NO MUSE IS GOOD MUSE-by Rochelle Distelheim [before 1985]To be an Artist you need talent, as well as a wifewho washes the socks and the children, and returns phone calls and library books and types. In other words, the reason there are so many moreMen Geniuses than Women Geniuses is not Genius. It is because Hemingway never joined the P.T.A. And Arthur Rubinstein ignored Halloween. Do you think Portnoy's creator sits through children's theatermatinees--on Saturdays?Or that Norman Mailer faced 'driver's ed' failure, chicken pox or chipped teeth?Fitzgerald's night was so tender because the fenderhis teen-ager dented happened when Papa was at a story conference. Since Picasso does the painting, Mrs. Picasso did the toilet training. And if Saul Bellow, National Book Award winner, invited thirty-threefor Thanksgiving Day dinner, I'll bet he had help.I'm sure Henry Moore was never a Cub Scout leader, and Leonard Bernstein never instructed a tricyclerOn becoming a bicycler just before he conducted. Tell me again my anatomy is not necessarily my destiny, tell me my hang-up is a personal and not a universal quandary, and I'll tell you no muse is a good museunless she also helps with the laundry.-Rochelle Distelheim, in McCall's Magazine [before 1985]
The hours spent forming a written work can make one obsessive, distracted, compulsive, and neurotic even, especially when it comes to those rare, precious occasions of streaming pure inspiration. To have a interrupted - to watch her scuttle back into hiding with unshared insight remaining on the tip of her tongue - is a wicked irritation. When a writer's eyes glaze over, when she stares off at nothing or appears to be memorizing the lines on a blank page, when she falls asleep at the desk. Tiptoe softly. For a writer's greatest desire is to receive inspiration; her greatest nightmare, to have tossed to the wind what could've been captured in words.
Flora was in that state where the spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak and wishes to go on holiday - and where the flesh in most cases wins hands down with a packed suitcase. It did so now. So she did what many a researcher both great and insignificant does when they are stuck. She yawned while contemplating how to catch the Muse by surprising Her. Almost invariably, the Muse has seen it all before - and also yawns.