Who is my muse? “Well, your wife of course,” you answer. True, yes, she is one of my muses, but chances are you probably are too. What?!? Let me explain.
I’ve always considered muses to be just something for old-timey poets and painters, or a subject only real for the Greek Gods of yesteryear. Until recently…
The other day I was flipping through my well-worn copy of The Essential Rumi (aka Jelaluddin Balkhi, mystic poet, 1207-1273), and read again the intro section summarizing Rumi’s life.
Apparently Rumi led a fairly typical life as a religious scholar…. until he met a stranger (Shams of Tabriz… gotta love those names) whose company was the catalyst for Rumi’s transformation into a “mystical artist.”
Their souls combined, they merged, they had a complete spiritual union. Physical union? I have no idea, but I don’t think that much matters either way. What does matter is the powerful effect this person had on Rumi.
Reading further, I realized that after Shams died (ach, my heart!!), Rumi still needed someone to write his poems to… so Saladin becomes part of the Rumi writing picture. Then after Saladin dies, there’s someone else – Husam.
I was intrigued (surprised?) to realize that Rumi, to me one of the most amazing poets ever, always had someone to inspire his writing. I guess I had this notion that those Great Artists were self-contained capsules of intrinsic artistic inspiration, but really, they were apparently also human (imagine that!), needing something outside themselves to stir what was within.
So….. if Rumi became so richly creatively mystically inspired through outside sources of inspiration fueling his artistic fire, is it possible that we too can tap into our greater artistic, creative selves simply through connecting more presently to what is around us? By letting everything potentially be our Muse?
I think about the times I’ve felt most creative, and those are the times I feel the most alive, most energetic, most hopeful, most centered, most loving. The times I am most present to myself and those around me. And usually I can link those times to a specific connection with someone or something that stirred me – my Muse for that moment. Important enough to warrant a capital “M.”
Yes, my Muse has been in the form of a lover (as one would expect), but often in a less conventional form…
Or the butterfly that flits onto the flower I just planted in a client’s garden.
Or the friend of a friend who wants to know when I post blog updates.
Or someone’s posting on my Facebook wall that makes me laugh out loud.
Or the manager at Panera who just gave me a free cup of coffee for no apparent reason.
Or you, because you are reading this post. Thank you!
Take the time today to notice your Muses… all of them … and appreciate them.