Depression – The Other Expression Of Muse
So much has already been written about depression. My interest in it here, is in the context of creativity.
For me these phases mark transitions in ways of thinking about myself, the life in front of me and my work. It is often triggered by not knowing what to paint next, along with a resistance to this fact. Without getting into detail about the specific combinations of deceptive self-beliefs that then arise, how they manifest and where they originate, I would like to approach the subject of depression in a new way.
The perspective I would like to start from is around the idea of The Muse. This mysterious source of inspiration that we have come to call The Muse, from the nine goddesses of Greek mythology, is either present or absent. Whether it is a separate entity or entities assigned to us, or a high aspect of our own consciousness that can receive guidance from even higher, or it’s just enthusiastic impulses, callings stimulated by chance, there is either a presence of this phenomena or an absence.
What if this presence and absence are both expressions of The Muse?
In our world of polarity there can be no light without the dark, no movement without stillness, no waking without sleep. Each action seems to have its reaction as the seasons cycle on and on from mid-summer to mid-winter and back again. So, it makes sense that the presence of inspiration, for example, must be balanced by its absence.
When we mourn our favorite season without hope of its return, it is easy to disconnect from the season we are in, at all costs. Such a feat of self-protective sorcery, holding one’s self in a lifeless bubble beyond seasons, one would expect, would not be easy. One would expect that the acquisition of such a power would require a high-level of inspiration to commit to lifetimes of training. Such is the value of its attainment. It is a practice that must be appreciated simply for its mastery.
A moment will eventually arise, stimulated by the inherent pain of this power, when we are called, perhaps by the same source of inspiration, to look again upon the great absence. Perhaps we are forced by the same source, to feel it, face it, to own it and appreciate it somehow for what it must trigger and release. What we do with this fruit very much depends on our unique circumstances and what we are learning to integrate. In its seed, however, lies a creative abundance to match the mastery of deepest of depression. In its sprouting, from that first thought of intrigue or intention, from that tiny new drive, the next wonder takes shape.
The Muse is served by allowing it to serve us with its presence and its absence. This dance will not be controlled or harnessed for long, or fully understood, as its charm and grace seem to depend on a mystery. The only proof we have of its mysterious existence, a comfort when nothing else is clear, is its expressions of Presence and Absence, Presence and Absence, Presence and Absence.