What’s a Muse?


In Greek Mythology there were nine goddesses who were considered to be the source of inspiration for arts, science, and stuff like that.

Nowadays the term kind of describes a person who inspires an artist. Kind of.

We artists find inspiration in the most unlikely of places (or situations.) It’s not just other works of art that inspire us to create art, but also places, events, people.

But I’ve always considered a muse to be more than all that.

Most artists would agree with the following statement: they create art because they want to make something so beautiful that it has a chance of lasting forever.

But what happens when you just want to capture something that’s already beautiful? And you want to make it last forever.

That’s what I think a muse is.

Beauty inspires, there’s no doubt about it. And beauty inspires because it always dies. Sooner or later, but it always does so. Gorgeous people grow old, flowers wither away…

A muse is also kind of a vague concept. A construct of the mind, a muse is often unreachable for the artist. Maybe it’s just me and my unrequited love stories, but the truth is that we write about other human beings. Art is not just about introspection, or about what we see, but also about what we want to see.

We hope. That’s one of our redeeming qualities: we hope. And thus we write, and we paint, and we sculpt, and we sing. About other people. About those who love us or those who don’t, about those who we see worthy of becoming more than just flesh and blood.

Ink and paper maybe…

They say you’ll never die if a writer falls in love with you.

Art is just… by the people, for the people, and about people.

That’s all, folks!

You know that legend Chuck Palahniuk writes about in the first chapter of Choke? If you don’t know it, let me tell you about it. In Ancient Greece there was this girl who was in love with a boy. But he had to leave, so on their last night together the girl brought a lamp and set it so it threw the lover’s shadow on the wall. She traced the outline of her lover’s shadow so she would never forget how he looked like. The next day, the boy was gone, but that outline was still there.

Apparently that’s how painting was invented.

Because we hope things are going to last for much, much longer than it is possible. Because we want to leave something behind.

It’s what we do. Making art is just some people’s way of shouting inside a crowded room. And sometimes the echoes never stops reverberating…

13 thoughts on “What’s a Muse?

  1. you remind me of something I read about Freud,
    he was walking with a poet friend.. and the poet got so moved by the beauty of nature around them, and he became very very sad..just for the single Idea, that all of it will fade. that beauty will end sooner or later..

    nothing lasts forever, what really makes art is our realization for this fact, I don’t think that artists try to make a thing that lasts forever.. they just try to capture the beauty and spread it to those who haven’t seen it.. get people to notice..
    if it lasted forever, sure that would be great.. but letting people see, that’s the purpose..

    great insights, thanks for sharing..

    Liked by 3 people

      1. how you hope for something that just contradicts the facts! nothing does last forever, even the paintings and music.. even us humans like you said.. it’s just how life is.. we all move toward the less ordered system..ie; destruction..

        but again..every artist is also a different mind, I guess each has a different goal to his art.. each hope a different thing out of it!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. ‘It’s what we do. Making art is just some people’s way of shouting inside a crowded room. ,
    I like this thought, I think it is true. Perhaps, my photography, my writing, blogging is my way of shouting to the world How long my shout will last
    , even who hears it I don’t know. But in my children, my shout to the world will last far beyond my life and art.

    Liked by 1 person

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