I was invited by Pipit Inc. to contribute to this platform and after ransacking my brains all night for what to write, I opted to talk about myself as an artist- specifically to talk about the curse attached to the gift of the Muse.
Yes, the curse of the gift. Sounds like a paradox? It is. First let me introduce the Muse to you, in case you are hearing it for the first time. A Muse for an artist is the wellspring of inspiration. It is that person, place or thing that spurs the artist to create; the kernel of divinity that drives a new thing to emerge from nothingness. For Picasso, it was not revealed what or who his Muse was. For Michelangelo, I wouldn’t know. For Marquis de Sade, I’d sure love to know that. Anyways, different Muses exist for different artists. For me, my Muse is Silence.
As a poet, aside from loving natural settings, like the sea, a copse or the woods, I cherish Silence more than anything in the world. Without it, there is no creating for me. Silence is where I draw my inspiration to write from; in that isolated world where I can commune with my soul and bare all without fear of reproach or repression. It is a special gift I can conjure anywhere I am, notwithstanding the noise or activities around me. It is from this Silence that a new child emerges in the form of an art; ready to live eternally.
As good as Silence is however, it has its downsides. When an artist courts the Muse called Silence, he or she must be ready to suffer for it. This is because she is a very jealous lover and loves to take over the soul of the artist, putting distance between the artist and third parties. By third parties I mean those things or people who might want to share space in the life of the artist like their loved ones, sweethearts or group events. The Muse called Silence loves exclusivity- in fact it feeds on it. It is why you find most artists being introverts, forsaking the company of friends and preferring to be alone. It is why you find artists gazing into the sky for minutes on end, lost in thought. It is why you find them piercing and deep.
The curse is also reflected in their attitudes to life. While intelligent and forthright, such artists are also found to be capricious and sometimes suicidal in their approach to life. They take life on, making decisions fast, falling in and out of love, travelling the world, having little time for regrets and what ifs. They are also testy when in thinking mode, hating distractions and uninvited incursions. I assume it came from the volcanic effect of creating art; you know, like a replay of the curse of Eve that the feminine part of every artist must experience. You also find such artists being the happiest and the saddest people in the world- one minute exhilarated about a fluttering butterfly, the next minute crying over nothing.
In short, the life of the artist in love with Silence is a sweet paradox. Only a higher man or woman can share their lives. In a book I once read, a novel called Secret Understanding, it was a federal judge that was married to the artist (the heroine) in the book. He was the character capable of understanding the need of the artist for exclusivity, for individuality even in marriage that required exclusive partnership. You’d marvel at the depth of his love and devotion for the artist, perhaps because lawyers are artists themselves.
Artists are special creatures, and should be treated as such. Despite the curse of the Muse, its gifts outweigh its curse for artists create the world we have today. It is us who makes the world beautiful. Treasure your gifts. Catch ya another time.
Mary Jade Monroe
author of Mermaid
PS: Have you read my deluxe book titled Mermaid?
It is free on Amazon Kindle Store.
You would love it!