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Everyone has experienced them, and for some, they are an even bigger problem than most.  I know they are for me.

I refer to those brick walls that block our creative flow and prevent us from achieving the things we have in mind to do.

One hears often of the artist’s muse that is responsible for the ideas that pop into the minds of musicians, artists, mathematician, and intellects alike.

But what is the history of the Muse?

How do we tap into the power of the mind to fuel our souls with food for thought, to create vibrant displays that dazzle the eyes, and to contemplate deeply the thoughts that baffle the mind?

Earliest history claims that the 9 daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus (of Greek mythology) are responsible.

For thousands of years, these goddesses are believed to have inspired the greatest and most significant works of art that man has ever known.  Even today, to any artist, it feels like the inspiration for something just seems to appear, as if by magic, and sometimes at the strangest moments.

I can remember one person telling me that some of their best ideas came to them in the bathroom.

I know that for me, it has come spontaneously while doing dishes or cooking dinner or just as I’m drifting off to sleep.  In any case, I feel the need to stop what it is I’m doing and grab pen and paper to jot it down.

That’s not so convenient when you are frying chicken in a hot pan of oil, and your fingers are covered with egg and bread crumbs.

If this proves anything, it is that the muses must have a sense of humor.  “Oh look. Let us see if we can get the mere mortal to jump hoops today, shall we?”

And we do…for the sake of our love of a great thought or idea, because we know that in most cases, if we don’t put the fork down, or grab a piece of toilet paper to scribble the original idea, it will not be there when we are in a better position to pursue it.

The muse will have taken her idea and gone on to the next person who is up to their elbows in liquid soap and presented it to them.

But of course, once you are in the throes of that desired state of inspiration, it isn’t enough to safely store the idea for a more convenient time.

You must throw yourself unselfishly and wholeheartedly into it, and rest assured that when you are in that illustrious altered state of creating; someone will inevitably come banging on the door demanding to use the bathroom!

At that time, we will cling to the hope that our idea will be preserved, and that the fool that risked his life to dare interrupt a divinely inspired idea will either quickly state their need, or just ‘poof’…vanish from our sight!

(This would account for the blank stare fixated on said intruder of brilliant thought and deed.  We are already willing them gone.)

This is, on average, the life of creative thinkers and doers everywhere, who sit in wait for a visit from Calliope, Clio, or Thalia to grace them with the gift of their presence and divine inspiration.

If on the off chance that the muse evades you, and you are stuck like The Thinking Man with your head in your hands, it is entirely acceptable to borrow from the minds of children, who it would seem, have a direct line to these Goddesses;

these givers of inspired thought …

(Lily’s moon: Artwork provided by  my niece Lily who taped a plain piece of paper over a hole left by the removal of a door knob in my computer room. She then punched in the holes for eyes and drew in the rest of a face. A shining example of inspiration)