One of my books is going to be re-published, so I wanted to come up with a new title. But my mind was as dry as a New Mexican desert. I tried typing up a few possibilities without success. I thought: This is a disgrace. Is this all I am capable of? In a vast space of unfertile land, my thoughts refused to share anything with me, as if I were an intruder.
Maybe I had not been particularly attentive to my Muse lately. From my experience Muses are selfish, demanding, volatile creatures, as moody and unpredictable as Turkish jihn. Nevertheless, I surrendered to an act of kindness and decided to take her out for a walk. Besides, my daughter was my pulling my arm, begging to be taken out to bike.
As my daughter pedalled away ahead of me, I began to negotiate with my Muse, who obviously needed some placating. I was soon distracted by the blossoming tulips and bumblebees heavy with nectar. A magpie perched on the branch of a magnolia tree in full bloom caught my eye. The sweet tang of early spring was everywhere. I felt my senses tantalized, my mind instantly relaxing. Gradually, as the act of walking kept my legs moving one after another, my creative thoughts began to flourish with as much youthful beauty, freshness and grace as the tulips in the well-kept gardens around me. Most surprisingly, a torrent of ideas for titles rushed through my mind, which actually was quite annoying because I didn’t have pen and paper and I have a terrible memory.
When we do it alone—that is, with only our Muses for company—there is something powerful in the act of walking. Walking makes us connect with our inner self, our subconscious. In fact, walking can be for many a form of meditation. I didn’t even have to talk further with my Muse. I could feel her mellowing as she walked with me, gently giggling like a cherub with a balloon in one hand and an ice-cream cone in the other.