Art, The Muse and Beholding The Other…

“The Muse then is that most terrified of all the virgins. She starts if she hears a sound, pales if you ask her questions, spins and vanishes if you disturb her dress. We might start off by paraphrasing Oscar Wilde’s poem, substituting the world “Art” for “Love.”
Art will fly if held too lightly.
Art will die if held too tightly.
Lightly, tightly, how do I know?
Whether I holding or letting Art go?”

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

Beckoning and befriending The Muse takes work and energy. The focus required to summon The Muse asks that we turn inward.

Looking at one’s own self consolidates awareness of our motives, those conscious and unconscious, what drives us to move through and impress ourselves upon the world in a unique manner that distinguishes us and expresses our personality.

The impetus to create involves two simultaneous processes, one of bringing the formless into form, making something out of the rawness of nothing.

And then there is transformation under which each artist goes when crafting and refining our work.

The Muse oversees and directs these two aspects of making while being remade, molding while being reshaped.

The Muse works through our unconscious. And it is through the distant connections rooted in our deep unconscious, the fertile terrain of the archetypal landscape upon which our awareness of waking reality rests that The Muse moves and sways our hearts and hands, reshapes and shifts the dogmas of our mind and thoughts.

Attracting the attention of The Muse requires that we settle, both without and within.

We must quiet the ramblings of thoughts, look into our mind’s eye and see that which the business of life asks, if not demands, that we ignore and avoid.

So much of The Muse consists of The Other, shadow aspects of self, hidden values that we either disregard or loathe because they lie outside of alignment with the ego ideal of the collective.

Tapping into The Muse demands that we turn back.

Claiming The Muse, making it our Muse, yours and/or mind necessitates that we embrace those flawed qualities, aspect of impulse and soul that bend not to the will of external goals, but the wind chimes of the heart, the truths that the collective experience of life lived several times affirms.

Art and The Muse walk hand in hand. Befriending and welcoming The Muse, hosting her or him on a permanent basis thrusts us into the world of surrender and sacrifice.

Our work becomes an altar on which we are offer ourselves as the clay, the bread and wine when practicing our artistry.

Ultimately it is the soul and heart of artist, our person and being that undergoes the transubstantiation of water to wine, bread into body, soul to the spirit, all fueled by the spark of inspiration, the yearning to create, to encounter and behold ourselves, and The Other, as mirrored and held safe in The Muse.

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on June 10, 2010.

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