Watching something on Picasso’s obsessions on TV. Simon Schama talking about themes from Spanish culture and the beasts like the Minotaur from Mediterranean cultures past bubble up through Picasso’s subsconscious through his hands and onto his canvases.
I guess I have my muses too. Here are a few of them:
The Wraith: He’s always been the dancing partner in my dreams. Yes, there are flesh and blood manifestations of him about, but I think it’s like Coop talking about how first he drew the pin-up girls, then real girls resembling his drawings came out of the woodwork to surround him: all of the real-life Wraiths crawled out of the shadows into my world after the archetypal one. They are his minions, I suppose: men of few words, thin, piercing eyes, usually deeply troubled but trying hard. In the limelight they flaunt their sexuality, probably for the purposes of an insistent display of their liberation as LaVey said, but in any case they can seem to tap into a deep physical animalism. Then once the spotlight is off them, they are all furtive glances and shy smiles. 4s and 3s, for those so inclined. [And no, I don’t mean on a scale of 1-10, I speak of clock positions here.] There are at least 2 Wraiths about these days, but I suspect there are more who just haven’t left the shadowy corners yet, they bide their time well.
The Sullen One: You would think the Wraiths would be sullen, and perhaps they are otherwise, but in my presence they usually put their best face forward. The Sullen One doesn’t. He may be almost jovial one day, but he is quicksilver and easily perturbed. Passive aggressive, greedy, and manipulative. He can be immensely charming, but he is human heroin – the more time you spend near him, the more likely he is to rot you from the inside out yet it seems impossible to cast him aside. He is a black hole with a massive gravitational pull and he is never ever full. In my real life, he’s a 6 for those keeping score.
Lions: Not just the fat Roman ones well-fed on Christian flesh, aggressive male egos all seeking their territory. Prowling in circles looking for an opening to kill their rivals.
The Martyr: I’ve long since left the Catholicism of my childhood behind, but I do see the archetype of the martyr still. Not just in the religious sense and who cares for the whining “poor me” kind. I mean peacemakers ripped apart by the rival Lions. I mean artists who destroy themselves on the altar of their work, either in a flash or bit by bit over 30 years or more. Deaths that left gaping holes still without a covering scab years later.
The Fool: Or so say a couple of the Lions. He’s actually possessed of much wisdom, having been through the Abyss, but he doesn’t wallow in the filth of his past experience. And he’s a kind, sweet soul. He worries, as any other does, about his place in the world, but for the most part, he’s the only happy one of the muses, that kind of happiness that can only come with a sort of self-acceptance that he isn’t perfect but he’ll do just fine. Coupled with an appreciation of the small things that make life civilized.