Ugly Muses

A great deal of literature when addressing the existence of a muse more often than not portrays it as a beautiful, nymph-like spirit that fills your soul with beauty which in turn pours out of your creative spouts in the form of writing, music etc.  Personally, I think it is a lie.

To be sure beautiful sights and positive emotions can stir one into a state of giddiness – but I think it is rarely more than that.  Delights full of sugar are wonderful when you’re biting into them, but once they are gone they are gone.  You can’t seriously recollect the sensation that a gum drop you fancied five years ago produced.

What lingers, what truly tears ones soul to shreds to the point that you have to reach into your very limits to pull yourself out of the abyss – that is where truth in its purest form lies.  It’s often said but largely ignored that some of the most phenomenal works of literature, music and art were done by people who were consumed by madness within themselves, or keenly aware of it in their surroundings.

Standing by your Word

Writing is used primarily to document thought – either for individual posterity or to be shared with another or many.  It used to be an act bordering on the sacred.  Not only did you need to be one of the privileged few that could actually produce recordable script, you had to have the means to do it.  Paper had to be handmade.  Whether it be papyrus or vellum etc.  It was a delicate and time consuming process.  Not to mention the writing utensil itself.  Quills had to be cut, ink made.  In short, if you had something to record, you better be sure it was important.

If you were careless and made an error it was nearly impossible to correct without evidence of your folly being left behind.  Whether that be a spilled ink stain, or an area where the vellum had to be scraped clean.  Even in modern time, if you messed up with an ink pen or typewriter you had to smear white out on it.  There was always a trace of your inattention to perfection.

Nowadays you can record thought with a few key strokes while lying in bed half awake in the middle of the night.  If you make a mistake you hit a single backspace key which takes less than half a second.  Never in the history of the world have we had greater ease with which to express our thoughts and yet the vast majority of what is produced is thoughtless.