Musemother: We believe in promoting rest and creative loafing to coax the muse from out of hiding. What do you do to call the Muse?
I am my own Muse. When I take really good care of myself, my Muse, my creative voice, is rich, fertile and brimming with life. Taking really good care of myself means I am well rested. That I let myself end my day at a decent hour, sip tea and read for a while then fall asleep so I can get 8 hours. I love getting up early and have often fantasized about getting up, like Harriet Beecher Stowe would, and write in the hours when my kids are asleep. I just don’t operate that way. I need sleep.
I love to be outside. I garden. I hang my wash on a cloth rope out in my yard. I get my self outdoors every single day to let nature make her mark on me because that fuels me.
I meditate. I believe to be true what my friend Judith Prest says in her poem “When I am Quiet”:
When I am quiet,
I hold and am held
in holy silence.
my capacity for wonder.
I read poetry. I memorize poems so I can bring them out to suck on like root beer barrels when I need some rapturous sweetness.
I do a daily writing practice, what Julia Cameron calls ‘daily pages’. I did them long before I read “The Artist’s Way” and I still do them. It keeps my writing voice warm and ready to speak.
I clear things with my husband. I take time to nurture this relationship. I am fortunate to have married a man who chooses to work at home in our attic. This means we have a pocket of time together after the kids have gone to school when we can talk over our thoughts, plans for the day, concerns, dreams or whatever is on our minds before we enter our work days. I am fortunate in many other ways to have married Jonathan, but this simple fact makes the space for us to support and love each other in very current fresh ways.
I doodle. I make small collages in my collage-a-day books. I make mail art and for over five years have collaborated making mail art with my art partner Karen Arp-Sandel. This is another long chapter about my creative life which I can tell you another time, but, no matter where I am in the world, I can always make a piece of mail art that captures where I am and mail it off to her. This collaboration keeps my Muse very very happy.
That is an excerpt of the interview I did with Jennifer Boire of Musemother.
Today, as I complete a huge project for my daughter’s class and am completely immersed in making their yearbook, I rely on these words as a reminder that every single creative act nourishes my Muse.
My Muse is fat and happy.
So is my pal Jenny Laird’s. As one of the authors featured in the premiere of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ Jenny opened her heart, her life and her writing to an audience who took her in, every drop. Jenny has the capacity to make you weep and laugh almost simultaneously about things you really didn’t think could be funny.
She also, as a friend, stands as a Beacon of Light. While Jenny and her family navigate the rocky shoals of autism together with their gorgeous son, she also offers the people who she loves- including a group of writers who receive her writing prompts like kids take a lollipop- a sort of luminous, articulate and fully blossomed love. I don’t know if it is her intuition as a woman, her vision as an artist, or her vigilant attention as a mother, but when Jenny shows up, currents shift, a breeze picks up, the terrain is altered by her love.
These are a pair of earrings she made for me in honor of ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’.
I had to share them with you here.
And remind you that your acts of friendship and of loving, however diminutive or grand, have seismic impact.
Go ahead and love somebody full out today.
Like Jenny has with me, you will right someone’s faltering ship and put him or her back on course.