An excerpt from a bit of writing I did a while back and recently rediscovered…
Part of what I was writing in the text was that there is no difference for me between the Muse and the Spirit. Given the truth of that, I also had to step back and notice then how much more human the image of the Spirit had become to me. Or, really, I had to open up to the full possibility of the Spirit revealing herself in different ways all of the time. That by itself, I would readily accept. Symbols of the Spirit have long been diverse for me—wind, ocean waves, the changing morning skies in the various places I’ve lived, quiet, the stone in my pocket… But, if you ask me to describe my Muse… I’d say she wore glasses and loose fitting dresses with pockets, always with pockets.
She’s short, most of the time. And solid, quite there. She has a kind, penetrating, secure strength about her…and such tenderness too. The strength is used but never wielded. The Muse is fond of touch, not afraid of giving or receiving it. A hand on the cheek or shoulder, a brush with her skirts, and a lingering presence that is something like the wave of Spanish moss in live oak trees, the salty tang of sea air, the stillness of cathedrals from centuries past, and the feeling of cool clean sheets at night after a day of good work, all twined together.
She moves easily in her dresses… not making much sound except the slight jingle of whatever is in her pockets and the rub of buckle on leather on her knapsack. Oh…and when she laughs! Yes, when the Muse laughs, she rarely holds back. Actually, she never holds back. It’s a part of her being quite present, quite there.
She is generous with her quiet as well as her joy…sitting with me comfortably…her feet up, pen and paper in hand, or beads, or a book…or sometimes nothing, simply thinking, watching, noticing, a bird outside the window or the interesting shadows made by objects on the shelves. I think she naps sometimes too.
I asked her once what she kept in her pockets. She put her hand in and fished around a bit, murmuring something at the same time. When she withdrew and opened her fist, there on the palm of her hand was a fragment of seashell, a leather lace of royal blue glass beads, a coin, a feather, a bit of string, and a pencil sharpener. After a moment, in went the hand to the other pocket. She brought forth three sunflower seeds, a flask of water, a tiny globe, a small pouch of dirt, and a remarkably clean square of orange bandana. She didn’t offer any explanations. Just winked, actually, and began to hum as she replaced the contents of her pockets.