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