POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
By Nandy Ekle
The scene opens with a little boy wearing yellow swim trunks and nothing else. His body is curled in a cannon ball pose and it appears he has jumped from a platform and is heading toward water on a warm summer afternoon. As we see him hang in midair, his head turns toward us and he speaks.
“Mom, how long are you going to keep me like this before you print the picture?”
Of course, this is a commercial for a camera and how easy it is to use. But it does teach us a couple of lessons.
First, print your pictures quickly before you lose them. This has happened to me. I have lost entire birthday parties for grandchildren that I will never be able to get back because I left them on my camera too long before I printed them. Second, if you’re going to be captured in the middle of act for all eternity, wear something you don’t mind wearing for all eternity.
Third, and this is the big thing, when we begin to create something, we need to finish it, for our sakes, for the sake of the creation.
This is the lesson this TV ad placed in my head. I’ve talked about my imagination being a hall with hundreds of doors. Behind each door is a world with characters, and I have set these characters in motion. When I close the door, the action is suspended. In some rooms I have characters hanging in midair. Some are frozen in mid sentence. Some of my characters sit in hopeless tears because I’ve left them hanging from a cliff. And, if you know my writing, some of my characters crouch with their hands stuck in a downward arc of violence, which is terrifying for their victims, forever staring at their own demise.
So, like the little boy who will never splash into the water wearing his yellow swim suit, our characters are like wax statues waiting for us. In the words of the commercial, how long are we going to leave them that way?
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.