In Greek mythology we have the Muses. They were the anthropomorphic goddesses said to be inspiration for the arts, science and literature. If you invoked a Muse you might be blessed with a flow of the good stuff – an epic poem, a painting, a philosophical treatise – you name it!
The artist was a mere conduit for a Muse to talk to and entertain the ancient Greek populace.
This is ancient Greece we’re talking about folks but now it is the year 2014. Yet we still hear artists (poets, writers, visual artists etc.,) talking about their Muse! Whether they do this metaphorically or with a real belief is a question that only they can answer. I would like to believe that the answer is veering toward the former but am sure that’s not always the case.
In the 1960’s Bob Dylan was called a prophet by many of his fans and eventually he believed what they were saying. He believed that his lyrics were coming from above and he was the vessel to receive them. In later years he dismissed the notion with some irritation when asked by reporters.
To literally believe in a Muse has a number of implications. It means that you believe in Musey type goddesses out there in the heavens. It means that you believe you are one of the special beings selected by deities. Fancy that – a direct line of communication with the goddesses of writing, art and whatever.
It means that you believe your talent is coming from the heavens and has nothing to do with that cerebral mass in your skull (it also follows that you have no talent and are a mere channel – it’s Muses who have all the talent). It means that you (and some hundreds of thousands of other artists) have been selected by the Muses, out of the 7 billion people on this planet, as a conduit for divine art.
Wow, that’s special!
You can believe that if you want but have a good ponderate before diving into the deep end and hooking up with those mischievous celestial Muses.
Note: I hope some people aren’t too offended by this post 😌 but I believe that people benefit from having a greater self belief (internal locus of control) rather than externalising their situation (external locus of control).
Nuddernote: I was inspired by Ashley Cape’s ‘A Saturday Afternoon Rant on the ‘Madness’ of Poets’ to write my own rant. Thanks Ashley 😀
17 thoughts on “A Rant about Muses”
i feel, for me at least, i have many muse or at least many things that inspire me. i guess they could be considered muse.
That is another meaning of muse that people use and that’s fine – I only have a problem with the deity type muse 😉 I find Bob Dylan’s lyrics inspire me (is that irony – hahaha) so maybe his muse is mosing on down to me or sumthin’ like that!
thanks gingerfightback 😀 I had divine inspiration – hahaha
so interesting! I was going to talk about that to my workshop participants. They need a lot of encouragement and to believe in their talent, as we all do I think…and I thought that talking about muses would take away the feeling of responsibility, and the feeling of not having or not being good at being creative. Now you make me think more of what I should say…
thanks for all the links, a lot to think about 🙂
thanks Ben 😀 I think talking about a muse as in things that inspire you is fine (external inspiration is a good thing – being in nature, walking through a city, communicating with people or listening to a good song – whatever it is) – I think all humans are essentially creative but often it is suppressed as they get older – to have permission to be creative is often what people are after – whether it is deemed good or bad by another is irrelevant as the act of creativity is very healing and just plain good for all of us – good luck with your workshop.
Oh…I believe that periodically the Muses get a wrong number and happen to reach me. 🙂
you crack me up Charles (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again) – hahahaha – actually if anyone has a telephone connection to the heavens it will be you with your poems that make people think!
Rant on, Gabe. And say the Devil made you do it…
the devil made me do it 😈 hehehehe
Sometimes I think it’s just that people want to feel special, chosen. I used to think this way when I was younger – a smidge of talent and a lot of privilege will do that for you :). Now I realise, hopefully not too late that, really its about doing the work, learning the craft, grasping opportunities.
I agree 😀 Nothing wrong with wanting to feel special but when we veer into the magical thinking realm we can start to have a few problems.
Exactly how I feel 🙂
“it also follows that you have no talent and are a mere channel” especially this – which is kinda sad, huh? To reduce the wonderful things the mind can do to a whim of the Muse?
It always makes me sad when people disbelieve the powers of the brain in favour of some external influence Ashley – if I was a mere record player for the muses records than I would probably shoot myself in the head 😉 but there are no such things as muses so I am safe #touchwood
It is sad, huh?
I also had to smile at the Bob Dylan bit of the post too 🙂