Sometimes I wonder what it is, exactly, that makes the muse amicable.
Some days are wonderful. The muse and I aren’t just on speaking terms, we’re close friends. There are no floating coffee grounds in my mocha, the sky is a brilliant blue, and there’s a proverbial hot air balloon peeking up in the distance. These are the days when words just flow. And after a good hour of writing my entire being seems to have relaxed.
There are days when I sit at the computer and wait for the words to flow, but nothing comes. I’ve made sure I’m adequately caffeinated, and not tired, or hungry, that I’ve returned that grossly overdue library book ($6 fine! Whoops!)… You get the picture.
But nothing happens.
And then I start thinking about the only other thing within my control – space.
You know, Writer’s Space.
That sacred little hovel we like to call home when we hope some magic (or more doable that something – anything!) will happen. I have written in coffee shops, in the car sitting in a busy parking lot, in the basement, and on the toilet (out of shear desperation for a wishful-thinking minute of quiet when surrounded by momentary chaos). But my favorite spot, if I’m truly looking for a spot all my own, is probably the worst spot of all.
The dining room table.
It’s close to the kitchen (a big win) and has a sliding glass door with a great view of the garden (another big win), and there’s plenty of light.
The chairs are hard, and (a big AND), it’s in the middle of daily chaos. It’s where laundry is folded, homework is done, games are played, dinner is had, it’s where little eyes peek over my shoulders and ask me why those two words are underlined in red. (Don’t you know how to spell, Mom?) And it makes me wonder why I have chosen this spot out of all spots as MY place. I could easily write in the secluded guest room in the basement, but there, the stream of words often tapers off into a sad trickle. There’s a computer in another room too, but it just feels too cold, maybe it’s the color of the painted walls.
But at that dining room table, the words just seem so much more accessible, more playful. It is because, I wonder, that I need to be reminded of this crazy, chaotic and wonderful life of mine, in order to write about someone else’s? Writing is such a solitary activity, maybe I like to feel, even when everyone is momentarily gone – living their own lives, that a part of them is still here, with me. Maybe that dining room table is where I feel most connected, where I feel surrounded by life the most.
Where are the words most friendly to YOU?