So it has been too many days since I have come to the page. I have hidden. I have procrastinated. I have run. I have been embarrassed to face you because honestly, I haven’t known what to say to you. They say, “just show up!” JUST SHOW UP and the creativity will just come to you…” “Just show up EVERY SINGLE DAY, they say!”
Whoever believes that writing is easy—I got something to tell you #foh (ask google).
This Memorial Day weekend seventeen writers, all WOC and myself are in a beautiful/magical house in the Catskills, communing, resting, eating well, laughing and writing our asses off at the Sankofa Sisterhood Writer’s Retreat!
I spent the first day just doing what an organizer does, get to ensuring that everyone is comfortable, has what they need, and then if there is time left over, get my own writing done!
Today a dear friend and woman I love Vanessa Martir facilitated a workshop, Harnessing Your Creative Genius: How to Water Your Creative Lawn. The workshop was filled with such wonderful advice and resources, yet it was something she shared that would open me right up, “You told me to show up!!! Where you at?”
She was referring to her muse, and the reoccurring battle writer’s have when trying connect with the source of all inspiration.
She gave us a writing activity, WRITING PROMPT: Write a letter to your muse!
Here is my letter:
You told me to show up!!! Where you at?
This isn’t the first time I have accused you of abandoning me. I have questioned you. I have judged you. I have hated you. I have assaulted you… my beautiful muse! There was a time you came to me everyday. I believed you loved me. You came to bed with me. You woke with me. You and I have had a wonderful life.
You have shown up on so many occasions.
You first revealed yourself when I was in elementary school, yet that 4th grade teacher silenced me. Then you came to me during my teen years when I was exploring my body and sexuality. You were desperately trying to get my attention throughout the 90’s.
Then she was born; this beautiful little girl… I didn’t want to be a mother… yet I would come to know that she arrived to give birth to me. She arrived to save me! This is when you really wanted me to pay attention, now this life was no longer my own. From 1997 to 1999 you were screaming at me, belting out at me, “LOOK! LOOK! I have something to show you! Are you paying attention? Don’t you see the life I have in store for you?”
Back in the day I used to find these post cards in magazines where you could buy four books for $1 and then you would get books sent to you monthly. This is where I began selecting books on writing, but had no idea I was even collecting them. I ordered books solely based on the titles I as attracted to. Most of the books were on publishing.
Muse, you are hilarious. They sat on my bookshelves for years. They moved with me from apartment to apartment. During this time I still didn’t realize I was a writer. Yet these books were calling out to me… they were choosing me… PICK ME PICK ME!
But I still didn’t pay attention to you.
Then I started taking books out from every library, I had an entire crate filled with titles that I wanted to feed me.
You were whispering:
And I still ignored you.
Then you forced me to pay attention, you took me by my hands and pushed me into the fire. Sometimes life needs to get real uncomfortable. Sometimes we are called to experience real painful shit to finally see what’s right in front of US!
It was 2001 when you finally said ENOUGH!
You showed me that when you least expect it towers will crumble to ashes around you and this is when you must WAKE UP!
WHAT THE FUCK IS IT GOING TO TAKE???
WHAT IS GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU TO SEE ME?
WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM RIGHT HERE WITH YOU?
PICK UP THE PEN!
SIT THE FUCK DOWN!
FINALLY I LISTENED!
I finally heard you!
I picked up my journal and we haven’t stopped writing!
Forgive me for believing that you abandoned me. Today I was reminded that you have never left me. You have always been here. You have always had my back. You are the gentle hands that I rest in. I trust you. I love you. Forgive me for believing that you were gone! Today I will honor your presence and show you the love you deserve!
And so it is!
Vanessa, THANK YOU! I love you.
Writing goals for today — WRITE and post blog!
STAY WITH IT!
EVERYDAY I WRITE!
AND REMEMBER TO SLOW DOWN!
Check in later. Happy writing! Wishing you all an amazing day!
Copyright © 2016 by Alicia Anabel Santos