Wait. Let me gather my thoughts like the flaring skirts of a dancing dress, like wild hair strands in the wind. Look away while I tug them in and pretend you don’t see the filaments unravelling again.
Okay, the curtain goes up and you may look now. You may listen while I spill them one at a time in a choreographed scene of revelation.
Creativity has a multitude of children, fostered out to many. “Foster parent to a poem” – did I not write that once, long ago? But I am foster parent to more than a poem, to more than poetry. Creativity, that most fertile of begetters, has fostered an abundance of her offspring on me. Lucky me.
Sometimes I forget their faces and names. This one with the red hair, is he mine? That graceful one with the soft voice, does she belong to me as well? Didn’t I just see a strange little face peeping through the garden shrubs?
They are my muses, these little sprites, small gods. They are called Calliope and Clio, Erato and Melpomene, Terpsichore and Talia. They are Apollo and Oghma, Ilhy and Khnum and Meret, Bran and Danu and Sadv. And countless nameless others.
How can I then tell you whose mother I am? How can I hear only one voice whispering in my ear?
Painters should paint and poets should write poetry. Novelists harken to the voice of their muse and the hands of sculptors are guided by theirs. It is the one voice they know above all others. It is the one face they recognise among a million. It is the one passion that pulls them forward on their journey. Lucky them.
I dance to the tune of a hundred voices. I whirl like a dervish to paint and poetise, to draw and dream. My footprints form a thousand words. I leave my handprints on the walls of caves. I double back on old pathways, searching for the faces behind trees, the disappearing visions. My paths criss-cross through the forest. I tread a labyrinth.
I am foster mother to a crowd of creations. I will not travel far. My journey is here.