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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainbow Toes

She sat on her front porch and waited for her muse to come and pull up a chair.  The vessels lining the wooden deck boasted dark fuchsia Peony and bursts of brilliant Geranium.  So bright against their green splayed leaves that they almost looked like garish globes of still life fireworks. 

He was late today; he had not shown his face during the last batch of dishes, had not whispered sweet nothings through the landscape of her mind while she had vacuumed, nor had he come while she prepared the chili ingredients for the slow cooker.  Now with the blue skies and gentle sea breeze she looked out to the snow capped peaks in the distance and prayed for his arrival.

Her friends teased when she described her relationship with her inspiration this way, “It’s almost sounds like you are describing a lover.” they had said.  What they failed to understand, what most people uninterested in creative endeavors failed to understand, was that her relationship with her muse was exactly like that of a lover, and a fickle one at that.  A lover with moods,  insecurities, one capable of instilling feelings of devastation and vast levels of longing when she was left without words for bouts of time. 

Where could he be?  Why had he gone?  Was she somehow deemed unworthy?  Tiresome?

She looked down at her toes which she had painted in a rainbow of colors, splitting the biggest toenails in two with the colors because you needed seven toes for a rainbow didn’t you?  Tiresome?  No, how could someone using rainbow hues in such a way ever be considered mundane?  The neon lime green of the third toe bold as it screamed out everything but simple and ordinary.  No her muse had not become tired of her.  Bored?  It was unthinkable.  He and the words they came up with together were her world, blood and breath.  It was not as thought she could exchange him for another. 

A muse and creator were fused at birth, like some Janus dance of flesh, the gate to the river of words could only be breached with each present.  Like the Genie and the lamp, someone had to be there to rub its surface, and reap the rewards.  It was the very nature of the relationship, the key to their shared creativity, the give and take, the acceptance of the differences that strengthened their bond of companionship.  But where was he now?  If they could not be separated, and could not create without the other, was it not reasonable to fathom that he too was hurting from the lack of words?

She wondered at the possibility while the Harley Davidson bikes sped by the front of her house.  These loud, brash motorbikes roared through her quiet calm like chrome piston swords that reminded her of phallic ego enhancements.  Crinkling her nose she stuck fingers into snug holes to protect her hearing.  As the bikes passed they were followed by a slower moped that buzzed out its presence with a less intense decibel, and despite its unassuming nature carried its rider with a socially acceptable pinache and toddler-like carbon footprint.

A smile curled both her toes and the corners of her mouth while she wondered what the bikers would think about the quieter biped.  Probably the same thing Wasps and Hornets thought about Bumble and Honey bees; evil glares exchanged while on honeyed flights or food hive drives.

A giggle escaped her while the blades of grass took no notice.  Her thoughts drifted in and out of the miracle mechanics of insect flight.  Her concentration quiet and so intently focused that she didn’t notice his articulate embrace.  The figurative arms of her unseen Siamese twin encompassed her and felt as though a rolling mountain mist fingered over her shoulders and slipped into her existence, stealing all of her senses so completely that she almost forgot about the sun sliding on the razored horizon, slitting its flesh to splash brilliance upon the back drop of a cloudy canvas.  Gentle wisps looking like spoken secrets grasping the transformation of the dancing illuminescence as it crawled up the sky and the ravenous, jealous sea swallowed the ruddy orb whole. 

He was here, she was whole and nothing seemed more right with the world then her shared existence with the purpled periwinkle peaks in the distance, and the steady shared word pulses whispered upon her lobes.


  1. Beautiful and elequent, insightful - One's Muse is one's love - Through highs and lows always there waiting for the artist the writer to allow him/her expression. Sometimes I feel it is just one's higher self, one's soul singing out. At best one's creations transport the viewer / reader / listener - Great read it certainly struck a chord with me.
    Loved it.

  2. Thanks for stopping by MJ I am so glad it resonated with you. :)

  3. Lovely read, like you say having a relationship with your muse is like having a relationship with a passionate, but fickle lover. Creativity is spontaneous, it can't be forced.....

  4. Sometimes my muse can be a real... well anyway great read

  5. Marquis-de-Joker... thanks for coming by.. glad you enjoyed! :)