We all find inspiration in different places: many find their spark in nature – beautiful sunsets over the ocean or sunrises over a mountain range. Others find their muse in people – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or Maya Angelou, for example – or in people closer to home, such as an excellent teacher. Muses can be found in stirring sermons, exemplary ministers, courageous policemen, firefighters, or in the American soldier. What inspires you? How does your muse find an outlet in you?
The Creative Muse
The writer, the poet, the composer, the playwright – all of these are examples of the creative muse at work. Where do these folks find their inspiration? Most of them find their voice in incidents from their lives – a personal tragedy can lead to great works of literature, both in prose and verse. This same tragedy may result in a noted musical composition, or in a remarkable play. Neil Simon wrote a great play after the death of his wife Joan, dealing with the experience; myriads of sad love songs owe their beginnings to unhappy episodes in the life of the composer.
The creative muse also finds expression from happy experiences; a sense of humor is a saving grace for many creative artists, and they write happy songs, romantic comedies, and funny poems as a result.
Artists mostly find their muse in the physical world. Beautiful scenes such as the sunrise or sunset over the beach, or the morning fog and dew in the mountains have inspired many great works of art. Still lifes of flowers, or landscapes of forests are other examples of the artistic muse at work.
Are you a creative person? Do you write literature, or are you a poet? Do you compose music, in any style? Do you paint? If so, where do you find your inspiration?
The Spiritual Muse
The creative person is also inspired by things of the spirit – religion, and metaphysics. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling under the inspiration of the story told by the Christian Bible. He was also prodded by Pope Julius II, but the Pope wasn’t an inspiration in this case.
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy dealing with intangibles. Creative people have expressed themselves under the influence of metaphysics since the inception of the concept. Abstract paintings, free verse poetry, formless sculptures, and plays abound, giving form to the intangible.
The Practical Muse
One of the fundamental traits of human nature is a need for beauty. This need expresses itself in the lives of the practical man or woman when they create an object for a specific necessity, but they make it beautiful if they can, to feed the soul’s need for something other than the functional.
Glass blowers create beautiful glassware for the practical need of drinking. Quilters create beautiful blankets to keep folks warm, but they also allow them to decorate their homes with color and form.
Architects design buildings to meet specific needs, but they also design them to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
What is Your Muse?
In today’s modern world, it’s far too easy to lose your muse under the burdens of living. How do you find inspiration in your daily life? Is it in the words of someone you greatly admire and respect? Do you use these words as a yardstick to try and live by? Do you listen to music or read novels, or poetry to feed your soul? Do you escape, to the mountains or the beaches, to try and find your inner voice? How do you express your inner voice, once you’ve found it?
However you express it, you need to find your particular inspiration in this world we live in, to keep your inner fires burning and your soul alive. In doing so, you just may serve as an inspiration to someone else, and that, my friend, is a good thing to be.