Rosanne and the Muse

Rosanne Cash and the muse

Rosanne Cash and the muse

I have retreated to the country, where I await the muse. I write this at a table in a cabin overlooking a pond, dappled with rings from soft drops of rain. A family of ducks is dawdling in the reeds. At some point soon they will decide it’s time to fly south as the others have done. Chicadees and a pair of American Goldfinchs are busy at feeders in the aspen.

I just finished reading Composed, a memoir by songwriter / singer Rosanne Cash. It’s a book that builds creative and psychological power as Cash traces her journey from rebellious rocker to her recent rediscovery of her country music roots.

I’ve appreciated Rosanne’s sensibilities ever since I discovered her, on Seven Year Ache, writing and singing lines like “I’ll tell you truly that I sometimes lie.” More recently I’ve got many chuckles and insights from her Twitter identity, where she dishes out daily observations on family, performances, and (like most Tweeters) daily odds and ends.

On the last page of her memoir, Cash writes: “I have a fear that I have a personal quota, bestowed at birth, of first-rate songs allotted to me, and I worry, after every new song I write, that I have finally reached that magic number. So, inevitably, mixed with the satisfaction of accomplishment is anxiety and sadness that this might be the end. The uncertainty is vexing, but it keeps me humble. I am always a beginner, again and again.”

So it is that I am feeling very much the beginner, here at this desk at a window overlooking the pond. I have a stack of notes accumulated from a year of wanting-to-be-writing. But just because the muse has answered the call in the past, there is nothing to say that she will respond affirmatively today – or tomorrow.

So the best one can do is establish the conditions for creating. I am ready. My camera sits on the windowsill, waiting for the birds.

My fingers are on the keyboard.

Waiting for the words.


  1. As I read it the creative process & writing has already begun Lorne.

    Sounds like a nice venue as well. Enjoy…

    PS – I’m not familiar with Rosanne’s work but I’m a huge fan of her father’s.

Share Your Thoughts