Sunday, January 4, 2015
The Gift of the Muse
This was my blooming Christmas cactus in the kitchen window, 2011. Now there are two, thanks to David and Connie
GIFTS IV. May 25, 2014
Inspiration from outside one’s self is like the heat in the oven. It makes passable Bath buns. But inspiration from within is like a volcano. It changes the face of the world. Alan Bradley in The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag.
We also rightly speak of intuition or inspiration as a gift. As the artist works, some portion of his creation is bestowed upon him. The Gift. Lewis Hyde.
Volcano isn’t the image I’d have chosen.
It’s more like a silent companion. You
forget it’s there until it begins humming,
and you can’t write the words fast enough.
I have compared it to metal heating up
so that it becomes pliable; to a musical
flow when the tune gallops. It’s always
a surprise even when it has happened
many times before. Unpredictable even
if you do create rituals to encourage it to
visit once again. Then, afterwards,
hard to believe. Is what I’ve written true?
Do I think this? Yet I’ve never known
that deeper place whence words spring
freely into my mind to lie. I have to
run to keep up with my own revelations.
Not a bad thing. I didn’t want life to
be easy. I wanted to leave some mark,
some words valued when I’m no longer
here, some gift that others want to keep.
The new young teller at my bank
tells me she liked the poem I left.
This, too, I never expected. She
read how my Deep Self guides me,
and I follow even when bewildered.
Those words didn’t roll off her. They
soaked in. A gift to me. People
don’t tell me all they feel, but I do
receive back new gifts when I give
my gifts away.