“So the Muse whispered in Beethoven’s ear. Maybe she hummed a few bars into a million other ears. But no one else heard her. Only Beethoven got it.”
– Steven Pressfield, “The War of Art”
Dear Constant Reader,
I recently re-discovered the above passage from Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art”. It was one of the first books of non-fiction which had a dramatic impact on me as a writer and artist. And while I had read it many times before, this reading seemed to hold a resonance and impact that was different than the first.
I was introduced to this book about 3 years ago at the recommendation of a then recent acquaintance. She like myself, was just at the beginning of her path towards self discovery. Since then she has become a beloved friend, who has grown into such an expansive version of the woman I first met. I now look at her in awe of all that she has accomplished. And I have no doubt the Muse holds court at her side. But, I am sure she would say as much about me and my journey as well.
When I first read those lines I was still struggling with defining not just who but also what my passion was as well. The voice of the Muse was lost to me. But as I write this, I can confidently say that I know I am a writer and an artist. I know what my passions are. In finding that part of myself, I have opened the door to so much more.
I remember having moments when I struggled to make a simple sketch or random doodle on a page. The inspiration was not there. And writing…well let’s just say if my struggles in painting left me blind of inspiration, then with my writing there was a defining silence.
However, in reading the above quote, I can now see how much has changed for me. Ideas come to me like waves crashing against the shore. Paintings bloom behind my eyes and in my dreams. And at all times I an beset with the voices of the characters in my stories, who clamor to be made whole on the page.
Where I once struggled with even the concept of a Muse giving divine inspiration, I now lean into her sweet voice, ever present in my ear. At times I wonder about all the years she stood beside me whispering…willing me to reach…to stive…to create, and all that I could have done if I just listened.
My dear Constant Reader… please know even in this moment she sits at your shoulder willing you to greatness. Will you wait as I did or will you listen?