Muses disturb comfortable minds
and comfort disturbed minds.
Muses close old doors and open new ones.
~ Shiloh Sophia from Tea with the Midnight Muse
Red Thread Letter #789 from Shiloh Sophia
My muse woke up grumpy at 4am
and her prose called itself, Discordia and Dish Pit – lol
She had my attention at Discordia.
Discordia and the Dish Pit by Shiloh Sophia
The Muse is at the back door tonight
She is looking for a row.
She appears, when the family is done with dinner
and I am scraping scraps of spaghetti off the plates.
She just lets herself in.
Just like that, she is at the kitchen table,
eating left over garlic bread and chewing, loudly.
I turn to scowl at her, and I see
she is eating the buttery center out of all the bread
leaving the crusts only – how like her.
I can tell she is trouble by the way she is sitting.
Straddling the chair and her hair all akimbo
and who knows where she gets those clothes.
She isn’t like a Greek Muse of elegance,
in flowing gowns, sandals and a dogwood crown.
I continue to clean, putting vigor into my scrubbing.
Is this where a woman works out her violence?
On the pots? The pans? With dishpan hands?
In the privacy of her own dish pit where she can be fierce?
An ache deep in my belly moans through me.
Where can I let it rip? Call it all off? Turn it all on?
Tear it all down? Scream without repercussions?
At what point, besides giving birth, is a woman
allowed to yell how she really feels?
I can’t think of any place. Except rock-no-roll.
As if she hears me thinking,
she switches on the radio and into the room
Bonnie Raitt’s voice slips out and through me,
surprising me with an old song I used to love.
Then. That was before, the me before.
I was so started, I dropped my favorite teacup.
Shattering and clattering and scattering
and clanging, and I experience it in slow motion,
long enough to take delight in how it feels to
break something. First the laugh, then the tears.
“Need any help in there?” Comes a voice.
“No I crashed, my life crashed down, I got it. All good”
“Okay – let me know if you need anything.”
She has me now, that Muse, has me in my lie.
She takes me in her arms in a fierce embrace.
We dance out the back kitchen door
and into the yard and over the hedge
and into a field of moonlight.
Muses always know how to find a field
filled with moonlight and magic.
We can’t hear Bonnie anymore
but the music is inside of us.
I think this is what she was trying to tell me,
all along, that the music inside has to come out.
She was trying to tell me, not to forget.
Forgetting is what we do when we grow up.
We forget the dreams we were told we could have.
One trauma at a time the dream recedes and
the demand increases and then, whammmoooo
you are scraping spaghetti off of a plate.
We are laying on the grass,
She is speaking to stars and planets,
she calls them by name as friends
“Oh hello my Seven Sisters, and to you, cheers,
Eris, Goddess of Discord! So lovely to see you.
Cassiopeia! We have to catch up!
Finally my stomach relaxes
into her presence. To let the Muse take me,
to let her shape me, make me, and un-fake me.
Silently I pray, Let all that is not really me
be gone, and whoever I am, come near.
Then she says it, whispering in my ear,
“If that cup was your life, what is breaking?
And is it breaking open, or breaking apart?
Sometimes Eris comes to shake things up.
And rightly so, as we may have become too tame.”
I don’t need to think long,
I have my answer but I don’t want to say it out loud.
I don’t need to, she already knows, of course.
That’s was why she is here after all,
to help me remember.
When I return, after what felt like hours,
the door is still ajar and the music is loud,
and the cup is everywhere and it appears
no one has noticed my absence, yet I know,
I was the one who had been absent to myself.
If we are absent to ourselves,
can we blame others or our lives,
for not noticing we are in hidden despair?
The broken cup reminded me of a loss of self,
accepting who I had been, is not who I am.
I miss myself, yet there is freedom
in accepting I wasn’t who I had been,
and grieving that sense of lost self.
Now I could begin to explore
who I could become and that could feel good!
When they asked me where I had been
I said, “Stargazing.” They said, “All night?”
I said, “All night,” and poured the coffee.
My favorite cup being broken meant
my coffee was in a mason jar today.
I wink happily at those who had felt
to me like strangers in my own home.
They smile back with a head tilt, as if to say,
there she goes again.
Indeed, here I go.
When the Muse rearranges your household
you don’t need to try to make sense of it.
Go directly to what you call your ‘home office’
and begin to rearrange it into an art studio
Creations are beckoning for form.
Be willing to disappoint those
who expect you to be as you have been.
No need for explanation now, there is time,
you have work to do, and if you don’t
you know who will be at the back door again!
The Muse is at the back door again
and she is looking for a row.
If she comes in without asking and
eats your garlic bread,
thank your lucky stars.
A visit from the Muse is not a given.
Somewhere in your soul you have asked for her.
Or you are so desperate she cannot help herself.
But most of the time, she slips out of the mystery
and into your cup, and sometimes, she breaks it.
She drinks from the cup of amusement.
Discordia is the Latin name of Eris, the Greek goddess of strife, chaos, discord
Sometimes Eris and her moon come too.
This morning I got up early. I always get up early – at 4am and I usually wake up with a line in mind and I go to write. I love waking up. The thought of writing makes me feel fresh and shake of the call of sleep. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. I have a team of editors and we can barely get all my writing edited I write so much. My poetry books, my fiction books, my Red Thread Letters, the textbooks for Color of Woman and Red Thread Guide and over 100k emails sent a month to our various student groups. It’s a lot of communication. Then there is writing curriculum for Anthropas and the copy for Motherboard. Then add the drawings, and you know what, I am a busy bee. That said. I am so amused by all of it, most of the time. I adore serving our community with my gifts.
