This is what our Maine world looks like at the advent of spring.
It's funny though...the snow can't hide the fact that spring is in the air. The light is broader, brighter. Birdsong is growing in strength and enthusiasm. I watched a pair of downy woodpeckers locked in a twirling coupling yesterday (talk about a quickie!). There is a general softening of the atmosphere, snow notwithstanding.
It's a good thing too. I have slogged through a month in a serious slump (sounds a bit like a Dr. Seuss predicament). Why is it that I sometimes lose all inspiration to do anything - cook, create, write, innovate, initiate, move, exercise, accomplish, get out of bed...? And then that judging voice kicks in with disdain, reminding me that I have no excuse to be melancholy or idle.
Maybe what's missing is that thing people call a muse, but it's really something everyone has, not just artists. It's that spark that ignites our enthusiasm, the twinkle in our eye, the angel on our shoulder, the glowing ember in our soul, pixie dust. But sometimes it is muffled, snuffed out, or just gone on vacation.
As usual, my canine companions are always helpful in pulling me out of the mire, given the opportunity. They are heavily featured in today's post, enjoying the snow with their usual abandon.
There is NEWS! First, I thought I'd link my little pool of readers to some of what I've been up to in print. I am well over 100 columns for the Bangor Daily News now, and it has been very gratifying work, even though it's occasionally a chore to get the job done. Here is my web page for the (paper: http://bangordailynews.com/author/robin-clifford-wood/)
Second - Our year with Aqsa, our teenaged "daughter" from Pakistan, has gone through multiple evolutions. Like everything truly worthwhile, it's not always easy, but the vastly predominant overall picture is pretty great. It will be an unforgettable year. Here's a column update about that: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/05/living/more-tales-of-a-pakistani-teenager-in-maine/
Third - part of the improving picture at home is the growing friendship between Aqsa and our youngest daughter, who rejoined the household in November for a rather undefined period of transition. T's future is now appearing with greater clarity, since she has decided to accept the offer of admission from Tulane. It's strange to ponder next fall now, when we will be readjusting back to the empty nest again!
Fourth - I'm going back to school too! I have been accepted into Stonecoast's low-residency MFA program in creative writing in southern Maine. My attachment to Maine and Maine's creative people has expanded enormously over the last few years, and I am so excited to be continuing my explorations into the literary world right here in my home state. One of my great hopes is that the discipline, instruction, networking, and support of the program will give me the nudge I need to finish Rachel Field's story and start in on a few other book projects that have been circling langorously in my brain for years, searching for a place to land.
My first 10 day residency starts in July, but I'll have work to do between now and then, and I plan to keep up the column, at least every other week.
So - time to spring forward! Crack open the dull shell of hibernation and embrace the muse! Snow or no snow, it's time for a little rebirth.