hard time for me too. I moved to the Pacific Northwest when I got married, and I've never adjusted to the winters here--in fact, each one is more difficult than the last. Last year things were so bad I had recurring nightmares that I was trapped, snowbound, in a house while howling wolves circled outside. So this year, when we had 5' of snow already piled up before the New Year, I was sure I'd go insane. But I haven't. I've been out with my camera, determined to find beauty, something to love in this harsh season. And even though I've still had some grumbles and some blues, I have also been surprised by how much brightness I have found just by looking for it.

    ...wow, that was really long. sorry for talking your ear off! Anyway, I'm sure you will find your muse again. =)

  4. my muse has wandered off somewhere, too! i almost did a post on how uninspired i've felt the last few days, but then decided to dig up a creative project from the past, and plow through another i'm ready to be done with. if your muse shows up, perhaps you can ask if it's seen mine...

  5. Wonderful that you found hope for spring and in his absence. I am sure he will be back soon and with him he will bring spring flowers and warm sunshine.

  6. Seems to me that your muse hasn't left! The dead aster you spied has been elevated to an object to behold!

  7. Tango - Oh I hope this one comes back! She's been very, very good to me. But if she chooses to retire & send a cousin to take her place, I will happily go along with
    the new plan. :)

    Cindy - That's a wonderful image! Thank you!

    Amy - Oh, I think that's the way I, too, would feel. I am just such a baby about cold weather. When the temperature drops into the 20s here, you should see me! :) But, as you've found, there is magic out there if you just look - I think, as native Texans, we just have to look harder! LOL!

    A Square Peg - Maybe our muses know something we don't. Well, wait - of course they do, that's not what I meant! If mine shows up, I'll ask for yours, and ditto for me?

    Suvarna - If my muse returns with sunshine & warmth, all will be forgiven! :)

    Paula - As I emailed you, I had no idea this little thing was an aster, and am sticking by my story that it's a starflower! LOL! Perhaps my muse actually resides in the place /fact where I am just ignorant of the proper names for things.

    :) Debi

  8. You know that game where one puts ones hands over the eyes of a very young child and say "where is it, where is it" and then remove your hands and say "there it is" ?

    Your muse seem to be in a playful mood.

  9. Hele - Yes, I'm sure that's it, because sometimes I sense her hovering about. Naughty thing!

    :) Debi

  10. Maybe many muses have conspired to vacation together...mine has disappeared as well!
    But..you saw bees! That is a true hope of spring and new things.


  11. Jaime - And so many bees! Big fat ones!

    :) Debi


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