friendship, humor, inspiration, life lessons, mindfulness, motivation

It’s A Muse-thing

Sunday at Camp Karma is lazy – and I have every intention of staying true to form this morning.  I look forward to the Sunday Times with my second cup of coffee,  weekend crossword puzzles in The Washington Post and The New York Times.  Comfort food and cozy naps.  Glimpses of the Animal Planet (arguably one of my favorite channels) when the remote control is left unattended.   Well, let’s rewind the tape – at least for a little while. I will return to my sloth-like Sunday shortly (by the way, if you have never seen a baby sloth…truly adorable, and they have the most endearing smiles..damn, I did it again…another ‘look a chicken’ moment).

One of the most common puzzle clues references a muse – and the answer is almost always  ‘Erato’.  A muse – a source of inspiration, most typically the font of ideas that fuels creative efforts.  Erato was one of nine sisters – the offspring of Mnemosyne and Zeus.  My hunch is that they were probably known around the neighborhood as the girls that every mother wanted to keep her kids away from – because after a certain point, kids don’t need a lot of inspiration to get into creative mischief.  And besides, nine daughters had to be enough entertainment for one family – especially if they spent their time inspiring each other and fighting for time in the bathroom.  Not a lot of testosterone coursing through that house (although Zeus certainly held his own in that area, no pun intended).

(Here’s a picture of the nine sisters – can you imagine, they wouldn’t even pose for a family snapshot?  Someone had to ‘carve’ them from memory because they weren’t speaking to each other)

Ah, the sibling rivalry!  It has to be pretty hard on the ego to see your sister routinely associated with creativity, passion and inspiration.  Clio got a nod every now and then, but can you name the other seven without checking Wikipedia?  How does that play into your self-esteem?  To have a house in a gated community, have famous parents and all the accoutrements of celebrity and still know that  the only reason anyone wants to sit next to you in homeroom is because you’re related to the most popular girl in the zip code?  I don’t know – sounds pretty uninspiring in my book.  Growing up is tough enough – I feel badly for these girls.

I realize too that for me,  inspiration is found in the words of many who happen to read this post.  The stories of our days, the hours of endless question and the occasional ‘aha’ moments that propel us forward.  The open heart and the unthinking words – all inspiration.  Phenomenal sunrises and relentless clouds;  disequilibrium and exquisite balance; doors that slam shut with one finger still stuck in the jamb and the smell of fresh air as an unseen window yawns opens.  The music of each day and the construction of dreams at night.  Perhaps the murmurings of the heart.  Perhaps Erato felt like her hands were full every once in awhile (and don’t think she didn’t use that argument as a reason to get a better make of car upon graduating  Mt. Olympus High School), but I for one have had better luck just noticing life.

“You don’t have a soul.

You are a soul.

You have a body.” —- C.S. Lewis


38 thoughts on “It’s A Muse-thing”

    1. Thank you!! And I want a baby sloth too…I watched a documentary about them and was immediately in love. That said, I am a sucker for most animals (amphibians and insects exempted – well butterflies are beautiful..and ladybugs…) 🙂

    1. Please don’t apologize for your humor – I love it (whether fueled by a beer or otherwise). I am so pleased that this post hit a spot within you – that makes me very happy. Thank you!

  1. This post s very personally thought provoking to me on many levels. It’s gorgeous, as always, but it gives me something to ponder on a more personal level. No, it couldn’t have been easy being Erato’s sister…

    1. I’m so glad it was provocative for you – the whole subject of inspiration is one I consider often, despite my feeble attempt at humor. And growing up with just one sister who I thought of as totally perfect and ideal (and still do) was hard enough – eight sisters? i would have had to consider moving in with a relative. 🙂

