Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hiding from the Muse

Catching Fire by AmyJanelle
Catching Fire, a photo by AmyJanelle on Flickr.
יום אחד זה יקרה"
בלי שנרגיש, משהו ישתנה
משהו יגע בנו, משהו ירגע בנו
ולא יהיה ממה לחשוש.
וזה יבוא, אתה תראה
הידיים הקפוצות יתארכו
והלב השומר לא להיפגע יפעם בקצב רגיל
זה יבוא, כמו שהטבע רגיל
 ."להיות שלם עם עצמו
When does self-expression cross the lines and becomes kitsch? When does pathos stops moving us and becomes overbearing?

An artist is always on the tightrope, finding that balance between the too-much and the too-little. A hint, a glimpse, a beginning of a smile and the words that weren't said are often more important than what shows on the screen.

And sometimes a few minutes of genuine performance, truthful art can inspire you for weeks and give that "natural high"; a strong feeling of inspiration, leading to motivation, leading to the urge to express - create - do.

The relationship between an artist and his "muse" is complicated only if he is too caught up in a narcissistic chase for his own reflection in the lake. True inspiration comes from life, not from being chased (sorry, Jack London, I don't agree with you!).

The muse - or inspiration - is not a lover that needs to be chased or courted. It is the holy spirit that is always there, if we only let it come to us. It's not the muse who is avoiding contact - but the opposite: we are hiding from it; or worse - escaping it.

But that requires patience. Not waiting for the muse; but waiting for oneself to complete the cycle. Wait for the "dry spell" to pass. Because, in truth, there was never a dry season. There was only the time for the rain to collect and condense in the clouds. And when the clouds are filled to the brim, they will pour.

Just like Jonah hiding in the whale's belly, an artist might just need to hide for a while in the mundane, often times plagued by fears of impotence. Rather than fighting it, doing the hard work and fulfilling life's demands in the only cure for losing inspiration. In fact, it is the inspiration.

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