Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On Magic and Muses. . .

Muses are spirits or goddesses worshipped by the ancient Greeks as the source of creative inspiration. From the muses comes 'mus-ic', 'a-muse-ment', 'mus-ing', 'be-mused', etc.

As cultures through the ages learned to identify the muses' presence, their names, powers, personalities, and numbers evolved. I thus feel entitled to ascribe my own characteristics to the muses which haunt me.

My main muse sits on my shoulder, just under my right ear, and whispers. If I ignore its whispering for too long, it gets agitated and begins to shout. My muse sometimes bears the wings of an angel but more often, it sports the forked tail of a demon.

My main muse has been known to dictate entire novels, and to stubbornly argue with me about characters and plots (and inevitably prevail). My muse often awakens me at odd hours of the night and never apologizes for keeping me up until dawn brightens the horizon. My muse hates my husband, despises my children, and is generally outright antagonistic toward anything or anybody that keeps me from my keyboard.

My muse is totally uninterested in the mundane matters of love, money, and publishing contracts. It abruptly vacates my shoulder the moment I peck my husband's cheek, ponder cents-paid-per-word. . .or begin a query letter.

I believe muses are a wonderful personification of the mysterious nature of creativity. Although my belief in their actual existence waivers, my belief in the reality of magic is much firmer. But that's an entirely new blog....

Eileen Schuh,
Canadian writer
(I invite you to visit again to read my future posting on the mysteries of magic.)


Cheryl Tardif said...

What an inspiring post, Eileen. And strangely enough I was beginning to picture that little angel/devil muse on your shoulder. Hmmm...perhaps we should photoshop one in on your headshot. ;-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Renita said...

I don't like being hated *sniff*

Eileen Schuh: said...

Renita, lovely daughter, if you were to get your own muse, I'm sure it would like you.