Oddments

In search of story


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May 22.21: Coping

Victor Herbert wrote songs for my parents’ generation, so I was raised with some of them. One, I think, he wrote especially for writers: “Ah, sweet mystery of life!”

Writers know the mystery of life is words. Mysteriously they come. Mysteriously they go. Who can understand?

I’ve been without words for a few weeks now. Total blank. Tabula rasa. Nada. Zip. I’ve started a few blog posts that were the undead of writing.

Meanwhile we’ve gone overnight from Too-Cold-To-Garden to Yikes-It’s-Suddenly-Summer-and-Get-Those-Plants-In-NOW! It’s been wonderful to take my dejected writer self to the dirt.

It used to be that digging in my dirt was about worms. Now it’s about cicadas. More, there’s a little bush in front festooned with their overcoats. Apparently a bunch of cicadas got together and decided to shed simultaneously, leaving their outsides dangling on my little shrub like so many crispy-looking ornaments. Ick.

That ghostly emptiness speaks to me. The writer is only an exoskeleton when she doesn’t have words, and the wind whistles through her as she dangles from some metaphorical shrub.

I know that my sadistic muse is nearby, smirking.

 


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January 10.20

This, dear reader, is a photo of my muse, morphed once again into something elusive. The size of a turkey, in a tree full of air, she either stupidly thinks she is hiding or sadistically revels in my awareness of her.

That is, therefore, where I am: in a tree full of air. No words. Nothing to say. I’ve been stuck, wordless, for over a week. I’ve tried many times, here, there, and everywhere, to summon a thought, a word. My muse is out there peering at me through barren twigs, with a look that says “What are you going to do about it?” She knows I can’t fly so I can’t get to her to turn her upside-down and shake some words out of her.

Behind those bright black eyes swirl endless sparkling metaphors, marching feet of iambic pentameter, sentences woven of wordsilk like brilliant tapestry. And my rotten muse is keeping all that to herself.