Years ago when we first moved to San Francisco, I found a painting by Lance Morrison at a local gallery. “Jilanne,” it said. “Take me home and I will be your writer’s muse.” The hummingbird, flapping its ethereal wings faster than the eye can see, looking solitary, magical, and somewhat spiritual, whispered its way to my heart. I bought it. The title of the painting?
The Writer’s Muse
Close up of the Muse
I sat in my living room, facing this glorious painting and worshiping my muse for silent hours. (Yes, this was before we had a child, when silent hours were as plentiful as copper pennies and squandered just as carelessly.) But I was not meant to remain in such a blissful state on the couch. My husband had other plans.
If you were to put the two of us into Meyers-Briggs boxes, I’d fall into the one marked “Introvert,” someone who recharges batteries during alone time–quite a bit of alone time. Put differently, if you received a laptop or smart phone with my kind of battery, you’d get about 10 minutes of use time for every hour of recharging.
“Lemon!” you’d yell, and hightail it back to the Apple store.
In contrast, my husband is an Extrovert, someone who withers on the vine if he has to spend too much time alone. He is an entrepreneur with a battery that would run the Energizer Bunny into the ground.
So about the same time period that I was worshiping my new painting, my husband and I wandered through San Francisco’s Open Studios and found a crazy (in a good way) sculptor named Nathaniel Price. His work, a cast resin head filled with wood blocks wrapped in wire, screamed of mental overload. The head’s thoughts were confused, tangled, struggling to get out.
I shuddered. I felt like that too often and didn’t want the reminder. Of course, my husband insisted the tangles were ideas waiting to be communicated, a social explosion, and loved it. So he bought it.
But does he ever sit quietly in the living room and worship that tortured head? No! He’s too busy.
Occasionally, he’ll pass by the head on the way up or down the stairs and give it a quick pat.
Who am I kidding? I’m too busy to sit in our bipolar living room, so these two works oversee our son’s Lego building, rope swinging, and general cacophony of play.
Husband’s muse – Noise II
Tangled thoughts – Noise II
But after our son goes to bed, I imagine these two muses duking it out in the wee dark hours, never conceding loss or claiming victory–the true path of marital bliss.