Hello, Muse, where'd you go?

It doesn't matter if I credit my intuition or the Greek Goddess-Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who preside over the arts and sciences, a Muse is a Muse. Without some source of inspiration, I simply cannot will myself to write the words that hide just outside the door of my consciousness, waiting to burst into being.

This was the case as I stared with blank mind at this blank computer monitor, trying to figure out logically how many embossed pink hearts are on this background. It is not so different from those pre-computer nights when I stared for hours at a piece of blank white paper  wondering if I could will my words into existence.

Yesterday I decided to ask for help from the Unseen World. I called on people I loved who had gone invisible: my Gordon, my Dad, my mother-in-law, my guides and angels, and anyone else who was listening. I knew it would be quicker to write my memoirs in a traditional, chronological format. Yet I was unquestionably not getting a clear YES to do that. My late mother-in-law pictured below, the wise and beautiful dancer, Annette Goodman Greenwood, had taught me that if I didn't get a clear YES to a question, it meant I got a clear NO. I adopted that idea long ago and it has simplified my life.

Annette Rose Goodman,
                  dancer

I thought perhaps Einstein could help. In his later years, Einstein concluded that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously in a four dimensional structure (space-time) instead of the evolution of a three dimensional existence. That convinced me that time and space, as we know it, do not exist in bedrock reality, and most of us Earthlings are actually part of a three-dimensional illusion.

I thought of how Ram Dass, in Remember, Be Here Now, called each moment the Eternal Now.

I couldn't omit Seth, my favorite
out-of-body entity who spoke through channel Jane Roberts. Seth said repeatedly that all time is simultaneous and managed to engrave on my mind that the present is the only point of power. If any or all of these things are true, then maybe, just maybe, none of my angst about my inability to write the first sentence of this page really matters at all.

Albert EinsteinRam DassJane Roberts & Seth

While I was having this "What's-it-all-about-Alfie" moment, an email arrived from one of my dearest friends, Rev. Dr. Janet Claire Moore. She included a quote worth repeating by the late Vladimir Nabokov from his book, Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited.
"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible . . ."
Goosebumps. My thoughts exactly. I believe in synchronicity, originally a concept by psychiatrist Carl Jung that holds that if events happen with no causal relationship, but still seem to be meaningfully related, they are "meaningful coincidences."  I said a silent thank you to whomever answered my plea and possibly messaged me through Janet. I keyed my way to amazon.com to read more about this Nabokov guy, a stranger to me whose words I had never read. A 5-star review by Alok Ranjan was generously titled, "The Greatest Autobiography of the Twentieth Century." I read on and felt vindicated in my choice of a non-traditional approach to writing my own autobiography. I saw no point in writing a chronological listing of boring dates and events, like the boring history classes of my youth where an "A" was given to the child who could sufficiently regurgitate historical facts to the teacher's satisfaction.

Ranjan included another Nabokov quote from
Speak, Memory, and I quote Ranjan here. It mirrors my own feelings about writing my memoirs.   
"As he says somewhere in the book when he manages to link some event in (his) childhood to something that happened to him in later years, 'The following of such thematic designs through one's life should be, I think, the true purpose of autobiography.' "
The next morning, my daughter Kiki called from her home in northern Minnesota. She had just read a 2015 review of a book she thought I'd enjoy, The Art of Memoir, by the poet and memoirist, Mary Karr. It's a book about how memoirs have been and should be written. Kiki understands me well enough to know that I would end up writing my book, my way. I wouldn't allow myself to be influenced by another writer's process. Still, for some reason, she was inspired to call and tell me about it.

Ms. Karr teaches at Syracuse University and when she teaches Nabokov, she "freely admits that he has little in common with the other writers she looks at most closely . . ."
(Hmm, Nabokov? That name sounded vaguely familiar.) Karr then listed some well-known writers that included Harry Crews, a meaningful coincidence since Crews was a former neighbor of Kiki's when she still lived in Gainesville. Then Karr cited passages from Speak, Memory. Wasn't that the same book Janet had emailed me about? That's what I call synchronicity. Twice within 24 hours, two women close to me told me about the same book I had never heard of, by an author I had also never heard of. I googled wikipedia.org and learned it was written as a series of individual short stories published between 1936 and 1951 to create the first edition. Nabokov's revised and extended edition was published in 1966.
I accepted the synchronicity as a nudge to buy the book and went straight to amazon.com and found a used hardcover copy for $3.95 plus shipping. 

Speak, Memory



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