Musings on a Muse

“Muse” has become a popular way of describing the source of inspiration for one’s creative endeavors. But originally, the Muses were seven sisters who were thought to preside over songs, poetry and the arts in general.   Euterpe has been of particular interest to me lately, as she is often portrayed with a flute and is the representative muse of lyric poetry.

flute muse

I have played the flute since I was a young child. However, since my college days, I’ve not had many opportunities to play. Over the Christmas holidays, I attended a concert at my local public library with a harpist and a flautist.  After the concert, I introduced myself to the flautist and discovered that she teaches flute at the local university where I live and leads a flute ensemble there.

Finding my muse

Fast forward a few weeks and I find myself every week with 3 other students and one faculty member rediscovering my love for my flute and having an amazing time playing beautiful music together. It’s never too late to return to your artistic loves. I feel energized, free, less stressed, just happier overall because I have that outlet again. I’m so grateful for my husband encouraging me to seek out the opportunity to play again and for my new musical friends who’ve welcomed me and been patient with me as I get the rust out of my playing ability. I’ve found my muse again.

flute and situ muse

I’ve also learned to play a new instrument – the sikus (also called Andean panpipes). There is a separate little ensemble that play Andean folk music, and I was welcomed warmly as I learn to play this new instrument.

Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve been so impressed by the humility of these students as they listen and learn from one another. I’m looking forward to playing with them throughout the year.

 

Finding your muse

So what inspires you? Who is your “muse”? Is there a long forgotten hobby or passion that you’ve stuffed aside? Maybe there’s something new that you’ve been thinking of learning. What’s stopping you? When we create, we showcase the beauty and creativity of the One who created us in His image. Share your muse stories  – your “musings” with me!

Go ahead...share the encouragement
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Daddy, Billie Holiday & a Silhouette

Just like all of us, my dad had many facets to his personality. His day job required precision with numbers as an accountant; on some weekends he worked on the “Gateway Clipper” river boat as a bartender. Other weekends he played drums in a jazz band. We heard lots of Billie Holiday songs in our home.

This painting “Into the Light 1” was triggered by those moody songs. If you haven’t heard any of Billie’s songs from the 1940’s and ’50s you must. Listen here.

IntotheLight1
Her life wasn’t all that great. Working on this painting wasn’t all that great either, especially since I redid certain parts of her face–that’s a 12 hour forehead! Nothing is as easy as it looks, which brings me to the phrase my dad always repeated to me, my brother and my sister: “Confidence, Determination, No Fear! It was sort of a mantra for him. Whenever I would do battle at school (and school work was always a battle for me), my dad would say this phrase. So I would go into my math tests after he tutored me with a bit more courage. That’s the way I approach my painting. Do I have fear? You bet, but I have the  determination to work through the fear and I am confident that it will all turn out. This “CDNF” phrase is imprinted into my psyche.

Which leads me to ask, what are you imprinting with your words to those around you? Is it something they’ll treasure? If not, then develop your own encouraging phrase and use it! Or take my dad’s. Do you have encouraging phrase? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Go ahead...share the encouragement
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone