I’m sitting here at the keyboard with a blank screen in front of me. It has an appeal I cannot describe that borders on addiction. The keys are smooth beneath my fingertips and innocent, yes, as innocent as a toddler. I can take myself on an adventure just by tapping these keys, stroking them until I decide they can endure no more. Where are the words I need? How can I begin an adventure without words or inspiration?
My thoughts are rambling and I am sure I am teetering between being sane or becoming insane. Have I written too much? Have I chosen my words the way a shopper might chose a dinner meat? Have I added a pinch of humor here, a pinch of detail there, and maybe a dash of mystery to involve the reader? Will I write my thoughts down in poetic form or should I scribe my thoughts into prose?
The screen is white, almost white hot, burning my optic nerves if I stare at it for too long. There are no edges, no boundaries, and no depth to the screen that could give birth to a printed page if only I could collect my thoughts and type them out. I long for my words to burst forth with the same urgency a lover feels when they need to be touched. I can almost feel the warmth of completion known only to those who have freed their soul, their heart, and their mind by putting thoughts on paper.
I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee, a cat curled into a ball at my feet, three pieces of chocolate, and a heart shaped necklace around my neck. What will I write about today? It’s not as if I have a charmed life to write about. I touch the sterling silver heart shape of the necklace and hope it will inspire me to write about flowers, love, rainbows, friends, holidays, or anything at all. Anything, that is, except death. I do not like to write about death, nor think about it, nor imagine what it feels like. No, I shall not write about death today.
The screen is white but my muse has finally touched me on the shoulder. He is pointing something out to me with a long narrow finger. He is pointing to the floor beneath my desk. Beneath my desk…what in the world could there be beneath my desk? Is he showing me the dust bunnies? Is he trying to tell me I could write about the white cat now purring loudly but still lying at my feet?
I finally understand that my muse wants me to look downward because everything that has ever happened is now beneath my feet, even the things I don’t want to think about or talk about or even hear about. The past, even something that happened just five minutes ago, is like an old movie that I can remember seeing but didn’t really play the lead role in myself. There are plots, scenarios, and paths within my past. I have found inspiration! Thank you, Muse!
My fingers are sated now. They are touching the keys of the keyboard in a frenzied rush to put moments into words before the train of thought derails. I pause just long enough to softly touch the screen as if arousing a need within it. I have found the words I need, the words that fulfill me, the words that warm my soul and keep my heart beating. I no longer have a blank screen in front of me. I may never have another blank screen in front of me again!
Dianna Doles Petry