Kindling the Muse


It is nearly 7:30 in the morning, and it is still quite dark outside despite the snow and icestorm that is passing through. I have been up for several hours now, writing and studying music.

In other words, kindling the muse.

There is a song by James Taylor off of the New Moon Shine album called “Like Everyone She Knows,” and it struck me this morning at the right time. Here’s the point to the song:

Hold tight to your heart’s desire

Never ever let it go.

Let nobody fool you into giving it up too soon.

Tend your own fire.

Lay low and be strong.

Wait it out, let it come along.

These lyrics come to me at a time where I am returning to a simpler approach to life. I know this sounds crazy. Next week, I begin teaching a writing course in Howard County, and the following week the semester begins at Towson. My brother-in-law’s book comes out in a few months, and I’m preparing for my own official launch of my book, Cold Rock, in late March or April.

It seems like I should be forgetting all that muse stuff and that babble about simpler living, right? I need to be on autopilot and just push through these next sixteen weeks and survive. Isn’t that the right way to get through this craziness?

No. It’s not the right way at all.

I think that a return to the muse is the best way to stay focused, the best way to remain balanced through these busier times.

Writing and music touches the core of who I am. To lose contact with that core cannot be healthy for me (or for anyone else). It is through my strength, my connection to that higher spirit that I am able to do any of these things.

To abandon that now would be foolish in all ways.

So I am holding on tight to my heart’s desire. I am reconnecting with my muse and higher spirit through my own writing and music, and cherishing the simple joy and beauty it brings to my day.

The Gretsch G5120 Electromatic Hollowbody that I have pictured above is a beautiful guitar that I am looking at for late spring, early summer. Until then, I have an incredible acoustic guitar that I will play with daily, learning all I can, and reconnecting with my muse.

Playing guitar is the greatest complement to my writing for me; together, they open doors within me that I never knew existed. Through those open pathways, I find strength and balance to experience life fully, in the present.

But all I am doing is tending my own fire, laying low and being strong, and waiting it out.

The only way to letting it come along, come along. . . .

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