O, For a Muse of Fire


Fickleness, thy name is inspiration.

What is it about the human mind that makes it shut down its creative juices just when they are needed the most? When we know an “A” can only be acquired by works of genius, and all the brain can produce it the genius of others or mere static?

Part of any college major is learning how to make things happen in a limited time frame. Of course, every teacher operates under the basic assumption that his is the only class you’re taking, and you therefore have all the time in the world to devote to the coursework he provides. However, every student under the sun will tell you that this is simply not true, and there is no greater coagulant to creative juices than a time crunch.

I’m enrolled in an acting course this semester. Our first monologue (to be performed at some time in the near future—I’m too scared to look at the syllabus twice) is taken from the opening lines of Shakespeare’s Henry V, where an anonymous chorus figure asks the audience to pretend the stage is a field at Agincourt and other such poetic beseeching. The very first line finds this eloquent Choragus wishing for a divine patroness of the arts (The Muse of Fire) to come down and breathe life into the dramatic presentation of the rise of King Harry. I’d tell you all the whole blessed thing, but the memorization is a work-in-progress at this point.

As I and my fellow students sit down to write our papers and poems or draft out plans for engineering projects or try to plan musical compositions, I’m sure that more than one of us is wishing for a visit from some kind of Muse. Just a spark of something to get us rolling. I know that genius is supposed to be only 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but that 1% goes a long way.

Until then, I suppose the perspiration will have to do.


4 responses »

  1. The Dadster Ripostes:

    I found that the discipline of work was my best friend during my university years. Everything was scheduled. Even naps (Bless You, Dr. S., for your lectures on Time Management!) had a time on the calendar.

    Of course, I was not sociable. University to me was work. Social life could wait. I had a purpose. But I was also as old when I started as you will be when you finish. And I was a Baby Boomer–and we have always been a driven generation.

    So my suggestions about abandoning everything but work are likely futile.

    Creative juices? Yeah–not so much.

    Scheduled work from early morning to late evening? Oh, yeah.

    In other words, my little offspring–you will need to find your own way through this morass of college life.

    As for me–well, I’ve balances to calculate, editorials to peruse, and general ledger items that simply cannot wait.

    Tally ho!


    The Dadster

Ramble back at me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s