“We could try a grounding ritual,” I offered.

“That sounds like a definite possibility,” Erato nodded, putting another forkful of food into his mouth. “Or maybe I could kill my libidinous energy by picturing Zeus and Hera having a round of makeup sex,” he joked.

“Ew. No one should have to take such extreme measures,” I grinned at my brother.

The smell of my ribeye was divine. I chewed a small bite, savoring the flavor as it hit my tongue. I made a mental note to tell Zeus about this, since he’d been talking a lot about steaks around the OA as of late. 

“There’s also the option of forest bathing. Although I think that could actually intensify things, driving your energy up. So, on second thought, maybe that should be avoided. We could ask Artemis for a map of the best spots for some quiet and solitude in nature,” I suggested, “for a more specific ritual. What do you think?”

He hesitated. “I’m not really sure of the effect I’m having on people. It’s really unpredictable. I don’t want to involve any more people than necessary. And while a remote place might be a good idea, things seem a little more settled. Or at least they do right now.”

I sat back in my chair, uncertain about my efforts to help my dear brother. I found it frustrating that I could not completely solve his problem. He and I were so different. Our mission, as Muses, was to inspire culture, creativity, and enlightenment, but each of my siblings (and I) made our way through the world on very diverse paths. I felt a deep affinity for poetry and Erato’s talent, and sometimes I even envied him, but we still seemed like night and day at times. But at the root of it all, I loved him and wanted him to be happy and at peace. 

“Okay, if you wanted to try a more specific grounding regimen, you could really do it anywhere. First, you would start out with focused and intentional breathing. You’d sit comfortably on the ground with your bare feet flat on the earth. Feel the energy of the earth and that your feet are connected to it. Inhale deep breaths and bring the energy in through your feet, drawing it up through your body. When you exhale, let go of negativity, allowing it to be expelled through your feet. The earth will take the negative energy…or in your case, the exaggerated energy and dissipate it. Visualize the process as it is taking place. Inhale peace, nourishment, and stability. Exhale dark thoughts, disconnect, and imbalance.” I twirled my fork around my plate before setting it aside. “What do you think?” I asked. 

Erato scratched at his chin. “I’ve been doing my best all day to keep it under control, but I can still feel it slipping out here and there. I have no idea where it’s going, and whether it’s inspiring people to write a limerick with their phone number on it to give to the barista, or chase each other around the cafe restroom! Finding balance is definitely part of it, but I’m struggling.”

I sat back, struck by a sudden thought. “Wait – you’re fully within the mortal form, right?”

He nodded. 

“I’m not going to ask you why you thought that was a good idea – but maybe that’s got more to do with it than we thought.”

“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said, though he had the good grace to look a little embarrassed.

“It doesn’t matter. But if the problem is because you’re not finding balance, perhaps you should look at how mortals find balance. We’ve been approaching this as if you are just a muse, but you’re in a body. You can’t just turn off all the hormones and organs and things.”

He looked thoughtful. “That’s a really interesting idea, sis. I guess a visit to the library is in order. How do mortals keep it together?”

“I seriously have no idea,” I smiled and shook my head. 

“Should we get you out of here now?” I asked. 

He nodded and motioned for the check, oblivious to the fact that the waitress stood staring at him, cheeks flushed, fanning herself with a damp towel.

Urania (Kimberlee Gerstmann)
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