I have maybe six half written blog posts waiting in the background, not one of them worth the piece of internets on which they are written. Shallow. Inane. So I sit at my computer waiting for lightning to strike so I can open myself up and bring out something from the depths. I could be waiting a long time.
I entertain myself by looking up the names of all the muses. Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (Dance), Erato (love poetry), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry), Urania (astronomy). According to Greek mythology. The Romans had other ideas, bless 'em.
I have a secret fondness for Melpomene. I don't think she wallows in misfortune, I think she helps us to understand that for all the faith and effort we put in to our own vision of the good life, our own understanding of what we 'deserve', circumstance may well knock us on the side of the head and kick us back to the start line at any given moment. Such are the vagaries of chance. In our meritocratic loving, boot-strap pulling, cream-will-rise-to-the-top sort of society we maybe need to listen to her more. There is honour in the striving, but never a guarantee.
Writer Cheryl Strayed advises us to have the courage to break our own hearts. While I sit here waiting for that lightning to strike, that muse to whisper in my ear, I realise that my fear is not of failing. I'll leave success or otherwise in the hands of the gods. It's that I have rarely done things which required the kind of courage that might break my own heart. Rarely been that bold, that vulnerable. My fear is not that what I write is shallow and inane. It's that I am shallow and inane.
To quote another writer, it's time to push on into unsafe terrain.