I’ve been thinking about locating some far off place, or a spot as the old folk use to say, “Up the road a piece,” where a writer could take her or himself to settle in, completely alone. Personally, I have never been on my own in life, so I don’t know what that’s like. Does your muse need isolation and total quiet before she gives of herself? I’m remembering a writing clinic back in 2008, I think, where the group spent a weekend in a secluded getaway in hopes of prodding these goddesses. There are many refuges that proffer themselves for this use. Recently, I even found Amtrak offering some type of writer escapes on the train. Crazy right? Does it mean you’re more serious about your craft, if you crave seclusion? Again, I don’t know if this type of setting would satisfy my creativity, or simply stifle it.
Speaking of muses, as a teenager and in my early twenties, I had a ravaging fascination of Greek Mythology, which spilled further into the arts with that first movie, Clash of the Titans. And yes, even though I left this behind with my youth, I had to watch the new version, just to take a peek at the special effects. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary’s definition of the word muse is: One of the nine Greek goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts. There names were as follows: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy). These idols have also been labeled as water nymphs. What impressions the Romans left on civilization that hundreds and hundreds of years later we continue to speak of, and many still rely on their teachings, huh?
Moving on – would I have the chutzpah to give up everything I know, and move off to some nearly deserted area to write? As much as I love the art, and even though I’ve done it since childhood…”Aaaahhh, I’m not sure,” she said, shaking her head back and forth. If you watch the movie Cross Creek, supposedly on the life of Marjorie Rawlings, or Funny Farm, which is a comedy, but Chevy Chase is still in search of remoteness, it makes one wonder. Some time ago, I do believe there were even ads in the New York Times Magazine under the heading “Writing Retreats.” They listed hideaways a person could rent over an extended period of time – a place tucked away beneath the trees, next to a lake, or a cabin in the middle of the forest. Or, would you call this simply idealism? You get out there, and not one word would come to mind. Why? Because your muse requires the noise from the elevated train. In my case, however, I’d be afraid of being alone. I’d have to drive myself to the nearest general store everyday, just for human contact.
Not to mention, I’ve never been one for off hours. You know, write until 3:00 a.m., sleep until 11:00 a.m., or rest in four-hour clips, and work in between those times. I’ve always been regimented when it comes to any labor – begin in the morning – work all day, and the evening and night hours are mine to do with as I please. If you follow my blog, you know I love to listen to music as I write. I guess I could connect my iPod to some top shelf sound system; one that rushed the loons to flight the moment I hit play. I know though, that is the perfect condition for me. But, as I put it all together, and knowing myself – my ideal conditions would have to include the cabin by the lake, or at the beach. It also, could not be that far from civilization, because to keep my sanity, I would definitely have to have my family return to me at the end of the day. Do you think solitude would step up your creativity?
Information provided by Amtrak, CNN, IMDB & Wikipedia
Image courtesy of 123rf.com