Muses

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“I can only seem to compare things to the ocean and the rain.”* How true that is for me also. The original author of the quote was melancholy, but my thoughts are not always as sad. Like the ocean, I am full of energy. Stirred up, lustful, and confident. Occasionally reckless. Alive. And sometimes the comparison serves to capture the enormity of the answer, not just the question. Does my skin taste like salt? I think it might.

The ocean and the rain are worthy muses for a writer. And I admit that when I am at peace, the words don’t flow as easily. They don’t absolutely need to get out the way the sad ones do. Joy does not rely on me for expression, and it doesn’t burrow in. I hold on to sadness and angst sometimes for that reason, because joy doesn’t need me in the same way. Joy bubbles and bursts and then there is a reassuring calm until it builds again. It’s self-governing—that’s just the way joy works. Maybe I need to work harder to capture it. Maybe it doesn’t turn me on in the same way. That’s a big admission.

As the ocean’s counterpart, rain dampens the brashness I feel, rinsing off the salt and nurturing roots that help me steady myself. Rain offers the ultimate do-over, so who wouldn’t use it as a metaphor. It washes away whatever happened on the beach, where the ocean’s energy may have taken over, where the muses sit and wait.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladytaz

*Daniel Mack Replogle said this first. I loved this sentence on his blog, and it inspired this entry.

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