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SUNDAY BRUNCH | A Musing Notion

The Stuff

January 04, 1998|BEVERLY BEYETTE

For the musician confronting "inexplicable blank spots when sounds don't come," the artist whose shapes "remain lifeless" and the writer whose words "dissolve into meaningless drivel," two who've been there offer "Stones from the Muse."

A little paperback by Emily Herman and Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Fireside Books), sold in bookstores, it comes packaged with 10 double-sided faux stones, etched with symbols, to be drawn from their cloth pouch as needed to get the juices flowing. On really bad muse days, the authors suggest, one might want to keep a stone in a pocket, to touch from time to time, as reassurance that you are an artist.

The symbols on the stones, which are based loosely--very loosely--on the runic alphabet of old, include a seed for ideas, a window for vision, a mask for fear, a tool for action, an egg for potential, a tadpole for transformation and a ribbon for celebration.

There's also an X--for failure. Such as "the review that tears into your body and rips out your soul . . . the empty theater . . . the silent telephone."

But, say Herman and Jacobson, ever upbeat, "This rune reminds you that failure is a gift," a message to your muse to move on, even though "like a cold or a fruitcake, it is not a gift you can choose."

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