Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Has my Muse gone?

It's been away for far too long
and has that which I hold dearly
my love for creativity.
I finished reading wincing at hearing myself read how awful the material was outloud. After a very long pause, her first words were, "“That’s it? That’s all you'’ve got?"” She said this in a somewhat weary voice that belied the disappointment and frustration she felt underneath her sweet southern Tennessee accent. Artists have very fragile and insecure egos, so she was very careful in walking the line between former teacher and creative mentor. I knew her well enough not to waste either of our time with excuses.
“"What else you got? Because I know you, you've probably been sitting down writing and trying to force yourself to come up with something, instead of painting or reading or doing something else that might free you up creatively.”" 
She was right. After the cyber attack that destroyed my pc and lost all my new poems, I got frustrated and stopped writing, my heart was no longer in it. The looming deadline was the only thing that forced me back onto a page.
“"Well, you better come up with somethin’, ‘cause your name is already in the program and you’re closing the show. Otherwise that silence you hear after your name is announced will be forever owned by you. It will resonate within you for years to come, and you'’ll never be able to take it back.”" [This is writer speak for disappointing the audience with a creative void. The punishment for such a sin is a deafening silence.]
So after hanging up the phone, I called the sitter and asked her to pick up my son so I could take a very long walk by the river. By the time I stopped and inspiration had struck, I had walked 6 miles. But in the process I found the first few lines for my poem and a back up plan. The theme I was assigned was ‘My Warring Muse’
After a dozen or so false starts, these are the first few lines that I’m finally content with:
Amor… te añoro.
Mi alma busca de nuevo conocer
la sublimidad que es tu ser.
Update: My translation is below
My Love... I long for you.
My soul is searching once again
to know the sublimity that is you.

I think I”ll have enough time to compose a poem. But if I don’t. I won’t be the first one to read a work in progress from a notebook. In the meantime, in the next post you can read my back up plan. A translation I wrote of a Pablo Neruda poem that speaks of the love/hate relationship writers have with their muses.
NO TE QUIERO sino porque te quiero
y de quererte a no quererte llego
y de esperarte cuando no te espero
pasa mi corazón del frío al fuego.
Te quiero sólo porque a ti te quiero,
te odio sin fin, y odiándote te ruego,
y la medida de mi amor viajero
es no verte y amarte como un ciego.
Tal vez consumirá la luz de enero,
su rayo cruel, mi corazón entero,
robándome la llave del sosiego.
En esta historia sólo yo me muero
y moriré de amor porque te quiero,
porque te quiero, amor, a sangre y fuego.
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