Say hello to Featured Client Naomi Ruth Lowinsky! When poet Naomi Ruth Lowinsky first joined Writer’s Relief in 2007, we told her to expect more rejections than she had ever received. She was shocked at first, but we were confident that she would be successful if she stuck it out. We were mesmerized by the way her poems ensnare the senses, amplifying every taste, sound, and sight; and with her exceptional sense of structure, she connects her words like pieces of an intricately designed puzzle that induced surprisingly emotional responses in the members of our Review Board. Rejections used to bog Naomi down, but after sixty acceptances, she now knows that they’re just part of the business. Check out her video to see her true story of rejection, publication, and inspiration!
In Her Own Words
Time for the Muse
The Muse has raised her voice, the clear voiced Siren
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
Who is this Muse? I call Her The Sister from Below because she is a familiar and emerges from the depths. Since I have begun to heed Her siren call she’s taken charge. She inserts Herself into everything I do. Every day She insists on time from me, time spent listening to Her. Even when I’m busy, on my way to work or preoccupied with the news, She says: “Give me just ten minutes. That’s all I ask. Sit in a chair. Take a deep breath. Take pen in your hand and write down what I say!” And you know, I always feel better after I do: more grounded, more real to myself, creative and alive.
She is not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping, making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you let Her, She will whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild goose chase of a daydream, eat up hours of your time. For She is a siren, a seductress, a shape-shifter. Why should you listen to such a troublemaker? Because She is essential to the creative process; she holds the keys to your imagination and your deeper life. And don’t forget, the image of the Muse who visits the poet and inspires the creative process is as old as poetry.
The Muse can be an inner figure, a fleeting memory from early childhood, an ancestor, a figure from myth or from a dream, a dead poet, or a ghost from one’s personal past. If you honor the Muse, if you let yourself be taken over, seized, wrestled with all night long, your writing will come to lustrous life. If you engage a figure out of a reverie, a fleeting memory, or a difficult emotion, if you let that figure speak to you, you will learn what you didn’t know you knew—you will make sense of memories or be filled with the urgency of a poem that demands to be written. For the Muse makes weird things happen, excites your passions, moves your soul, lifts the veil on other realities, can send you into agony or ecstasy depending on her mood.
When the Muse appears, as Robert Graves says, your “hair stands on end”… eyes water,” you feel turned on, charged with erotic feeling. Colors are bright, images clearly faceted, words come as music to your inner ear. Do you know Her in yourself? Sometimes She is like a tug from a dreamy eyed child who’d rather wander in the woods, make-believe all kinds of wondrous things, than go through your to-do list. Sometimes She’s a bitch on wheels. My Muse has not, like Dante’s Beatrice, waited patiently for me and lifted me to the heavens. She’s been a nudge, a nag, an intruder, a banshee—flying into a screaming rage if She does not get the time She considers Her due.
The Sister loves getting published. But she hates the business side of the writer’s life. She has no interest in copy editing or choosing where to send work among thousands of lit mags. Submission guidelines make her cranky. This is where Writer’s Relief comes in. Don’t let Her go running off to hang out with some other writer who has real time for Her. Keep the Muse with you by hiring Writer’s Relief to handle your “poetry biz.” She’ll thank you for it with blazes of inspiration.
(Adapted from the Introduction to The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way)
About Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky lives at the confluence of the River Psyche and the Deep River of poetry. Her memoir, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way tells stories of her pushy muse. She is the coeditor, with Patricia Damery, of the new collection Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way. She is also the author of four books of poetry, including the forthcoming Faust Woman Poems. Her poetry has been widely published, and she is the winner of the Obama Millennium Award. She is a Jungian Analyst with a practice in Berkeley, a member of the San Francisco Jung Institute and has for years led a writing circle there, called Deep River. Read more on her blog!