Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

beguiling August 22, 2010

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:11 pm
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I’m just thinking about the way we sometimes get attached to things that are not good for us. Something tantalizes us and we are drawn, perhaps against our common sense, perhaps completely innocently. Suddenly we are trapped as attachments glue us firmly to the thing that beguiles us.

It might be a person we fall for. It might be a substance. Others can look at us and see the dangers. We are blind to them in the immersion of our delight as the endorphins of discovery flood our senses.

Our intoxication might destroy us, as alcohol, cigarettes and heroin break down those who adore them.  In a short time or a long time their impact is always negative.  However, what beguiles us might benefit us.  While it might fill us with a gleeful obsession for years, it may also act as muse, fueling dreams and imaginings.  So while others only noticed irritating dangers looming over us, some take the danger, celebrate it, and turn it into something beautiful.

Petrarca’s obsession is a case in point.  Sure his adoration of Laure endured for decades, well past the time she was moldering in her crypt in Avignon.  The poetic expression of his obsession has lasted even longer, coming onto seven centuries.    Petrarca prayed to be released from it, to be free to focus his adoration on his God.  The writings at the end of his life suggest he felt he reached the stage of relief eventually, but thankfully the hundreds of poems about her remain as a testimony to the benefits of obsessive adoration and addiction to an ideal.


musing on muses May 14, 2010

Filed under: Grace Awakening,Poetry,Pondering,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:01 am
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Are there reluctant muses? How many muses are embarrassed or dissatisfied with their role as someone else’s creative inspiration? Whatever the real nature of the relationship between the people involved, the creative one takes the facts of the other and covers individual identity with musical notes, pieces of paper, or splashes of paint. Reality becomes illusion.

A muse is a creation of aspiration on the journey to inspiration. That they may walk, talk, breathe, sing, dance or act is extraneous to the process. The muse simply exists as a precipice from which the imagination can leap. If the muse is worthy, the leap is not downward, toward the heavy reality of life, but upward, into the dreamlike world of possibility. Once gliding on the currents of the muse, the creator may stay in the air for years or even decades on the flow of ideas, images, and imaginings

While the real life person ages, decays, and even dies, the muse lives on in perpetual youth. The ephemeral something that creates the muse is extemporal. This is why Petrarch was able to write over three hundred sonnets to Laure, even after her death. Reports suggest that the two had never actually even met, and yet the dream of her fueled Petrarch’s writing for decades after his first glimpse of her. I understand his obsession. My own muse is a memory wrapped in a dream and tied with a reverie. There’s no accounting for the flashes that make a moment into a poem, a  nuance into a novel or a suggestion into a song.

From delusion
to illusion,
with the inspiration
comes the aspiration
for imagination
to become creation.


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