Where the Muses Hide


The Spring Water

In the Ancient world, inspiration was thought as a divine moment.

Even Homer invoked divine inspiration in the first line of the Illiad “Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians

Poetic frenzy was admired. Bards (the news reporters of their time) were highly respected. They would stand at the highest point of a battle field and compose songs about god-like warriors fighting dramatic wars.

But the Ancients were well aware of that problematic wall that that blocks us from freeing our minds and tapping into wells of inspiration. They had a solution for this.

Across the Corinthian Gulf there is a mountain where the Muses used to (and some say still) live. Artist and poets from all over would travel there to drink from sacred springs, as it was said the water brought on a surge of inspiration.

I have spent countless hours gazing at magnificent  mountains. Seeking divine inspiration in silent solitude.

The Inspirational Wine

Most of my dearest friends are in some way committed to a life of art. I love the nights we sit in a crowded tavern where we have to shout at one another to be heard.

We ritually do this over a bottle of wine and a guiltless meze*. We start pitching ideas, seeing how far we can go. I love the crazy, wide eyed look they get – I can almost hear the electrical currents of neurons zapping in their brains as they challenge to push through new realms of thought.

While the ancients drank from sacred springs, we are happy to consume these bottles of wine.

I shout across the table to my friends “Where do you get these ideas? And what will you do with them?”

My friends shrug and fall into silence, starring bleary eyed around them.

Then we order the guilty meze*.

The Balance of Reality and Dreams (but don’t think too hard)

But where exactly does inspiration come from? Is it from living a quiet life, surrounded by ocean, serenity, and a hundred cats (a nod of appreciation to Hemingway). Or does this result from standing still in a city and observing the world zip around us?

Do we wait until some divine interference throws a surge of energy our way? This can’t be a solution. For even as the most talented procrastinator knows, a lucky two inspirational days out of a year won’t get us very far. Those few pages of ideas will be left behind, and when we are gone, our loved ones will most likely organize them into the “junk pile” that will eventually end up in the trash (every creators most sinister nightmare).

Perhaps it was the journey to the Muses that quenched the ancients thirst for fresh ideas. As they traveled and hiked up the mountain they surely encountered like-minded people facing the same difficulties. It gave them a much needed break from their own frustration.

The world is a big place with countless experiences.

You just need to do it. Change environments. Surround yourself with people who have mastered the craft, find your mentor. Put pen to paper. Go out and take pictures. There are details in this world that will never be seen from behind closed walls; details that are just waiting to be captured through ones unique perspective.

We all need Muses.

But inside of all of us, we are also the Muses.

*guiltless meze is a variety of salads and veggies on a large plate.

*guilty meze is a delicious variety of fried foods and meats.

One Response to “Where the Muses Hide

  • Very beautiful indeed.

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