Author: Compton, Cliff

The Muse

Muse (myz)
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
3. muse A poet.

The muse has always fascinated me.

The source of inspiration. That thing that comes over you and drops a song or a poem or picture in your lap. A source of inspiration. A guiding spirit. With me, I always figured it was a gift of God, or the breath of an angel or some such, but one thing I know is that it comes and goes, and when the muse is there, Iím listening. It has left me some precious gifts.

It ainít hard to write. You just put your fingers on the keyboard and move them up and down. At the end of the page you print that sucker and hope that what was written was worth the exercise of your fingers.

But inspiration is different. It always surprises. It brings you things that make you catch your breath. It humbles you. It takes you beyond yourself. It comes from beyond, like a whisper in the wind. Fragile and easily frightened away.

Iím not sure how it affects others who write songs or poetry or paint pictures or whatever, but with me I always know when itís there. The words and images rush in. A song will often pop out complete, unfettered, almost like something channeled through you instead of originated by you.

Iíve written a lot of songs and poetry in my life. A lot of bad songs and lousy poetry, and some that were were pounded out or dragged from the slough of despond, and some of those were serviceable and maybe worth the time.

But those that came of the muse were set apart. They were somehow connected to the soul. Songs that touch a chord in the hearts of those that hear them. Songs that reflect the human condition, that connect us in a real and tangible way.

Iíve gone through great dry periods where everything I wrote was flat and uninspired. Frustrating times when Iíve wondered if Iíd ever write anything that mattered again. Itís an ugly place to be. A disconnect with the true pulse of life. And then, mercifully, the muse returned and life was restored.

Iím wonderingÖ.those of you with an artistic bent. The songwriters, poets, artists, sculptures, architects, musicians. Does this resonate with you? How about that magic jam when the music that flowed from you came from way beyond you. When your fingers played notes that you could never normally play. When you painted a picture and thought, I couldnít possibly have painted that. When the muse settled in your campsite or walked down the fingers of hands.

I guess itís why Iím not real fond of pop music. A lot of flash. A lot of technique. A lot of sound and fury. But I ainít much of the whisper of the muse.

And Iím watching for it. Ever hoping.

Posted:  9/13/2013

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