"D" is for "Discussion"
Berowne has been having another discussion with his muse.
Here is a rare picture of her – rare because she does not usually seek publicity. Berowne is a bit upset because his muse has been absent for quite a while.
Berowne: “Where on earth have you been? I’ve been waiting around for weeks for you.”
Muse: “Well, if you think about it, I wouldn’t have been anywhere – on earth. We muses, or musi, live not just in a separate world but in a separate universe.”
B: “Oh, come off it. Stop trying to make yourself into something special and supernatural. We all know you’re just a figment of my imagination, not someone of flesh and blood, and what that means is that you should show up when you’re needed. You don’t seem to know the rules.”
M: “True, I don’t. Are the rules printed out somewhere? And do they mention pay, benefits, vacations and so on?”
B: “That’s rich. You seem to have just been on vacation for almost a month. What is this, France? At times I just don't feel I have control. But let’s get down to work. Willow has just posted another enigmatic prompt; to answer it I need inspiration.”
M: “Inspiration? Ah, that’s an angry equine – a horse of a different choler.”
B: “H’mm. Good thing I don’t depend on you for puns.”
M: "One of these days it’s going to come out that you depend on me for everything. What I was going to say, before I was so boorishly interrupted, is that what I do is come up with ideas. Most of them are like the children up in Lake Woebegone – above average – but I have to admit that maybe some of the ideas are not that great. However, they’re just ideas. Inspiration is something else. As Jack Nicholson might have said in ‘A Few Good Men,’ you can’t handle inspiration!”
B: “Oh, I could handle it all right, if you’d just come up with it. Anyway, here’s this week’s prompt. What do you make of it?"
M: “Good heavens! Where did you get that?”
B: “I didn’t get it; it’s a prompt. You’re familiar with it?”
M: “Why of course. To us it’s famous. It’s a tribute to us, to me, to the literary muse! It powerfully exemplifies our lives, our struggles. Pushed down, kept in the background, often ignored, we nevertheless manage to bring forth gems – note the powerful symbol of an avant-garde ruby that represents the razor-sharp product of our labor.”
B: “I have to admit I’m impressed. It’s true, I haven’t been as appreciative as I could have been for your efforts. And I know I’ve been a bit churlish in the past…”
M: “A bit?”
B: “But this wonderful picture changes things. I’ll be properly grateful for the invaluable work of my muse in the future.”
M: “Good. Now, could we get back to that discussion of pay and benefits?”
1 year ago