A Theory of Muses


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I’ve been making art pretty much every day, intensively, since the beginning of the year. Iris the Art Muse (see her page in the menu bar if you haven’t met her yet) has been very happy. But today she took a vacation, and let one of my other muses have a rare date with me. I’ll be writing the other muses into Iris’s comic series soon, but for now, I’ll just say that I have a muse of music, whose name is Melody, who keeps me busy rehearsing with my two bands a couple of times a week, and playing a couple of gigs a month. Tonight I played with my Celtic band in a lovely restaurant in our town, to a crowd of folks who have been coming to see us for years.

A lot of artists have multiple muses; in fact most of the artists I know at least dabble in some other art form than their primary one. Many visual artists also play music, or write; many writers are also musicians. Almost all the musicians I know also do something with their hands: painting, or quilting, or building instruments. For some reason, if you are inclined to express yourself through one art form, it also seems natural to do it in others. My theory is not that it is some arcane, innate ability (talent), but an attitude or outlook on life that leads us to do this. If I ever pin it down more precisely than that, I’m going to bottle it and sell it!

My other theory is that muses are social creatures, and love to travel in packs, gaggles, herds, gangs, flocks, pods, and swarms. Where one is, others will not be far away. So watch out when you make friends with a muse — she will invite her friends over to make pizza in your kitchen, while singing rowdy songs and having a comic jam on the kitchen table.

And because every post needs a picture, and cats love to hang out with muses, especially in the kitchen when there is a chance of a dropped tidbit, here is a picture of my cat, Mak.



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