Everyone has a Muse in their life — a spirit guide, an angel, who nudges them forward; an invisible energy who inspires us to be something more than a slug on the couch watching TV or a potato chip-eating machine.
I have one friend who insists his guardian angel travels with him wherever he goes; I have another who contacts one spirit guide for meditation and a different one for balancing her checkbook. I know one woman who never leaves home without St. Christopher, and a fellow writer who swears he consults Shakespeare’s ghost every time he gets stuck writing his novel.
St. Christopher and Shakespeare are fine and dandy, but what do you do if your creative muse is an Irish Wench? The stories of leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day are bad enough, with their drunken rowdiness and stealing of gold for their pot at the end of the rainbow and all that. But what if your Muse turned out to be a woman with a heart as green as the Emerald Isle who hangs around with those drunken leprechauns?
A Muse is supposed to be your inspiration, your guide, through whatever creative endeavor you undertake. Venus inspired Michelangelo; Cleopatra inspired Marc Anthony, Athena inspired Odysseus. The original Muses were daughters of Zeus, who presided over the arts and sciences. It just so happens that my inspiration is a fiery Irish barmaid who comes complete with cleavage and clover.
She pops up at the most inopportune times, standing and dancing on my shoulder or steering wheel or computer, rattling off in thick Gaelic who knows what, hoping to jumpstart my creativity. Dressed in her flowing gauze dress with the girdle that pushes up her breasts in the most obnoxious manner, my little sprite demands attention right then and there. And I’d better stop and acknowledge her, or she will turn everything upside down.
For instance, one of my favorite short stories popped into my head while I was at work. The push to get this written came across loud and clear – write me now. Couldn’t my Muse have at least waited until lunchtime to rattle off her idea? I tried to stall my creativity until noon, but it only got worse. I’m sure some of my creative metaphors got mixed up in whatever I was typing.
Or how about the time that one of my book’s most romantic interludes hit me right in the middle of my son’s soccer game? It was pretty hard to make mental notes when I was screaming encouragements to his high school team. And what about the poem that hit me driving down the highway at 65 miles per hour? Or the full-blown idea of a murder mystery that hit me while I was mowing the lawn?
Don’t get me wrong – my little wench has brought me much pleasure through the years. She has encouraged me to write some really intense interactions and deeply emotional poetry. Her Wild Irish Rose attitude inspires me to write out of the box, to reach deep inside for feelings and fears that normally don’t see the light of day, and to let those feelings influence my writing.
But I have to admit her timing needs a little work.
I do appreciate her help ― I really do. But I have to teach her to work on her impulsiveness. There is a time and place for everything ― even inspiration. Great ideas often have to ferment in one’s psyche before they become full blown masterpieces. And there’s no doubt that you have your own muse dying to catch your attention. All you need to do is listen.
Now, if she could serve me one of those Irish brews as often as she jumped on my bandwagon…on second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea. If she served me beer as often as she demands attention, I’d be drunk before I started.