Thursday, April 16, 2009

Can This Creativity Be Saved?

She was sitting by my desk when I walked in, her violet cotton skirt barely brushing the hardwood floor. I pulled up my office chair, and sat down beside her. I could tell she was miffed about something, so I decided to bluff my way in with cheerfulness.

“Ready to get to work?”

“No.” She sniffled, then turned back to stare out the window.

“Aw, c’mon, what’s wrong?” I edged my chair closer.

“You never take me anywhere,” she pouted. “It’s always work, work, work with you.”

I leaned in with my best come hither smile. “C’mon, baby, you know you’re the only Muse for me.”

She turned back to face me, her pale eyes brimming with tears.

“I have needs, too,” she said. “What about my needs?” She pulled out a book hidden in the folds of her skirt.

Aw crap, she’s been reading again. I take the book and look through the pages. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Well, at least she’s not watching Oprah. Yet.

“She says that you need to take me out once in a while.” She pointed at the book. “An artist date, like when we first met.”

“I remember,” I said dreamily. “You couldn’t keep your ideas off me.” An odd thought crosses my mind. “Just how many books do you have stuffed in that skirt?”

She pouted again. “You won’t be finding out anytime soon. Articles, poems, books, stories…I have a lot to give. I’ve got some really great original stuff in this imaginary outfit. I could just go out and find another writer, one who will take care of me.”

I sigh. I need this Muse too much to lose her to some uninspired hack. If she leaves, I will be that hack.

“Okay, go make yourself creative, we’re going out.”

The Muse giggled and clapped her hands. “This is going to be so much fun! I’ll be right back!”

“Do me a favor,” I say as she twinkles out of sight. “Leave the skirt. You know what it does for me.”

That was two weeks ago. Now, she sprinkles ideas on me every day like candy. The perfect words, the best phrases…all mine. I just have to take her out on the town every now and then, let her go wherever she wants to go. And boy, does that Muse have some exciting notions. Thanks, Ms. Cameron. You’re the best Muse Counselor we’ve ever had.