Married To The Muse - A Love Story
As Valentine’s Day approaches, there is coupledom in the air. Advertisers are pushing products that supposedly exhibit the giver’s admiration and love. It’s a sweet sentiment, and I, for one, am no cynic. You can give me chocolate and flowers any day of the week. But that is not what this story is about.
At this stage of my life, I have known many kinds of love. I’ve loved hard and made vows and painfully dissolved them. I’ve seen relationships from both (many) sides and did not emerge unscathed. The highs have been some of the greatest moments of my life. The lows - well, left me crumpled on the bathroom floor. But still I have no regrets. And I maintain hard-won, mutually respectful relationships with my exes. Most of all, my extraordinary adult son is the strong, kind, creative and priceless gift that emerged from all of the love and rubble.
But through all the ins and outs and ups and downs there has been one constant. My Muse. My creative life. My reason for being. It’s a marriage that has lasted throughout my life without pause, and I expect it will continue even beyond my last breath.
This marriage to my Muse is all that I had hoped my physical relationships might have been. It is inspired, uplifting, sexy, and has never left my side. I have ignored it, even cursed it at times, and still it has remained steadfast.
Now I no longer look to any one human to make my life worth living. That’s a cruel expectation and forges chains, not bonds. I have no need to push back at another for their limitations, nor do I need to be less or more than I am for someone else. I have finally found the freedom to just BE. And my tribe - a global network of lovers and creatives - connect me around the world in the most deeply satisfying way.
Looking at images of my older work (some shown here) is like reviewing a photo album of a lifelong love affair. Each one holds profound memories. I can tell you exactly where and when I created it; the exact time of my life - when I was falling in love, or falling out of love. I can tell you the struggles, the ecstasies, the music I was listening to, the smell of the paint (beeswax, oil or acrylic). I know the references that inspired each body of work, the artists whose work inspired me and kept me going.
Of course there are moments of loneliness when you choose to fly solo, but frankly nothing is as difficult as the agonizing realization that a relationship is over while you are still in it. Or the times when you love too much or too little. Or when that other person just refuses to conform to the IDEA of who you expect them to be. Damn it!
All of this is ego born, and ultimately finite. But the Muse is the flute for the divine wind - an open channel for the never ending source of all things. No beginning, no end. It’s the Spirit behind all form; it animates, vibrates, pupates.
That’s not to say that a marriage to the Muse is all fun and games - no! It is persnickety, absent at times, refuses to conform, and requires long hours of creative dialogue. It often doesn’t look like you want it to, and even gets in your face and calls you on your bullshit. It can make you painfully aware of insecurities and shortcomings. But allow it’s fullest expression and you will never be adrift again, regardless of who else might come along for the ride.
So I now stand up before my people and formally make this vow:
I take thee - Muse - to be my beloved partner in life, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
Cue the music, the rice, the cheers. It’s official!
So tell me, what are you married to - not who, but what? What are you committed to that expands your world, what vows will you make to live a more bold, authentic and generous life? A more creative and adventurous life? Choose one thing, now, and make a vow. Do it.