The Muse, Mystery and Grace…

“It isn’t easy. Nobody has ever done it consistently. Those who try hardest, scare it off into the woods. Those who turn their backs and saunter along, whistling softly between their teeth, hear it treading quietly behind them, lured by a carefully acquired disdain.

We are speaking, of course, of The Muse.”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing/Essays on Creativity

Many people imagine the life of a writer as one of awakening each morning to a flowing stream of words that pour onto our writing tablet or through our fingers and onto the computer screen, our greatest challenge being that of writing or moving our fingers quick enough on the computer keys to catch the words.

There are times like that. But more often than not, we struggle to find those words that ideally give readers a smooth ride into the escape of our stories and novels.

A more honest way of describing what we do is to say that the smoother our sentences flow and the more intense a readers entrancement into at story, the harder the writer toiled at kneading and carving that ease of journey presented in the magic carpet of our words.

But what of The Muse?

She or he is there. And yet their presence does not deny or absolve the writer from our duties of crafting a good story.

In fact I would say, it has been my experience, the greater the presence of The Muse, the harder she/he compels me to work.

Beckoning, summoning and then maintaining the presence of The Muse requires careful artistry.

Work too hard and befriending her or him and you conjure distrust. Act as if you do not care, as in dispassion, and they may never appear or return.

The quickest way to host The Muse is through surrender to that which we can never as artists and humans completely and thoroughly understand or fully comprehend.

Where the refinement of skill and the gift and development of artistry meet, the spark of mystery and inspiration appear and alter our work, our writing, into a jewel of transformation for which we, the artist and writer are first subjects.

The Muse, in many ways is this mysterious spark of change where we are its first victim.

But to be victim to The Muse is to become the devotee of The Beloved, that which resides in use and years to makes not simply better, rather behold the beauty and blessing of who we are.

So much of writing is about uncovering and exhuming, peeling away and mending as truth comes forth.

The Muse on another level is the crucible in which the media of our art and artistry churns, our paints on canvasses and notes on staffed paper.

For writers and other literary artists The Muse becomes the collection of our words and the summation of our story and novel, what we write and the message delivered first to us in our working to render our narratives and poems to readers.

And then there is the experience or writing, that which subsumes and enfolds us, the process of writing.

Crucible, process and words.

Transformation, development and gift or recognition.

It is truly all a mystery, both within ourselves, on the paper or computer screen and in our hearts, this coming together and parting of ways, that which is written then onto the refinement and editing of what is later read by others.

Many gaps and detours occur along the way.

It is nothing less than a mystery that brings our words into story.

And that in itself is Grace.

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on June 8, 2010.

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