My muse comes in various forms, but seems to prefer when I’ve a set list of sorts.
I’m lucky for this break within the walls of my motherly mind. For, minding my I’s and chatting up them t’s always feels like Thanksgiving dinner to my tum, releasing a flood of endorphins through the veins of my body. Some choose exercise to gain clarity. Some choose baking. Some choose crocheting and some choose painting. Writing chose me. And writing while listening to a certain set of songs seems to unleash the most profound amount of positive energy–albeit my stories are dark, at times.
Habitually I write with tunes playing, surrounded in smells of my babe who has just left my arms to lie down for a nap. Lavender, rosemary, and spilt milk linger ’round as does the unsightly beast of clothes and dishes roaring to be dealt with. A recent afternoon offered a feast for all of my senses. This noon day found me atop a metal stool centered in a tattoo parlor. The location, the sights of fresh colors juxtaposed with thin streaks of blood, the sounds of armature bars and the barred needle grouping pushing the ink, were most unfamiliar. And yet I felt as comfortable as if in my own shoebox house.
Within the parlor, each key of my keyboard connected to my skin, an extension of my fingers like the shiny diamonds some women apply to the tips of their fingernails. And before I could control myself, I was swaying in my writerly seat, looking half-crazed. I played each key of my laptop in time to The Black Keys blaring behind a cacophony of needlework and people talking, laughing.
As music often does, I was soon no longer in the parlor but traveling back to my office at university. I so adored The Black Keys muse-ish tendencies, then. I even added them to a set list for my students in hopes it would get them writing and thriving to do more with their time spent in their writerly seats.
I’m talking of the transcendence where the brain no longer controls one’s motions. For writers, a romance with words can then occur–words and stories you’ve courted for ages form with ease. The screen and its illuminated conclusion are no longer relevant. The mind is no longer at the forefront pushing and choking you along to the next declarative narrative arch. This is the purest self I have come to know, and yet I had lost it for some time. Alas, this occurs with most pure elements, so I should not seek or fret that it presents itself rarely, and only for a little while.
It is my hope that you, the working mom, the stressing step-father, the graduate, can find such an olive branch in your day-to-day. Be it writing, running, or candle-stick making. Next time you have a go at it, let me know what your set list is, if you’ve one at all. Whatever you choose, just do it, and aim to do it well.