What do you do when you lose your muse?
My writing fell silent over a year ago. I can’t explain why or what happened. There was a great deal of upheaval, changes, and challenges in my life. I must have forgotten that this is the best tool for exploring those emotions and twists and turns in life. Some people have video. I write.
I was invited to participate in an anthology. That is one of my highest honors to this date. However, I kept finding myself unable to get more than 100 words on the page. I couldn’t make sense of my thoughts. Meditation wasn’t even helping me center. It just took sitting here with my laptop, doing what Stephen King describes in his book On Writing, shoveling shit. The words finally started flowing after a great deal of struggle.
I realized I needed some more writing, and as if the Universe agreed, I received an email from the wonderful Sarah Kathleen Peck. She has a project going that sends you a writing prompt every day for a month. I’ve decided to take the challenge. I’ve also decided to share them with you.
Tribe Awakened has been too silent for too long. This should be a good way to get it up and breathing again. My muse needs some exercise.
You may join along in the Writing Prompts. All you have to do is go here and enter your information. Sharing or not is your decision. I find when I get nervous about publishing that I create better writing. We shall see. I do hope you join us.
The sun is too bright, and I’m too tired.
It seems the only place I’ve ever greeted the sun’s early appearance is Florida. That’s vacation. This is home.
I usually wake up when Andrea is leaving for work. It’s a brief break in sleep for a kiss goodbye. She’s running off to work, and handing off the duty of watching the youngest the rest of the day. I don’t usually get to bed until the wee hours of the morning. It’s the nature of my job as a bartender. Late hours. The early wake up is the nature of being a parent.
Aislynn likes to read to me as I doze in and out of a short light nap until I realize there will be no more restful sleep. She gets pretty excited when I toss the blankets away to climb out of bed leaving all that warmth behind. Bathroom juggling awaits. I’m certain the child waits to tell me she has to poop until I need to use the restroom. I guess I could pee in the sink. I hear you! Calm down, dear reader. I said I could do it. I don’t. You’re gross for even thinking it. She’s three. No bad ideas in the bathroom. Anyway, we have one bathroom in the house. Yeah, I know. First world problems.
The kitchen sink is usually full of the previous days dishes. Bowls, plates, forks and spoons, oh my! All stacked on each other the very faucet. It happens. Stop judging.
I always plug my phone into the charger, open up the radio app, and listen to 670 The Score: Chicago Sports Radio. This serves as background noise and sports chatter while I do my daily dance. Unload the dishwasher, reload the dishwasher with the contents of the sink, wash a big pan, and get cooking. This feels like working for my breakfast. I pay myself with a banana. Good monkey.
Breakfast is almost always eggs in our house. They might be scrambled or turned into an omelet. That all depends on what sort of meat is waiting in the fridge. Ham goes in an omelet. Bacon means scrambled. Bacon also means angels singing outside the kitchen window, and the fragrance of magic filling the room. The eggs are good and local farm fresh. It helps to know a chicken farmer. I’ve met the chickens that send us breakfast. Best unborn in town!
Aislynn and I usually have breakfast together. She fills me in on all of her ideas, makes dinosaur sounds, and asks when mommy is coming home. I tell her to calm down, laugh at her sounds, and explain a million times that mommy will be home the same time as most other days. Aislynn also likes to ask for bites of my food. Her way of asking is saying, “Daddy, omelets are good for my belly. Can I try your omelet?” It doesn’t how many times she’s eaten anything. If she likes it, she asks to try it every time she wants a bite.
The morning starts coming to a close with a shower. I like running the water really hot so the bathroom gets all steamy. It is the one time I can breathe easy all day. Midwest living means allergies. A cat in the house means allergies all the time. I will indulge in a steam filled sauna of a bathroom so I can breathe.
I also like to take a minute in a brief standing meditation at the end of my shower. You could do this too. First, check to make sure you’re actually in the shower. Your mind may already have you at work, or thinking about last night, or worrying about scenarios that will never happen. Take a second to focus on your breath. Allow that to bring your awareness back to the present. Slowly shift your awareness over your entire body. Simply notice with a sense of curiosity what all the water feels like as it splashes against your skin. I find the shower almost unbearably ticklish when I do this exercise. It’s a good way to really wake up.
Flossing and brushing my teeth are usually the next stop after my shower. Flossing has become my favorite way to care for my teeth. It took a lot of work to make it a habit. I went for mind tricks to make it work. I started leaving my floss right next to my tooth brush. This made it easy to remember. My problem was forgetting to floss. Remember, out of sight is also out of mind. Bring whatever you want to turn into a habit within a very easy reach when you start making the change.
Getting dressed at this time of year is usually choosing what hoodie I want to wear. It’s cold. Winter sucks. Moving on now.
I like to spend time in a formal meditation at this point. This depends on whether Aislynn will leave me alone long enough. Whether I get the formal meditation or not determines how many micro meditations I sneak into my day. This is followed by spiritual offerings. These are my two main spiritual practices that help center me. They help me feel connected to my ancestors. There is always a sense of comfort and peace that comes along with my daily practice.
That’s what it takes to get the day going. The rest of the day holds more routines, schedules, clients, work, training, kids, and family.
And caffeine. Lots of caffeine.
I can say I feel blessed.
Some days I shave.
I still want more sleep.