The water, hot and welcomed, pounds my shoulders and cascades around my neck, stripping away the dirt and sweat. Anchoring my hands on the shower wall, I let the water work its magic. I close my eyes, exhale strongly, and release my mind. The water envelops me, my senses, my mind...

Are there sounds that are only heard by the deaf? Are there things unseen to those with sight? Might the angst-ridden beauty of artistic accomplishment reveal itself more clearly to those burdened of twisted mind and unbridled emotion?

My life has been one of growing peace and routine more than artistic angst or spiritual distress. For awhile now, I had grown accustomed to percolating emotions, those feelings that lurk, coiled and ready to strike, manifesting malformed action and self-destructive choices. I have found solace regularly in the creative word. The twist of a poetic phrase or the presence of a story unfolding beneath the key stokes often releases much. Now, it seems that I am driven less and less to release my serpents of spiritual distress. This is different. Not good. Not bad. Just different.

I know the truth. I know that there lies deep within me an eternal presence, my creative magical essence that demands to be known - my familiar, my dragon, The lines of poetry, the tales woven in prose, the occasional burst of fire breathed from comments, are all glimpses of a piece of her being: scales of translucent blue, a sapphire eye blinking in the dusk, the sound of a gentle, rumbling breath, a brush of a powerful tail. She is my eternal muse. I miss her, these days. I sense she misses me.

Yet, here in this steam cloud, beneath the relentless waterfall, while all sound is blasted away, I hear her breath, steady and smooth. Through closed eyes, I see again, the cave where she dwells. It is in this moment I know that I could extend my arm and touch her. I can't help but smile, wondering what journeys await.

We live.