On Finding an Inspiration
A Creative Mind's Very Timely Encounter with His Muse
While many creative thinkers and artists throughout history were able to produce glorious works throughout their careers, it is in the rarest moments that bursts of inspiration sped along the creative process. These episodes of inspiration gave rise to the most memorable works that outlived their creators by centuries. Since classical antiquity, the idea of "the Muse" has captured and inspired the imaginations of Hellenic practitioners of art and many in the ages that followed. As the eras progressed, the concept of the Muse has shifted from a divine nature to that of a more earthly sort: during the Renaissance and in the Romantic period of art, anything could serve a inspirational purpose, from nature to the targets of infatuation and passionate emotions, to religion. In the modern age, despite having the whole of history, art and culture at our fingertips, the state of arts has noticeably changed. Much of it is sarcastic, a literal mockery of culture, current events, policies and art of the past. This piece is not intended as a critique of how stoic and sarcastic modernity has made art. This change is not inherently destructive as there are still just as many, if not more, creative powerhouses in contemporary art circles. Rather, the change in tone and meaning represents evolution from a more passive experience of art to a more interactive one.
Instead, I aim to merely write about how I was able to reconnect with what I consider to be the same creative augur that inspires artists of today and of antiquity to produce their most memorable works. I still continue to be creative in some artistic fields mainly as a hobby, and do fully disclose that I am not a professional artist.
As spring slowly shook itself awake, I had a very unique encounter with someone who would grow to be very special to me. In essence, she is the one who showed me how to "stop to smell the roses."
Coming from an academic background in biology and concrete science, my professional aspirations radically changed from research to favor the industry of healthcare and its various opportunities for improvement. Many pieces I may publish will address notable issues in this new career I have much passion for. However, as you can tell by my tone, and perhaps by your own inevitable experiences of our healthcare system, it is easy to see how massive inefficiency and its human cost can strongly affect one's mindset. Working in such an environment can cement a rather practical and realistic worldview, if a bit bleak, as one gets used to seeing how voraciously the system resists change. This can sometimes even drown out the undeniable, objective heroism of our healthcare system as it saves lives every second. Despite the former, I feel that I am in the right field. I am anything but a pessimist regarding the future as healthcare evolves, especially under proper evidence-based and scientific guidance. However, I remain very aware of where we are and where we could be as a nation and as humanity in 2018.
This has been a taste of my emotional state as I watched the frosty weather yield to spring rains from my office window.
However, right at a moment that many assignments began to pile up at work, sunlight blessed me and my life as I decided to meet with someone I was introduced to based on a surprising amount of interests we share. We were both adorably shy at first, but our shared appreciation of nature, the arts, and history drew us in. We would meet many more times as the weather grew warmer and colder and warmer again, and she would go on to stun me with her personality, depth of knowledge, and beauty.
We did not have everything in common, her interests in plants and animals objectively surpassed mine. We took a walk to some public gardens, and just seeing her so excited by what I used to feel was a mundane backdrop to a urban environment opened my eyes. We both noticed how beautiful the cherry blossoms were. She led me on a tour of the area where she was studying and the nearby gardens, always stopping to enjoy the flowers we would pass by. I never spent quite as much time just appreciating flowers for their natural beauty, though I once studied more about their biology than would ever be necessary for someone who does not own them. She made me appreciate what I learned with renewed vigor. Since then, I spent a lot more time around plants: photographing and just appreciating them, both with her and on my own.
On another date, she expanded my palate far beyond what I got used to eating in the confines of my frugal end-of-month-diet. She encouraged me to live a little, and try a very exotic restaurant. For the first time ever, I tried a new Oriental dish that blew my mind and memories of the taste sensation stuck with me for weeks after, as did the memories of our time together.
As our relationship grew, I got to see her very often. I always enjoyed sketching, but I rarely trusted myself with drawing a human figure, particularly the face. She always supported my artistic side, often very eager to see what new sketch I drew.
After much deliberation, I wanted to express just how much I appreciate my Muse, in as unique a way as I could. I finally committed her likeness to paper. I don't think I will ever fully be pleased with the sketch I drew, but she loves it.
Overall, I can summarize a suggestion I have for you, my fair readers. I cannot encourage you enough to seek out a person that is a source of inspiration to you in ways that change your worldview. Someone who encourages you to be the best person that you can be. Most of all, I recommend you find someone that excites you just by being themselves.
I dedicate this to my dearest, you know who you are.