Friday, January 2, 2015

Ray Bradbury: The Muse Is That Most Terrified Of All The Virgins

Bradbury the master. One reads his work and knows that he's a romantic. Take "The Rocket Man". Family struggles. A father's dreams of returning to space whist home and coming back home whilst waltzing with the stars. Classic tropes without age. Aged, crafted curves in the lives of man that won't relinquish themselves save an event so profound even the master himself hadn't thought it up.

As someone who takes creativity seriously as both a topic of hobby and a topic professionally (I'm a junior high school teacher), the topic of the muse has always been one of my favorites. The ethereal servant to passion and hard work. Though powerful, her powers depend on our actions. A symbiotic beauty from another land. Someone Mr. Bradbury knew so very well:
The Muse, then, is that most terrified of all the virgins. She starts if she hears a sound, pales if you ask her questions, spins and vanishes if you disturb her dress. What ails her? you ask. Why does she flinch at the stare? Where does she come from and where go? How can we get her to visit for longer periods of time? What temperature pleasures her? Does she like loud voices, or soft? Where do you buy food for her, and of what quality and quantity, and what hours for dining? 
We might start off by paraphrasing Oscar Wilde's poem, substituting the word "Art" for "Love." Art will fly if held too lightly, Lightly, tightly, how do I know Whether I'm holding or letting Art go?  
For "Art" substitute, if you wish, "Creativity" or "The Subconscious" or "Heat" or whatever your own world is for what happens when you spin like a firewheel and a story "happens."

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