Honoring the Museby gary niemann
There are hardly any exceptions to the rule
that a person must pay dearly
for the divine gift of the creative fire.
— Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
How did Vincent Van Gogh survive as a starving artist? By eating paint? Whether such tales are true or not, his devotion to the work is obvious. America’s classic author, Mark Twain, did not enjoy the smoothest life. Do you suppose Goethe’s elaboration of the Faust legend, written in two parts over a span of 25 years, came easily, while sipping tea and watching hummingbirds outside his window?
Are you willing to accept responsibility for what you put out to the world, or are you merely trying to use the craft of writing as a vehicle for cash? Maybe you simply enjoy the act of streaming sentences together. Are you a writer?
If you write, then of course you are. Anyone can, and everyone should, engage in creativity. It’s crucial to your personal development; well-being – to your soul. Should your voice be added to the glut of media that today’s technology so casuall1y enables us to share? Only you can answer this, and it’s beside the point. You don’t need someone’s approval to create.
But you do need your own.
Not permission for an hour spent in superficial doodling, though there’s nothing wrong with that. Rather, a deep sense of respect for what you’re doing. Honoring the muse. An awareness of yourself within the context of the many, of the world around you. With our planet in perpetual disarray, are you prepared to share the burden of making it a better place? This doesn’t mean you have to produce feel-good books, self-help guides, or so-called family entertainment. Far from it, perhaps. But are you sensitive to the intuitive wordless voice within your belly? The gut instinct your buzzy head may cause you to ignore?
We live in a society eager to promote an image for the sake of commerce. Perpetuating stereotypes, most of which glide past without a second thought from us, so well engrained into the veneer of our daily grind. Often enough, even the freshest shock is little more than trivial: a calculation in disguise or a knee jerk reaction to the same old thing, a status quo conveniently propped up to rail against.
You may not be capable of circumventing the looming trap of “how things are.” Maybe no one can. But you, and only you, are able to stay true to yourself. If you are disingenuous, perceptive minds will know. Suffer; struggle; wrestle with your demons. Listen to the music calling through the heavy fog toward an unseen shore. It may be a siren, sure. Or it may be your muse.
Gift or curse?