Meeting Your Muse, continued

I was at the local marina with my husband last Sunday to spend some time together in nature. As soon as we got out of our car, we were met by the wind whipping off the open bay, a bracing, blustery experience.

 

Heads lowered against the wind, we made our way instead to the inlet on the other side of the road: a protected, calmed area near the yacht basin where families gathered on the grass, young people strolled and biked, and older couples made their slower, more contemplative way.

 

It was a warm summer day in Emeryville, California, and many people also must have felt the urge to come and play by the sea.

 

We sat on a wooden bench and enjoyed looking around at the clear blue sky and rippling water, the birds flying, the rushes and the trees, the people.

 

Right before us on the grass was a young mother and her daughter, and some other adults sitting on their blanket. We could not hear the words they were saying, but the mother and daughter’s postures spoke volumes.

 

The young mother’s back was towards us as she knelt on the blanket, talking with her friends, punctuating whatever it was that she was saying with eloquent movements of her left arm and hand.

 

And with her right arm and hand, she kept her daughter – perhaps two or three years old – close. That arm protected, contained, and nurtured the girl, not as an afterthought but as a complete, wholehearted act.

 

Even though the mother was having a grownup conversation that she clearly was engaged with, the gesture of her right arm and hand made it clear that she was completely present for her daughter. And the girl leaned completely into her mother’s side, must have felt the warmth of her mother’s body and heart, gave over her trust quite naturally and let herself be supported.

It was a beautiful sight, even from the back: the mother’s straight torso and her dark upswept hair, and her arm around the blonde girl dressed in pastel colors leaning into her. 

I turned to my husband. “It’s a Mary Cassatt moment,” I said.

 Inspired Images of Intimacy

Mary Cassatt, if you haven’t yet been privileged to know her work, was an American painter who lived in Paris in the late 19th – early 20th centuries and was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Degas. (You can see some of her paintings on “The Creative Process” page of my website.)

Her predominant subject matter was mothers and children, with a few forays into opera-goers and individual portraits. But mothers with children were her fascination and her specialty.

Not a mother, herself, she was able to crystallize, in the most natural-seeming way, that tender, protective bond between a mother and child, and the child’s natural trust in response. Cassatt painted mothers in quite ordinary pastimes and activities that would not be surprising to view in real life: Mary Cassatt, if you haven’t yet been privileged to know her work, was an American painter who lived in Paris in the late 19th – early 20th centuries and was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Degas. (You can see some of her paintings on “The Creative Process” page of my website.)

Her predominant subject matter was mothers and children, with a few forays into opera-goers and individual portraits. But mothers with children were her fascination and her specialty.

Not a mother, herself, she was able to crystallize, in the most natural-seeming way, that tender, protective bond between a mother and child, and the child’s natural trust in response. Cassatt painted mothers in quite ordinary pastimes and activities that would not be surprising to view in real life: bathing their children, holding them, playing with them, taking them boating, helping them pick apples from the trees, reading books with them.

It’s the intimacy she captured that – in addition to her beautiful compositions and impressionistic layers of color – to me, makes her work classic.

For that bond is the original human one, the essential one, and we all know it or in some way long for it.

Being Called = Being Inspired (to write what’s in your heart)

What has this to do with “Finding Your Muse in You” and writing a book or some shorter work?

I think whatever calls you towards it with that kind of intimacy and/or longing is there to inspire you.

Writing from the Deeper Self, as I share it and have experienced it, includes being inspired: you are going towards something that’s calling you to it, even if the way there has patches that are dense and oblique and initially hard to see clearly.

I’d go so far as to say that the best way to write the book or shorter work of your heart is to be drawn towards it – even if it’s just a whiff that draws you, even if it’s just a trace, a whisper.

Something from the invisible, not-yet-manifest world has chosen you (and vice-versa) to make it known to yourself in the course of writing about it.

The object of your Muse can change over time, but the nature of being called is the same.

 “I was a hidden treasure, and I longed to be known,”

God is said to have said, in explanation of why human beings were created.

We as humans have the same longing – to be known, and to know the deeper strata of our true being. It’s rarely publicized as part of people’s “bucket list,” but it’s there in the soul all the same.

When you write a book or a shorter work from the deeper Self, you allow your Muse to find you.

Whatever may show itself on the outside – mothers and children, for Mary Cassatt; a beautiful vision of my work, for me – the movement towards meeting that Muse happens on the inside.

That capacity – that requirement – is in you.

You can meet your Muse not only on my new website (as I wrote in my last email) but in yourself. It’s not all that far away once you open to it.

Book Development: Writing your book or shorter work with my support

Whether you already have a work in progress or just the barest whisper of wanting to write “something,” you are in a good place to work with me as a Book Developer. Browse through my website to see what’s possible for you in working with me — or using the “Enhancements for Writers” products that are likely to transform your consciousness about writing. Then contact me and let’s see how we can make what’s waiting in your heart to flower.

Your Muse Awaits You!