The Muse, nae poet ever fand [found] her,
Till by himself he learn’d to wander
Adown some trotting burn’s meander
An’ no think lang [long].
— Robert Burns, “Epistle to Willam Simpson, Ochiltree”
from 19 May, The Celtic Spirit, by Caitlín Matthews
Thank you to our friends who are sharing their answers to yesterday’s exercise. We complete it here, as we come to the end of Chapter Four, Recovering a Sense of Integrity. And then, my friends, it will be time to take a big, big leap of faith.
But first, our last three questions in the exercise:
4. List five skills that would be fun to have.
5. List five things you used to enjoy doing.
6. List five silly things you would like to try once.
Before we take the next step, I would like to share a lovely bit of synchronicity with you. Every day as a part of my morning meditation practice, I read from the beautiful book by Caitlín Matthews, The Celtic Spirit. Yesterday’s entry seemed to me a powerful message about the importance and deeper meaning of the artist dates. Since I struggle with those, it was a revelation. I am excited to it with you here.
We frequently read about the muse, the female form that inspiration takes for men. She is courted by artists who know that they cannot create alone, who need to be folded within her embrace before the creative spark leaps the synapse of potentiality.
We hear less about the forms that inspiration takes for women, who are no less inspired as artists and creators than men, although the inspirer most often appears to them in male form. The inspirer of women is the daimon (DYE-mone), the quicksilver spirit who, like the golden muse, brings the wealth of the imaginal realms of creation to our world.
Sometimes the qualities of our muse, or daimon, are seen to temporarily reside in or become superimposed upon a living person, someone who shows us how desire, joy, love and inspiration fuse together in creation. Sometimes the muse or daimon is seen not in a person but in a place which fires us with inspiration. The embrace of nature becomes the embrace of the inspirer. In an act of participation as intimate as making love, the creator walks with the inspirer in the place of making.
When the inspirer is absent from us, we feel as empty as if a lover had gone. To woo the inspirer, we must go faithfully, time after time, to the threshold places where our soul is exposed to beauty – go without expectations to cloud our coming, without demands or extortions to coerce the erring inspirer to visit us again. Venturing into the frontiers of creation, we come to meet with the one who makes our heart’s wish leap into verdant life again.
What are the forms of your inspirer? Who most resembles your muse or daimon in the world?
I invite your comments and thoughts on this, and will see you again tomorrow.