Monday, September 23, 2013

EveryDay Muse: Woo Our Poets Within and Move Our Pencils (Pens, etc.)



One of my favorite ways to be inspired by other poets is to begin my journey by collecting words from other poets by including a poetry reading practice into my writing practice.

What I love about this first word offering from another poet is the "everyday life" aspect of the content. It isn't a big a-ha moment she is seeking, but asking her poetry muse for guidance in her everyday life as a Woman, as a Mom.


"Release a stanza

from the sink's hot suds

where dirty dishes glow

Seal a message inside:

encourage me to hold on.

Inform me

in detail

exactly how to do it."


Kate Daniels in Prayer to the Muse ofOrdinary Life

One of my daily practices as a writer and poet is to read at least one published poem a day. I have a wild assortment of poetry anthologies to choose from and my normal way of finding a poem to read is simply to open up a chosen book and read wherever my eyes fall. Today my eyes fell upon a poet I have never bumped into before. Now she has managed to take both arms and pull them out at the sides in an enormously full stretch. She did all this with her word power.


I remember when I had the triangular shaped hair cut, the mini-van, a couple preschoolers and a part time job sort of, I didn’t even know I could be praying to the muse of ordinary life. I was so busy trying to do what I thought my husband, God and society had for me to do I couldn’t imagine doing something as foolish as picking up a pen and writing again or actually writing with creation itself as the primary focus.

The writing I allowed myself to do taught how-to’s and practical wisdom or so I thought.

I didn’t leave space to be open to the most practical wisdom I didn’t even know I had yet!

I thought the “inform me in detail exactly how to do it” as our poet, Kate Daniels requests, was about losing weight or communicating well with your husband and teen daughter or maybe it was about being frugal or cooking a month worth of meals in a day. I couldn’t possibly imagine the “inform me in detail exactly how to do it” meant to audition for a play or write and perform a poem or collage together painted pages from a book destined for the dump and learn I have every right to call what I do art and call myself an artist.

My everyday muse is the one who tilts my attention in the direction of a photo op in the perfect light as I drive, so once I drop my daughter at school I may turn around and snap a shot, like today. I had never noticed a detail on a favored clock downtown and as of today, it is even a more favored clock.
My everyday muse says “Help me help you, Julie. You’re overflowing with books here, I know – I know, paper is your media but you can’t make your entire home a messy studio,” and then my Everyday Muse finds me the perfect thrift scores to create shelves and decorate my house with books and furniture I am proud to say I’ve created.

My Everyday Muse says, “Wait for the bus with Samuel. Talk to him about anything and everything he brings up.” She knows our conversations will have a root in more writing, more sharing, more connection to other Moms with sons and daughters on the autism spectrum. The conversation has gotten so good, older sister Emma gets up earlier now so she can be out on the porch, chatting too.

To any of you out there, reading: for those of you who are so busy you can't imagine writing a poem a day in October, listen here for encouragement. Hold on. Slow and steady,  watch for your Everyday Muse. She appears rather unexpectedly at times and nothing would make her more happy than to play with you today.

Perhaps, right now in this moment or right in the next moment.

Relax your shoulders and look to your right. Close your eyes and listen. Breathe deeply and open your eyes. Move into the flow.

I can’t wait to hear how it goes. (And see how I managed to write a practical how-to and add some wisdom + ask you to play? I make me laugh!)

-- Julie Jordan Scott

1 comment:

  1. This post reminds me of a song I heard several years ago when I was just breaking out of the cocoon I'd wrapped myself in for too long. My own "everyday muse" seems to have gotten louder as I've learned to recognize the nudge that I feel. The songwriter here refers to her Muse as "Maestro"... http://www.broadjam.com/artists/songs.php?artistID=20065&mediaID=151444&play=true

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