But in 2020 I haven’t been writing more, because all that writing equals a whole lot of editing. Not a little bitta but a buncha buncha. A book I ‘thought’ was finished two years ago is still waiting for the final round of page breaks. I have so much editing it is wacky so I am focused on that instead of new stuff. When I founded Cosmic Cowgirls 16 years ago it was rooted in three things, community, making art and making books. Well, that is indeed what we have done all right. Yet today my Muse was grumpy.
I tried to tell her, I have editing to do – and I know you think that is so boring because you always want to make something new. Muses are like that you know. But she wouldn’t listen. I opened my 2020 writing document with only a few measly pages and Discordia and Dish Pit came out in a chunka.
My friends, Christine and Mary and I were sharing our thoughts on the planet Eris, named after the Goddess of Chaos and Discord, astrologically – that would be a whole other letter I am not going to get into since it isn’t in my wheelhouse. You could just do a web search for Eris at 23° Aries in square if interested. What I found quite interesting is that this morning when I was writing, the teacup in the poem had already broken before the Eris part showed up in the writing….. then I remembered the information about the energy of this time…Ah the Muse uses what she can to make a poem out of spittle, teacups, green grass and stardust.
And there is a truth here too – that my favorite teacup did get broken recently, But was Diego the cat’s fault. We got it at Monet’s garden….Anyway, my Love said another is on the way of a different design than water lilies.
That and the reality that it is 2/20/2020 and so that feels magical! So I am announcing to you and me that my first fiction book has gone through the first round of edits! That feels EPIC! and today seemed like a good time to tell you. I hope to get this one traditionally published if I can get that figured out.
The other writings from this year are in the same vein, this year I am trying something different, instead of a whole bunch of different writings, I am attempting to move along the theme – and the theme is: The Muse came to the back door – and then see what comes out. It is all so amusing. And for me, amusement equals pleasure.
Photo by Jonathan McCloud
There is a lot of craze-ballz stuff going on don’t cha know it? And so yes, part of my life saving work in the world is, indeed, having a good time with my Muse. And letting her have her way with me. Muse time = medicine.
Oh! I want to invite you to LIBERATE – a free class with me on Sunday (or watch later). Here is the inspiration. I was talking to a friend recently who was having a TERRIBLE problem, a problem that involved mean people and literally millions of dollars and legal stuff. It was brutal. I realized at some point during the support process that she was blaming herself for this happening. That is when the Muse wields the giant bullsh*t sword. Because I don’t believe everything happens for a reason or is in perfect order, at all. Sorry ya’ll who love that version of this mythic tale of life, I don’t buy it.
When I step on an ant, did it ask for that? When someone gets sick from eating toxic food – did they call that on? Do people who live in countries where there is a take over and occupation call it on? Things just aren’t that tidy the way I see it. But the way I see it is just one way – you have your own. But do you know what story you are running about why things happen? Join me and let’s explore it together. And yes, I will share one of my most scary topics with you. Taking on the ‘everything happens for a reason’ manifesta. I won’t try to get you to agree with me, that’s boring, rather I will invite you to liberate yourself from ideas which aren’t serving you.
Hint: You can tell a theory is bad when it makes you feel bad. Hum. Chew on that one.
When the sun came up this morning I was standing there on the dock…seeing that golden globe and all the pink and glowy water and I gave thanks for the life I have. There are tons of things working alongside with lots of complicated stuff. I have been sick for a few days and that gives you plenty of time to think.
Anyhoo…. I invite you to get a cuppa tea or evening wine and enjoy reading this writing from my muse to yours, Discordia and the Dish Pit.
Time for coffee with my love and watching a show on brains for cafe!
p.s. This writing series was inspired by reading a poem called Sometimes a Wild God by Tom Hirens. This is well worth a listen, shared with me by my friend Lissa.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5lJnbB4woQ
Here are a couple of songs you may enjoy today related to this writing.
“Shine a Different Way” by Patty Griffin’s – a song selection from one of our editors, Amber Gould after readin the poem.
Not The Only One by Bonnie Raitt for my sister, mama and me.
LIBERATE: FREE Intentional Creativity® Class with Shiloh Sophia to catalyze YOUR OWN process of LIBERATION.
Do we need to claim that everything that happens to us happens for a reason?
Do we need to carry the burden of things ‘we caused’ that didn’t work out?
Let’s explore using Intentional Creativity and see what happens…
She Carries Me
With Shiloh Sophia and Jennifer Berezan
Immediate online access upon registration
LIBERATE: Free Zoom Class
With Shiloh Sophia
Begins 2/23 Online
Dancing Entrepreneur Video Course
With Shiloh Sophia and Mary MacDonald
Begins 3/4 for two weeks online
Trip to United Nations CSW
+ Dancing Entrepreneur Workshop
With Shiloh Sophia
3/7.8.9 in New York, NY
Or, join us for 3/9 only for free
Red Madonna Sisterhood 2020
Guided by Rev. Shiloh Sophia
Begins 3/19 for 13 moons
Rose’ and Roses
with Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud
Painting Party – Saturday night Spring Salon
3/28 at Musette in Tiburon, CA
Coming Home Art Reception
For Shiloh Sophia
Hosted by Jonathan McCloud
4/25 at Musette – Save the date!
APOTHECARY: Medicine Painting
With Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud
Begins 5/14 for 3 weeks
INVOCATION: Red Thread Gathering
Guided by Shiloh Sophia
with Dr. Mary McCrystal and Lavender Grace
5/29.30.31 at MUSEA in Sonoma, CA
Red Thread Connect
Free monthly community calls for women
with Shiloh Sophia and the Guild
Recent Red Thread Letters from Shiloh Sophia: