My Muse is Social Distancing From Me

She is refusing to come out of quarantine, but I am going forward with or without her

What happened to the me that was writing, writing, writing? The me who had stories to tell, wisdom to impart, experiences to share? Where is the me that would wake up in the middle of the night with a story idea, or two or three, and have to get up and write them down lest they be lost?

It seems that part of me is taking the social distancing orders seriously, and has now left to hole up somewhere until it’s safe again to come out.

As the world has been stunned by the shock and awe campaign of a virus, she has retreated as far into her safe space as she can. But I need her to come out. I miss her.

Before the world shifted and creaked and made horrid scraping noises (remember the Titanic movie?) she was sure she knew what was what, and felt like she was getting this thing called life figured out. She had been battered and bruised but had begun to see the lessons in her life, and felt they were important enough to share.

Now, when I try to coax her out she shouts at me, “What do I have to say that could possibly matter to anyone?” She pouts like a petulant three year old, and pulls herself deeper into her hole. Leave me be, she says. Who cares anyway?

Well, I do. How will I tell the world what it’s like to be me during a scary and uncertain time?

How will I encourage others to make sure they are watching the sky, putting their hands in the soil, paying attention to the birds — maybe for the first time in their lives?

How will I say, with the gentleness of a mother — and someone who knows — this too shall pass? It won’t always be like this. We are going to make it through and I am here if you need me to help you.

How will I say there is always sorrow in a life? Things rarely turn out the way you planned. But even so there is joy — oh, so much joy.

Where will the words come from that will say I am hoping for a better world? That I am both afraid, and cautiously optimistic that my grandchildren will have a safer, kinder, more equitable world in which to live their lives?

I guess I will have to do it on my own. I am ready to put myself on the page again, and if my muse refuses to show up to help me, I will just do what I have been doing my whole life — I will do it myself. I am stubborn that way.

When she sees my determination, maybe, just maybe, she will decide she wants in on the page. Maybe she will see that she can’t leave me, a mere mortal, to stumble along alone trying to say things that matter. I hope so. Oh, how I hope so.

But she better hurry up because I’m already one step ahead of her.

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there.

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