Blog: Honoring My Muse
Posted on October 28 2020
Fish In the Sky by Christine Alfery
Google’s Dictionary defines a muse as “a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.”
Do you have a muse? I do. My muse is nature and everything natural. It is a special, vibrant place filled with joy, love, life, change, and inspiration. When I am in that place I express the feeling as “yes, yes, yes”. I seek and honor my muse every day.
Others also find their creative life in nature. A fisherman in a boat along the shore, sitting in silence. A hiker listening only to their breathing as they walk, becoming enveloped in the natural around them.
In the Bible Adam and Eve were the first to be introduced to this kind of place. They felt a one-ness to all things natural around them. They were a part of something wonderful - yet they had no idea of anything different. As part of human nature, we are all familiar with that feeling - when we take a deep breath and our whole body becomes relaxed and fluid with where we are. For me it is always when I am in a place of nature – when I am outdoors.
Along with that feeling of one-ness with nature, God gave Adam and Eve curiosity. With the simple bite of an apple the spell of one-ness was broken. The Bible labels it a sin because the harmony of that bliss was lost. When we start to label things as good or bad, judgement happens. As an artist I argue that curiosity is seeking difference, and difference is also a gift. Trees are different, people are different, muses are different. My art is different than others – that is part of my uniqueness, my originality. Yes, when it comes to society as a whole we need rules to maintain order between good and bad, but in art there is no need for those sorts of rules or regulations. When art takes on a political nature – when it becomes a poster for what is right and wrong - it is no longer art. While it may point out difference, it doesn’t respect difference as a gift.
For much of human history, art was a trade or a visual language - cave images, historical murals, taxonomies, botanical drawings, medical illustrations have always existed. The idea of art being unique - something inspired and natural that oozes from you – began when artists started to recognize themselves as something human and natural – but something wonderfully different.
History likes to label difference. It has categorized art into different periods: Renaissance, Impressionism, Abstraction, Pointillism, etc. With these labels come categories and a power struggle as you determine who holds the right label. When difference is used simply to categorize, and labels are simply used put art into the right little cubby, we lose the essence of creativity, uniqueness, and originality.
Difference is natural. Difference is uniqueness. When we honor these gifts, rather than labeling them as good or bad, we can find inspiration – we can find our muse. We must seek and honor it every day. This is why, no matter what the weather, I begin each day sitting outside. I sit silently with my cup of coffee and become one with my muse. And then, inspired, I create.