Frieze Frame - hitting the wall

When you start something new (or in my case to return to something after 20 years) you experience that initial exhilarating rush of excitement.

The joy of discovering a world full of like-minded people, of enlightenment through new books and using a highlighter to mark those quotes that are clearly written with just you in mind. The physical and mental clearing of an attic full of stuff which feels like casting off layers and layers of an older self. The magical trips to exhibitions with the familiar ducking into Cass afterwards to fill up on the right materials to fulfill whatever particular inspiration has been ignited that day. I have it all. A stack of books from Amazon filled with scribbles and post it notes, every conceivable type and size of paint brush, a group of imaginative like-minded friends and the much-desired space to call my own. I am so lucky sometimes it hurts. So, with all this in place something amazing is going to happen right? All my ducks have been lined up - no more excuses. I can't wait for that electric hit of inspiration. I'm going to be so ready when it happens....

I'm waiting.


I've been stood up. I'm all dressed up with no-where to go.

What I failed to anticipate is that the upward curve can't continue at the same pace for ever. I feel I've been racing flat out for the last year and a bit and now I've hit the wall. I have no more excuses and no more obstacles that I can conveniently blame my inactivity on. What I am clearly lacking is a muse.

“...for I did not know that it was in me. If any had asked me a single day before if it was in me, I should have told them frankly no, it was not. That is the way with us; we may go on half of our life not knowing such a thing is in us, when in reality it was there all the time, and all we needed was something to turn up that would call for it.”
Mark Twain


But, it seems that even those lucky enough to be visited by their muse, they have trouble keeping hold of her. "She's high maintenance" as Lance Hill would say.

The letter is read by Kylie Minogue for LETTERS LIVE: Letter taken from Letters Of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher (Canongate): When released in 1996, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' ninth album, the beautifully haunting, sometimes terrifying Murder Ballads, attracted critical praise from far and wide and went on to reach a larger audience than any of their previous records.


For me, I believe she is already here, I just have to give her the space and time to show up on her own terms. When I find her my god, she had better the most sparkly, star-spangled fantastic muse in the world, like a beautiful scary cross between Grace Jones and Bianca Jagger.

I'm sure she will be - after all she's already running late.