Dante Alighieri, in Canto II of The Inferno:
O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!
(Anthony Esolen translation, 2002)
Lightning strikes not once, but three times in the course of two days and I’m completely thrilled! It seems that, despite struggling to keep chugging along at the hard pace I keep trying to set myself for my own works, I am still able to play cheerleader or inspirer of other people’s projects.
For the Greeks, a muse was a goddess that inspired their craft, whatever their chosen creative pursuit. In more recent times, we have come to see muses as being any individual that sets that little spark off in ourselves to give us either a gentle prod or a massive shove in the direction of awesomeness. I don’t necessarily mean we achieve perfection, or something of such great magnitude that the world will stand and stare or gasp with delight at the wonders of our minds. What I do mean, is that somehow we are able to create something that did not exist before. We have shaped and preened words, inks, images and so forth into something new, fun and wonderous for us to behold (and, hopefully, others too).
I am beginning to see that a huge part of my being is devoted to encouraging others to find or harness their own aspirations along the creative vein. I love nothing more than to set that spark to smoulder, producing flames of passion in their eyes; enraptured by the urge to ‘do’, and not just be content with dreaming. I offer tidbits of ideas, pull on their own comments and turn them around into something they can pursue, offer guidance or borrowed knowledge from books I’ve read, send prods and prompts to excite or help focus those ardent desires… and any other number of things.
All these are for those that make their dreams known and it is such a delight for me to discover ‘new’ people braving the world of creativity, finally admitting what it is they would love to do if only they had the time, the drive or the inspiration to do it. And in steps their muse. I’m not saying that I answer all their questions, nor am I saying that I successfully manage to give them the push they say they need. What I am is the little voice in the back of their head that attempts to turn the pesky critic in their heads into a faint buzzing in their ear. I want to quash fears in favour of actions, however imperfect. I want to encourage dreams to be realised, and that people would want to improve on whatever they choose to do.
So, in reality, my own aspirations aren’t so purely entrenched in what I want for myself but are, in fact, tied to what I want for others do. In me gaining knowledge, I then wish to share it freely. To offer what little I know up for discussion, for use, for support, for encouragement. In my journey, I want to pull many others in and along for the ride, to experience a mutual rollercoaster of discovery.
Here begins the adventures of a muse. 😀 [I wonder if an event of sorts could be ‘inspired’ by this?]