“Read yer blog the other day,” she said, smiling, wiping the kitchen table off.
“Oh? Great! Which one?”
“The whinneh one.”
I should have been upset, but how can you be upset at your truthful conscience?
“Whiny? Why was it whiny?”
“A lotta ‘I wants’ and “I’ canna haves’. And no solution. What kenna blog is that?”
I sat straighter in my chair, watching her bend over a drop of gravy and start to scrape it. “Hey! All bloggers get down now and then. It’s part of the creative process!”
“Aye, and a lotta bees sting people when they’re nah looking, too. And they still manage to make the honey.”
I had to see where this was going and fast.
“Well, I didn’t see it as whining. I saw it as voicing the universal truth of too much to do and not enough time to do it all.”
“Nay — the ‘Universal Truth’ is more like ‘Leave your dog inside too long and he’s bound ta poop somewhere.’ That’s why you need a calendar, lass.”
“I already have a calendar at work. And it’s packed full.’
“Do you get everything done on the calendar?”
“Well, duh. It’s work.”
“Then, my darlin’ writer, you need a calendar at home, too. A Grand Poobah Calendar.”
Tickle me with an oak leaf. That’s how much sense she made. “A calendar I get. But a Grand Poobah Calendar? What is that?”
Viola finished scraping the drip and headed towards the crack between the leafs. A dangerous area. “The term is from one of those operas. The Poobah has all the titles and ‘na much else.”
I didn’t get what that had to do with me and my whining…er…woes.
“If ya canna make time in your head, write it down. Make the time on the calendar,” she explained, pulling out a butter knife to scrape the caverns between leafs.
“But that means I’d have to be — organized! How can a pretzel be organized?”
She shook her head between grunts. Must have been extra crumbs down the crack.
“How does the Gran’ Poobah get things done? Too many titles, too little authority. At least if he writes the bloomin’ things down he can see what he wants to do first. And he can pretend to do everything, even if everything is 5 or 10 minutes a day.”
Well, that made sense. I helped her scrape the bread crumbs out of the crack and she smiled her little Irish smile.
“You’ve just got to know how to do a calendar, luv. Jam them with all sorts of rot. Then when you start the day, start crossin’ off. Lines through rot are good for the soul! Makes you pick and choose your rot!” She spit on a slide of old milk. ” You know, I may be a muse but I’ve got other ‘tings I have to do too. I canna babysit you all the time. ”
I nodded sheepishly.
“I’m yer creative Muse, ya know. A lot of work goes into finding projects for you and fillin’ your head with ideas and suggestions. Makes my brown beer turn green half the time!”
“Well,” I said, “you know I love your company. And your ideas. I wish I would have listened to you 20 years ago, before I had grandkids.”
She threw out a hearty laugh. “Darlin’ 20 years ago you had your own kids, and were just as busy! and 20 years before that! Where do you think all that stencillin’ you did at the B&B came from? Or those sky space paintings from yer youth? Or that story you wrote about you and that English guitar player — Paul? Or that story about the beep bopin’ alien growning his own…”
“I get it. I get it. Make a calendar. Put it all down. Bring your plans out of the 4th dimension in to this 3rd dimension so I can get a handle on it and do a little bit of everything instead of none of a lot. I get it.”
Viola nodded and stood. She was beautiful — green eyes, full figure, Irish brogue and all.
“Donna forget — I’m riding up to the cabin with you this weekend. I’ve got a great idea for a poem! Oh, and my sister from Italy is comin’ too! She noticed you have a bare wall downstairs, and she’s oh-so-up with Italian Frescoes!”