Friday, January 21, 2011
I have a bucket full of blooming paper-whites in the window just to the left of me as I write. The fresh flowers are heavy with scent - like an alluring promise, a beckoning aphrodisiac of spring. Even when I tune them out of my peripheral vision and concentrate on paperwork, their fragrance is inescapable.
I put them here to inspire me. At times they do. They enrich a sense of well-being. They prompt a passionate search for inspired insights.
Other times they carry me away to future warm days. I daydream, accomplishing little that can be seen. And that's okay because I'd be doing some of that even if they weren't here scenting my thoughts.
They are my temporary muse of sorts.
–verb (used without object)
1. to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
2. Archaic . to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
–verb (used with object)
3. to meditate on. 4. to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.
1. ( lowercase ) the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.
2. ( sometimes lowercase ) the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.
I'd like to say that good writers do not need muses. (Or that the only muse one needs is a deadline to meet.) But I don't believe I can accurately say that. Can I write, or make art, without flowers in the room? Yes. But something has to inspire me. Something has to get the proverbial ball rolling. It could be a thought, a memory, a photo, a color, a feeling I want to capture in words. Music. Creation. God's illuminated truth. Very often it's a point I want to make to the world, or one I need to make to myself. But it STARTS somewhere with something.
And when the "basket of starts" appears to dry up, it's a scary thing for an artist.
You do realize we are all artists of some type, right?
Recently a writer friend confessed she'd lost her ability to create. She couldn't figure out where her passion for writing had gone. She asked me to pray for her. I did. I also assured her I'd lost and found mine multiple times in the past several years.
The next morning, during her quiet time with God, she found it again. Her previously barren start-basket had just a little something in the bottom again.
Reminds me of the story of the widow who'd run out of food but when she trusted God, she found He would miraculously fill her oil and flour jars just enough for each day's meal. (see I Kings 17)
Which reminds me that GOD is always THE muse.
I bet He smells heavenly too.