As this year moved toward it's ending, a powerful combination of events took over my life: my new book is out, finished, and on it's own for better or worse, Christmas was fast approaching during a tumultuous political and financial transition and a tremendous storm took over our area. Wind, snow and freezing cold pinned us in place. My muse left without even looking back.
Now, on a rainy morning, my early view of my own backyard shows the snow and ice are both gone. The clear footprints of the animals who visit during the night and early morning are no more. The evidence of birds at the feeder,the visits by the neighbor's arrogant cat, and the raccoon who comes over my fence aren't traceable. Yesterday I moved one feeder farther away from the fence where the cat likes to perch, with the sincere hope I spoiled his fun.
I plan to use this ice free day to spend time with a friend and share coffee time in the nearest bookstore. No independents are left on our flat so it will be a chain but even a chain gives me the boost of being surrounded by books, the smells and the other quiet voices. I've never heard voices raised in anger, seen pushing, shoving or crowding in a book store. I can't remember crying children or cranky parents.
I'm going to treat myself to a book I've been wanting but, more important, to the calm where I can let my thoughts settle and begin to focus on what I want this next phase of my new year to hold.
The peculiar gap between projects always leaves me at odds with myself, dog paddling or sometimes floundering. At a time when my usual sources of inspiration and strength, a walk on the beach or along a river bank, aren't possible, the sights and sounds of a bookstore during the lull of the storm will come as close as I can manage. Maybe close enough to send an invitation to the departed muse.