Between One Thought and Another: A Writer’s Muse by Amber Lea Starfire
I am the ghost of a thought, a shadow seen from the corner of your eye. I am the word on the tip of your tongue, the impression of a dream—always with you, always at your side, trying to get your attention. But I’m shy, and when you turn to me, I slip back into the formless, in and out of time as easily as through a door.
When you are in the in-between—between sleeping and waking, between one thought and another, between effort and ease—then you hear my urgent, whispering voice.
I give you the colors of the morning and the songs of the night. I give you dreams and visions of the future, fantastical cityscapes and glimpses of the truth that is the human condition.
I wake you in the middle of the night, my rickety-rackety chains pulling you slowly up, up, up, then over, to release you into a screaming, hands-raised descent into places you never knew existed.
Sometimes I push you out of bed while it is dark and the crickets are still singing so you can make your mark on a white, digital world and not forget what I have brought.
I draw from the well of all you have experienced: innocence and knowledge, comfort and sorrow.
Though I am constantly at your side, I force you to seek me out. And like a temperamental lover, I (almost) never open my door when you come knocking. I wait until you are well occupied with something else.
It is then I leave the flowers on your doorstep, the gift of my love in your hands. You should not despair so: I will never abandon you.
How could you even think such a thing? I have always and will always love you. Can you not feel my cool fingers at the nape of your neck, my breath at your temple?
Though you can no more capture and tame me than capture and tame a tendril of smoke, you try. You do, too. Be honest. You know, there are support groups for people like you, with muses like me.
If you could control me—and you never will—do you really think you’d be happier? If I came easily to you? Your eye would stray, and you’d be off to the next cute thing. You know it’s true, and I can’t let that happen.
So what if I sometimes wander and weave, seem a little giddy, a little drunk, a little unpredictable?
Trust is the key to unlocking the power of our partnership, so trust me. Trust my presence. Trust my voice. Trust yourself.
For I only give you what you already own: solid shapes from the ghosts of thought, beauty from the rearrangements of parts, and new wholes from old sums.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Lea Starfire is an author, editor, and creative writing coach whose passion is helping others tell their stories. She has authored two memoirs—Accidental Jesus Freak: One Woman’s Journey from Fundamentalism to Freedom and Not the Mother I Remember: A Memoir, finalist for both the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the 2013-2014 Sarton Women’s Literary Awards. Her nonfiction books include Journaling the Chakras: Eight Weeks to Self-Discovery, Journaling Through Relationships: Writing to Heal and Reconnect, and Week by Week: A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations.
Amber is also co-editor of the award-winning anthology, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ‘70s. Her creative nonfiction and poetry have appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. In her “spare” time, she rides her bicycle throughout the Napa Valley, dabbles in photography, and is learning to play the piano. More about Amber and how she helps writers: https://writingthroughlife.com.