I happened by the ancient Celsus Library.. (okay, not so much happened by. I was immersing myself in ancient places, sketching, painting, and rewriting ancient history as I imagined it. It’s a rather bizarre book in progress!)
Anyway, there are four muses immortalized in stone, and you can imagine my surprise when I heard one say “Psst. You. Come here.”
Which surprised me since she was headless.
But she went on anyway.. “Can I borrow your head for a bit? It’d be nice to have one, and I’d prefer borrowing another muses head.”
“uh..” I replied, “another muse?” She picked up on my mortal-like doubts and added:
“Oh, you know.. it’s like the masters. We used to send one here and there, but people tended to turn them into idols. It’s hard for people to find their own brilliance when they are so busy idolizing others. Ditto with the muses. It got so most people didn’t think they were worthy of a muse, and that their passions and gifts were unworthy, and so they simply didn’t show up to their muse-given calling.”
I couldn’t help but spend a moment contemplating that I had just given my head to a muse. But while I was pondering that thought, she was scratching my head with my hand and said, “In truth, we have always been more in awe of mortals than they of us. Really, how brave they are to show up in your world.”
“Anyhoo,” she continued, “You are all masters and muses.
Nowadays, there just a lot more who are there to
provide bridges to that discovery. Get it, oh muse you?”
“oh, yes, I can be a bridge! I’m cool with that.”
“Go forth, oh muse, be the bridge you are called to be!” she announced in a very goddess-muse-like way, using my arm to cheer boldly.
“umm,” I said, “do you think I could have my head back?”
She hesitated long enough for me to have a moment of panic thinking that bridges don’t always have heads and maybe she wasn’t going to give it back.
“Can I keep the arm?” she asked.
“No,” I bravely answered thus recognizing the muse as a kindred spirit to whom I could say no.
She liked that and gave me back my stuff. Phew.
by Janet L. Whitehead © 2011