I believe that we all have a muse. A sad reality of “civilized” life, however, is that few of us are ever empowered to embrace our muse and allow its fullest expression. Many people spend their entire lives with their muse locked away in a dusty attic, or secured with heavy chains in a dank basement. But, the funny thing about muses — no matter how hard we try to suppress them, they still find little ways to make their presence known. One goal of my muse kennel is to bring together those creative forces in all of us that resist the leash and provide a space for them to play.
This week, I worked with the Director of Religious Education at our church on our intergenerational Thanksgiving service coming up in three weeks. I have known Jen for many years and consider her a dear friend. The funny thing is that we have worked together on religious education and youth events for 10 years. We have supported each other as colleagues with a common commitment and passion for Unitarian Universalist children and youth programming. But, I do not recall the two of us ever really creating anything together.
We met a couple of times over meals (muses aren’t alone in needing food), hashing ideas back and forth, and generally just letting our muses romp. What a joy! A couple of times, I sat back in my chair and told her just how much fun I was having writing this service together. What happens, of course, is that the more freedom you give your muse, the more energetic it becomes. I left our last meeting buzzing with words and ideas begging to be typed into the computer. I was amazed at how just a slight change in my view of our professional relationship resulted in such a fresh approach to our artistic and spiritual expression.
I am a huge fan of paradigm shifts. But, revolution is not always the answer. We don’t always need to tilt at windmills. Sometimes, all our muses ask of us is to tilt our perspectives just a little and approach projects from a different point of view.