A Calling to My Muse
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
My Muse (You know who you are):
We haven’t written in quite a while. Hard to know what to relate after so many years – yet I feel I have so much to say. Instead of words, emotions unrestrained from reason are bursting out. It’s the tunes (Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Beatles, Cat Stevens, and Bob Dylan) playing in the background of my computer.
Listening to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, and it evokes all kinds of feelings, jumbled memories. Then, more appropriately, Old Man. The twanging guitar and the banjo make me think of an older man sitting in the back of an old theatre, empty now, watching a show only he can see. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young bring in the background mood with the strains and moans of an organ from their song, Carry On. Let’s get up and dance in happiness to the Love the One You’re With (Stephen Stills). The theatre is filling up with some wonderful people who remain but not for that long. The show is almost over but not for me. Got lots to do so I will push myself up from this old wooden foldup seat and head out to the road, the one in the miasma that has beckoned me, maybe you, too, all my life. No idea where it goes, and neither does it – that is why many walk, jog, or run down through the gray.
Some stream of consciousness -- may be just worthless. Only Falkner and Joyce were any good at it.
Know the dark is waiting.
Where did my muse come from? Was she Ruby Tuesday? Did she come and just leave? What was her name? Did she catch her dreams, or did she and I lose our minds? What is the value of constancy? I miss her, although I never really knew her. I only thought I did. If I did, which I probably did, I don’t remember some of how it all happened.
Got to push up from the seat with my skinny old arms, but I let go, smile and hang my head with long hair falling past my eyes. I will do it. Wait for a little while. Here I go!
Cat Stevens sang such a cool song, Wild World, in such a restrained tone.
My friends mean so much to me, and some have left. Most are so far, fucking far away, yet they roam around in my heart. Loved that Beatles’ song sung by Joe Cocker, "A Little Help from My Friends." I need help from my friends, but just for a little while. I feel strong and too full of myself to get too sad, just melancholy. Ever felt that way? I feel fine, but the yapping poodles are at my ankles, you know.
Ok, that got rid of some stuff. How are you all? I assume you are well.
Many of you know this, but a refresher always helps, you know. Unreal to believe I have been married for 49 years! Two boys, 48 and 42. Both are doing well. Ted works for a defense contractor, and Mike is in the restaurant business.
Mike works hard, very outgoing, friendly, and is an outstanding person. Ted joined the Peace Corps in 2009, spent two years in Peatra Nempt, a city in Romania. He has a daughter named after my mother and a son after him. They are 7 and 4 and joys to be around. Christine makes my wife, and I laugh at her jokes and quirky but pithy observations about life. I wish I had had a daughter. Teddy, Jr., is reserved but a cheerful guy who likes to play with toy tools and a toy excavator. He runs down the road on it, does wheelies, flips, gets up and does it all over.
We still live in Columbia, the one James Rouse built, the one my dad was excited about way back in 1968. It’s a pleasant town, well planned out, and full of diversity. We have been here so long they are now tearing down some of the original buildings in the center of town. Lots of meandering paths and wooded areas. Need to get out and roam, but that is difficult now with metaphorical wolves hiding in the woods. Not really, they are inside -- in the schools, nursing homes, and prisons. God, we have lived long enough to see a plague visit us.
I retired from the federal government in 2011. Almost died of blood poison after Ted got married, but in 4 months, I recovered. Then I went to work for a government contractor on a part-time basis. That was fun, but in 2017, the contract ran out, and I retired for good.
I was an industrial hygienist for 34 years. I liked the work. I was an English Literature grad who feared to take any science course, but who knew I was great at the stuff.
The Peace Corps changed my view of the world, and working in the Smallpox Eradication Program molded me into a man, although I still act quirky. I came back home and had to get a suitable paying job. I started as a Sanitarian and worked for five years as one. I up and left that job to go back to school. I went to Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and got my Master of Public Health. Unfortunately for my family, we floundered until I got a job as an industrial hygienist. But it’s all good. My wife is a saint who would not let me fall or falter, although she nudged me a lot.
I have completed another revision of my novel with the help of a professional editor, and she helped me out. I made the revisions and have sent it out to several literary agents. Query letters are so challenging.
Try a 1 - 2page synopsis.
Try it with a science fiction novel.
Next, if no responses, the novel goes to publishers, and if no luck I will self-publish it. Not writing poetry much anymore, but I sketched out the second novel, which continues the first one.
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!! Remember, “The Graduate?” Of course, you do. Hey, Hey, Hey! One word, PLASTIC! Never forget that last scene.
I am living with the Cinnamon Girl. Not bad. Neil, what a troubadour you are.
Take care, Ms. Muse. This exercise has been cathartic. You should try it. Please.
P. S. It is a crisp night, and the fog just fingers the top of the streetlights. A little further down, I can make out the asphalt road, and in the thickening gray air dangles a portentous hand full of lines and wrinkles. Say, how did I get out of the theatre? Do you remember the man in the theatre?