Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Spring Muse Awakes

Writers, poets, musicians, and artists have long looked towards their own personal muse for creative inspiration. The Egyptians had Hathor, the goddess of music, love, and beauty to assist them in their endeavours. Greek mythology offered an entire sisterhood of nine goddesses (‘the nine muses’) who were devoted to stimulating the artistic mind. Whereas the Romans looked to the Camenae who, like the Greek muses, were also water nymphs and hence known as the goddesses of springs.

For me, the first part of winter has often been a low period for creativity. The dull, cold days seem to suppress imaginative thoughts. The coming of the New Year has usually served to reawaken the urge to write, as the turn of the calendar offers the promise of new beginnings. If that does not work for me, then my birthday (at the end of January) usually does. Then, Janus, the Roman God of beginnings and endings (after whom the month of January is named), applies the influence of his two faces (one looking forwards, the other backwards) to allow me to take stock of what has been and what may yet come. This year, that reviving moment did not really have a chance to happen, as I found myself caught up in the whirlwind of other family celebrations.

However, the coming of spring has often heralded a further reawakening of inventiveness and enthusiasm. Such has been the effect of this weekend’s weather. The past two days have seen glorious blue skies and sunshine. Together with two walks in the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, the effect of the elements has been one of instant cerebral reinvigoration.

For me, the onset of an early spring has certainly acted as my personal muse. The desire to write has started to bubble up from deep within and I feel spoilt for choice as to where to begin. The Greeks called the Goddess of Spring and fresh beginnings, Maia (hence the month of May). In reality, it may only be February, but I welcome the early presence of Maia with delight. Already, several ideas have started to tumble around the grey matter, with concepts for a poem and short story amongst them. Then there is my partly written novel, and not forgetting to mention this blog.

Now all I need is for Kronos (also known as Cronus), the Greek God of time, to look kindly upon me and bless me with the gift of a little free time in order to bring all these ideas to fruition. Perhaps, Maia could have a word or two with him on my behalf.

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