Surrendering to the Birthday Muse

Today I listened to Caroline Myss’s “The Power to Create” while hiking through Runyon Canyon.  I was amused by the disconnect of what she was saying with the surrounding social environment of this popular LA trail.   The soul will always be stronger than the body, she said, as I continued my intentionally slow hike (it is my birthday and I just didn’t want anything to be rushed or more difficult than needed) among the hard bodies of Hollywood fleeting around me.  She also speaks about narcissism, the kind of narcissism where we have the courage to work on ourselves, to see our own calling and follow it regardless of what others say.

Alice Walker has this type of narcissism and I love that she was interviewed this morning, the morning of my birthday,  on Democracy NOW, for her new book about how to find the courage to speak about the unspeakable.

Sometimes the unspeakable is more common, the inability to say what we want or need. Sometimes our friends and family speak for us:

Have a healthy adventure.
Have a creative year.
Thanks for being brave.
Find bliss.

Cards and birthday wishes carry power to reinforce our requests to the universe, like prayers and chants raised to what ever powers our heart and soul.

As I head into my final semester of my MFA, I know the questions of narcissism and speaking the unspeakable are implicit in my work as a writer.   I know that taking a leave of absence to work on my writing was somewhat selfish and illogical from the outside view.  For me, it really was not an option.  However, now that I am doing it, I at times wonder where I expect it to lead.   A book?  A teaching position?  While those would be great, I know there is something more at work in this year, something more than the poems and the words on the page.    Myss reminds us that as soon as we send out a prayer for help or guidance, answers come immediately.   Finally, I have the time and silence to listen.

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