      1. I have two younger sisters and we had our share of feuding, especially my sister who is a year younger and I. Of the three of us, she is the one who likes to think she got through our childhood unscathed, but she’s angry all of the time…fierce angry. My youngest sister and I have gotten the help we needed, and we are flourishing, after a bumpy period for both of us. Middle sister’s anger grows and now that I am flourishing rather publicly, she doesn’t return my phone calls 😦 We all get different paths, and different gifts along the way, and I love to see people excel in any area, but especially areas where I have no talent. The world, my soul, is big enough, and full of enough love to go around wherever it is led. Some people view love as limited, which I believe is the source of jealousy and other icky things. There is no one totally perfect and ideal. We all have a job, which is to become the best version of ourselves that we can—to become authentic. It takes work! I am rambling…been up since 4 a.m. 😉

      2. You may think you’re rambling, but your thoughts are fluid and cogent and open-armed. It is no surprise to you I’m sure that I share your perspective, though my road to that conclusion may have been different. I’m sorry for your sister – and hope that one day she is able to release some of that anger so that she can feel the delight in being loved and being able to love in return. Finding personal authenticity and practicing it – a true challenge with multi-layered and wonderful results!

  2. Soothing words and magic. Simply wonderful.

    “Phenomenal sunrises and relentless clouds; disequilibrium and exquisite balance; doors that slam shut with one finger still stuck in the jamb and the smell of fresh air as an unseen window yawns opens. The music of each day and the construction of dreams at night. Perhaps the murmurings of the heart.”

  3. Ok, girlfriend, I might as well go ahead and let you know–I’m adopting you! Yep, that’s right, I’m filing papers tomorrow to make it official–you’re the sister I always wanted and didn’t have. 🙂 My brother is great, don’t get me wrong, but I always thought it would be wicked cool to have a sister and unfortunately my parents didn’t oblige. Never mind, I’ve found my own–someone who is wise, witty, introspective and REAL :-). You have such an amazing gift for pinpointing the things that so often bedevil us and then reminding us that, no matter the worry, there’s always hope and we are not alone….The passage that David cited from this post moved me as well–particularly the evocation of the fresh air from the unseen window. You have a gift my friend, you truly do. Thank you for sharing it with all of us….

    “Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me.”  Toni Morrison

    1. What an honor…I’ve always wanted a little sister (who is taller than me which definitely would allow us to see the long and the short of it)..My gift is in the finding of friends and others who open my eyes to so much..That is the gift. To be loved by people who can quote Toni Morrison and evoke tears of love and appreciation and inspiration – you Lori – love you..

    1. Hi Tina! It’s always so good to hear from you! I hope this brought a smile and I’m tickled that you found it inspiring! Have a wonderful day!

  4. I can’t name the sisters because I am dense like that…………..but hell there were 4 girils in my family and would fight like cats and dogs at times so I agree 9 girls it would be like a war zone at times………………I can imagine the God of War would have felt nervous going to their house…….lol

    1. Laughing..thank you Russ – what a lovely comment and I will take it to heart because that’s where it belongs. I appreciate you very much..Mimi

  5. I may have to join ranks with Lori, or somehow distract her from her pursuits!! Maybe we can all adopt each other!! 🙂
    I love this post, for your thoughts on inspiration, the imagined relationships between the 9 sisters (and no, I have no idea who the others are!) and the once again eloquent way you bring your thougbts to light. I felt , while reading along, almost as if sitting and listening to you!

    In high school, I was friends with a girl who was the oldest of 5 girls. Raised with one brother 9 yrs older than I, this society of 5 women, plus mom, was overwhelming – always thought I would envy that, but I love your comment about maybe needing to go live with a relative!

    Love this…and you!!

    1. Welcome home BonBon – I hope you had a great weekend – missed you!! And yes, I think that a lot of the time I write in much the same way that I speak…which must be a little weird!! Love you, me

    1. Thank you Valerie! I had to have a little fun with them because honestly, it was a crossword puzzle clue yesterday which prompted this whole train of thought!! Ok, I’ll admit it was a circuitous train of thought, but…:-) Have a lovely day..

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