As a teenager I coddled her, fearful her shining smile and passionate presence would fade until I could no longer remember the outline of her face. We used to ponder and whisper well into the night, laughing, quarreling, and reminiscing like old friends until sleep finally won its battle. Eventually every day life came between us as often happens when friends age and leave the simplicities of youth behind. Years later, I found myself missing the beauty of our friendship, so I began a journey to reconnect with my old friend, the missing muse that once plagued my waking hours with endless chatter and enthusiasm.
After five years of mind-numbing work, I finally began the creative writing courses for a M.A. in English and Creative Writing. Two weeks into the course we began writing poetry. Initially, I panicked. My muse was long gone! She took the first train out in the face of years of academics she knew would steal our time together. Hours passed. Days flew by. Although it always flowed freely in the past, my riverbed was dry, and I dug until my fingers bled to find a source of nourishment to lead me from the Sahara. It was me and the tumbleweeds watching the clouds pass by without a drop of thirst-quenching rain.
A week later I got a call from an unknown number. So busy with work and class, I didn’t answer; however, I knew the voice as soon as the message played. A few days later she was at my doorstep. Sure, she’d aged a little just like me-a frown line, a couple of bags under her eyes, and maybe even a grey hair or two-but she was as familiar as I remembered. With age came knowledge and wisdom we lacked in our youth, and despite our time apart, we drifted off that evening just like old times.
I don’t mean to insinuate that there haven’t been any bumps in the road. We’re still learning from each other and that will never change. We’re steadily rebuilding our relationship, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have my muse by my side once more. This is our journey, and I hope it serves as inspiration when you fear your muse has said goodbye.