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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Listen to the artist in you!

The signs that something “arty” is about to happen

Ever felt that second’s-worth of Oh? Ever had a moment of Ah! And what about that distant nagging sensation that lingers long after the idea you had wasn’t written down? And do all these come back sometime further down the line?  

Most probably yes. And most probably a sure sign that there’s a wordsmith, song-smith or even art-smith deep inside you, well frustrated that you won’t listen to its call. And can you blame it?!

For many years I battled with these muses and their tweaks, signs, messages and grumblings – and turned a deaf ear to them with an excuse to do other, more pressing things like work, phoning a friend, filling in the tax form, or most importantly dozing off in front of an England World Cup football match.

These last four years, I decided not to. And I heeded their call. That made the muse – or muses – very happy. For there’s nothing worse in life than considering yourself beautiful and not being looked at. And Muses are beautiful. Since then, notebook, back-of-an-envelope, computer and even the mobile have seen scribbled down thoughts and ideas the moment the muse awakens.
Here are some of the signs: a checklist, if you like. 

1.      An “Oh”, an “Ah!” or an “Ooh” when visiting somewhere different – something has triggered a thought, emotion or memory deep inside you.

2.      A puzzled feeling when settling down to sleep at night – something you can’t quite grasp  (and I’m talking about the sign the muse gave to you here, of course)
3.      As the days pass, a restlessness. You often glance out of the window, fidget, catch yourself frowning in the hallway mirror (Is that me??)
4.      After the restlessness, hesitation and blunder. Here, you do things like pick up the toast before putting butter on it, or worse pick up the toast with the left hand and the butter with the right – all the time forgetting that a knife is needed in the process.  You put on odd socks. You forget your keys in the door, the grandmother you left guarding the supermarket trolley by the special offer beer and wine shelf.
5.      The slow spread of grumpiness in you turns to the irascible. You begin to throw insults at the telly and the England squad wandering dreamily about the pitch (yes, I know the sweltering heat is usually to blame, as well as the French referee). The f-word is used unsparingly for minor mishaps. You get angry.
6.      Finding no positive way to express itself, the anger turns to the blues. You listen long hours to Bumble Bee Slim records and consider taking up the harmonica. You might decide to examine the clouds in the sky for long moments, generally bemoan the state of the country and its cohorts of bureaucrats, and focus on every dismal piece of news the media dishes out to you.
7.      You drop it – the whole damn thing and especially that nagging voice in the back of your mind which says “what a waste!”
8.      And it is then – at that precise moment – that you should peddle backwards, seize a pen and paper, and scribble for all you’re worth! YES – even if you do snub your nose at them, the Muses always offer you another chance to capture what they’ve been trying to tell you!  
9.      So the idea is written. It takes shape and a song, story, work of art, and poem is born. And Gawd Blimey – all of a sudden you feel pleased with yourself, on top of the world, and life seems the most wonderful thing.
The lesson: Listen to the muse you have inside you – and always have a pen and paper handy!
Tom Gamble ;-) 


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