A Valentine for My Muse

Dearest Muse,literature

It’s been twenty or so years since we’ve met, fifteen or more since we decided to commit to each other, and what do I bring to you, if not this sorry apology?

Again, today, I was grading. Again, today, instead of wooing you with chocolate and champagne, I ran off with Teaching, leaving you to whittle away the empty hours alone with only my reassurances to wait, to just give me a chance — excuses so old they’ve burned scars into your heart.

I know that we don’t spend nearly enough time with each other. I keep putting  you off with excuses: I have to work. I’m so, so very tired after such a long day.  I have to spend a little bit of time with my husband! With  my family!  You’ve been patient. You’ve been forgiving without being weak.  Sometimes you punish me with your silence, but it’s only because I punish you with my absences. In the end, you always welcome me back, taking the fifteen minutes, the hour, the evening I have to offer, and wiping the slate clean between us.

You have filled my days with adventures, lifted my heart up to bliss, and also sometime frustrated me and made me feel the full weight of my failures — but you teach me. You push me to be a better person. You believe in me.  You urge me  to try, try again, regardless the results because, after all, you understand what matters in the world, what is really worth the sacrifice of time and energy.

I have sometimes tried to force you to be what you’re not. I’ve squeezed you into segments, compartmentalized you, segmented you, forced you into molds, obsessing you with My Career! My Career! forgetting momentarily what really brought us together, what makes us one.  I’ve tried to turn my back on you, blaming you for my misery and my shortcomings, and then, humbled, I always come back to you.  You’re still with me, still surprising me, still breathing whispers in my ear when I’m not thinking about you, when I’m just trying to be.  You’re my best friend. You understand what I feel even before I can formulate it into thoughts.  You are my teacher. You are my guide.

Dear Muse, we have given our lives to each other, and I suspect you are as committed to me as I am mooning for you always, even when it seems I’m not paying attention.  I am so glad that we have met, gladder still that we are together. May we spend the rest of our days with each other, discovering and sharing lovingly all the joys and gentle sadnesses of life, joined together in sacred Union till the end of time.  Be patient with me, and please, please stay.


PS: My husband has been laboring all day in the kitchen to make me specialty sushi rolls and all I got him was a box of Belgian truffles — don’t tell him about this, ok?  This is between us.  Shhhhhhhh.

Published by laura

I'm the author of two short story collections, a story cycle, and a collection of short memoirs. I am an educator, literary translator, journal editor, and writing coach.

2 thoughts on “A Valentine for My Muse

  1. Laura,

    Well done! I think you captured the words for all of us, sort of a universal muse credo. Each of our stories may be different in the details but consistent in our abuse of our muse. Mine only works part time (see MY Muse and the Dangers of Life – http://www.tjsilverio.com/2014/05/) but still deserves better than I’m able to provide. Enjoyed the blog as always.

    Tom Silverio
    author of Lifespan and Turning Stones

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