Erato the muse

This morning I was in conversation with my muse. Well she’s not really a muse, but I don’t know how else to describe her. Still, I want to name her after Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry, but she’s far too impulsive and precisely imprecise. But then, maybe I’ve just described love poetry. In any case I hadn’t seen her for such a long time so I asked her what happened and where she’d been. She said,

Oh, it’s going to be a long walk back, but the walk must be taken, and frankly, I could use the air. You see, somewhere, last year, I don’t remember, fall perhaps, I lost my bearings. There at the foggy conjunction of worry I lost my power to observe. I was assailed and even seduced by anxiety and drawn shallowly inward, taking nothing with me except a tin shield. A kind of day to day shell-shocked existence took root.

Well, I had forgotten that every perfect outward gaze is also a look deep inside. I lost the connection. And with it I lost the courage, the force, the energy to gaze. Lost the taste for it, and so the ability to blend and produce new flavours, new shapes and colours. So now I’m going to trace my steps backward–which how ever you cut it, is forward movement–and walk as long as it takes to find that murky crossroad. If all goes well, I’ll then emerge from the mist on a new path.

With this, her coffee only half finished, she left the table and walked out the door. But not before hooking up with the tall thin man. I had barely noticed him sitting silently in a corner. He gathered himself, a bit stiffly I thought, got up and took the offered hand of the nameless muse who is not. He straightened visibly and as they left they shared a laugh.

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  1. Stephen,

    Thank you. I don’t know if “best” blog is a good category to be throwing around, but your blog is certainly my favorite. I found it after reading a little bit of James Alison and looking for more places on the web that explored some of his and Girard’s insights. So many of your posts are simply beautiful, and I believe beauty shows us what is true.

    I particularly enjoyed this post since I have been thinking a lot about what it means to see and the ways in which our sight, our longing for the good, gets obscured – by the pressures of day to day life and the twistings of our souls. It gets to a point where we can’t sit still and really notice what’s around us.

    I guess I’m just saying that I connected with and liked the post. I’ll be reading as long as you write.


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