The Muse of Creativity has returned once more to my door, after what seemed like a very long absence. She is a gentle, quiet creature who never barges into my life: instead she knocks, then waits patiently for my answer. And when I am ready to greet her, she happily comes in, sits down in a comfortable spot, and makes herself at home for a while.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always considered myself a creative, artistic and somewhat quirky person. It is my nature to gravitate towards all things artistic, aesthetically pleasing, and unusual. I love all the expressive arts and enjoy trying my hand at most of them when I have the opportunity. Of course my creative expressions of choice are those involving words (obviously), colors, brushes, pencils, chalks, and paper, and so when Muse returns to help inspire me in the realm of painting and drawing I am really grateful and glad for her help. There are a thousand ways to be an artist in this life, and I am, true to my nature, a somewhat inconsistent type. This means that I can have big bouts of artistic urges, and will create a bunch of artworks all in a fairly short period of time (like weeks or months,) and then for reasons unknown to me, will stop and either do something else completely, or else simply not create anything for a while. Inevitably, at a certain point my Muse will then magically reappear in my life and say, ‘Come on, now, let’s pull out the paints and brushes and paper and get to work, Leigh! You have been lazy long enough.”
This has happened again in the past week, so I have obliged her by once more pulling out the brushes and paints, stretching some watercolor paper, and getting to play. What a pleasure it is to make art again after such a long hiatus, like a child finding beloved toys which had been sitting in a dusty attic and playing with them again. One lovely thing about creativity is that it begets more of the same: I went for a walk along the edge of the fields last weekend and it was so beautiful there that I pulled out some paper and pen from my pocket and wrote down several lines of verses. Great poetry it isn’t, but I liked doing it and hope to be able to share them with my young friends at the school, to show them that it isn’t so difficult to make a poem, you only need a bit of inspiration and some fresh air and nature around you. Oh yes, and some paper and a pencil!
Here are a few lines for you, dear Readers. These are only fleeting images, but maybe when you read them you will be able to catch a glimpse of my walk:
The smooth, cool skin of the beeches against my palm
a mottled sage green, white dotted lines running around its breadth
Their trunks gracefully curving like the limbs of young dancers
Leaves still green, now speckled yellow and splashes of
crimson, their scalloped ravelled edges now browning
A perfect, ochre snail shell
clinging to a slender grey trunk
Water skippers hopping across the rippling stream
pieces of sky reflected in the water
a canopy of leaves greening over my head
Small, bright red berries quivering
on the ends of delicate green strings
One perfect, golden sunflower,
its brown, open face
gazing silently down upon my countenance
Its heart-shaped arms spread lovingly upwards
Accepting the honey bees
Silently teaching me how to pray.
Perhaps it has to do with getting a bit older, and therefore more relaxed about life, or perhaps it is for other reasons, but no matter, these days I am no longer in such a struggling place with my artist self as I once was. I no longer berate myself for the art I don’t make, and instead simply enjoy whatever kind of artistic process I do make, whenever it comes to me. Many are much more skilled than I, and certainly more disciplined and hard-working, more prolific, more talented, dazzling, brilliant, etc….. but I am delighted to be able to say that I no longer care about all of that comparison business: I am simply happy that I make art, when I make it and how I make it. It brings me joy and peace and happiness in such a pleasureful way. To my way of thinking, that is really the point of doing it. Rejoice in the Muse’s presence, enjoy her as thoroughly as possible, and when she disappears again, as she certainly will, let her go. This world is full of so many wonderous things to experience in the course of a day, we might as well enjoy it, love it as much as we can, and above all else, accept it.
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sun rise. – William Blake
- The Daily Muse (onewaytowonder.wordpress.com)
- Muses: Inspiring or Vexing? Both… (naomiedmondson.wordpress.com)
- The muse (visionquestearth.wordpress.com)