--by Cyncie Winter, Creativity Coach and Professional Artist
We have all undoubtedly heard about the Nine Muses—the sources of inspiration used by the Greeks to invoke artistic expression. And indeed, the concept of the Muse has been used throughout time to acknowledge that there is something Other out there than our wee little selves that invites us to create in courageous, unique ways.
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert suggests that Inspiration as a Muse, is a vital thing to attend to—that it, in fact, is always looking for a human to receive its gift— and that if we ignore it when it comes knocking at our door, it will find someone else who is more interested in responding to its call. Mind you, it’s perfectly okay to to respond, but if we do, we open the doors to Mystery and Aliveness.
In his lovely poem about answering the Muse’s call, William Stafford gives us an idea of what it is like to meet..and accept the invitation of one’s Muse.
When I Met My Muse
I glanced at her and took my glasses
off--they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. "I am your own
way of looking at things," she said. "When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation." And I took her hand.
Take a look at how some famous writers invoked the Muse (from Judy Reeves’ book A Writer’s Book of Days: Be prepared to have a chuckle or two!
“The poet Friedrich von Schiller used to keep rotten apples under the lid of his desk, open it, inhale deeply, and compose…
“Balzac drank fifty cups of coffee in a day…
“Willa Cather read the Bible…
“Samuel Taylor Coleridge indulged in two grains of opium before working…
“It’s said that Edgar Allen Poe wrote with a cat on his shoulder…
“T.S. Eliot preferred writing when he had a head cold.” (p. 35)
So how do you invoke your Muse? How do you nurture yourself in ways that allow you to vitally attend to your create life? What would it feel like for you invite in the gift of inspiration so that “every glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation”?
How can we help inspire your creative process? Contact us at
ArtCoachingforyou.com to find out!