By Pia Thompson
“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:3-5
“He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.” Exodus 35:35
Pia: Today I’ve invited Inspiration to my blog. Welcome.
Inspiration: Yeah, thanks.
Pia: Many people have some acquaintance with you, especially artsy types. Maybe you can tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do for a living?
Inspiration: A living? Yeah, right. Well, mostly I work behind the scenes. You know, I fancy myself a Muse, of sorts. I have ideas. All these ideas. Floating. And sometimes, someone will ‘catch’ one, you know?
Pia: So, you don’t do anything concrete? Nine to five?
Inspiration: No, no. I don’t keep banker’s hours. I can work anywhere, anytime. Sometimes I work best when most people are sleeping. The problem is most people won’t wake up and write my ideas down. They assume they’ll remember in the morning, but inevitably, they don’t.
Pia: So do you feel you serve as a useful member of society?
Inspiration: Oh, yeah, for sure. Life isn’t just about the corporate world or even a hard day’s work. I like to think I’m the colour in a drab world. I inspire great creative works; music, poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, dance, handicrafts, decorating, cooking, advertising, preaching. There’s no part of life you don’t find me.
Pia: So tell me about a typical day. Do you have an office?
Inspiration: I can work in one, but usually you’d just see me standing by the window, deep in thought.
Pia: So when it would seem to an onlooker that you were doing nothing, you’d actually be having a productive day?
Inspiration: I think so. But I only inspire. I’m all about ‘possibilities’. I suggest maybe five different directions a plot can take, and then it’s up to the Creative to choose one and run with it. I’m not responsible for their action or non-action. I’m merely the Muse.
Pia: Creatives? Do you mean artsy people?
Inspiration: I think Creative is a more accurate term. A writer, for example, may not be able to decorate a room or knit a scarf or even draw a stick person; yet they can create a whole world, like Lewis’ Narnia or Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Pia: So, do you claim credit for every work of art and every novel ever written?
Inspiration: No, I wouldn’t make such a bold claim. There are so many factors involved. But I do flatter myself that I am the spark that ignites the flame. For some people I must be the firewood that keeps the fire going. I have to hold the hand of so many Creatives. They claim they can’t work without their Muse, their Inspiration. They don’t understand that after I give them their idea, they have to put their B.I.C. (butt-in-chair) and do the actual hard work. I can’t stay with one person all the time.
Pia: Do you work better in certain settings?
Inspiration: Oh, like in a cabin by a lake or in a crowded coffee shop?
Inspiration: I work in different ways for different people. I can inspire during the night, during a boring lecture, on a commuter train, in nature. I see possibilities everywhere. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the potential projects out there.
Pia: Do you ever help to see anything through to completion?
Inspiration: Occasionally, but I’m often available only at intervals. I find something bewitching about new projects. The ‘next thing’ is always more appealing than the hard work of actually finishing a project.
Pia: I know that! I have a shelf of unfinished stories. As soon as the ideas ran dry, or the story didn’t flow, or the work was too difficult, I’d think of a new project. Should I blame you for that?
Inspiration: I’d rather receive credit than blame. I have feelings, too. Sometimes I can be offended and leave for a long time.
Pia: What lures you back to a person?
Inspiration: Sometimes certain music will remind me of when I first shared the idea with the person. Kind of like being in love and going back to the old haunts. Mostly, though, I’m impressed to see the dedication to the original idea; to see how they work with it, and sit down every day to plod. When they perspire, I inspire.
Pia: So you have no part in plodding?
Inspiration: No, no! Plodding is much too mundane. I’m all about light bulb moments and plot twists and planting seeds of future projects. The Creatives plod, I show up once in a while to cheer them on. Then I leave them to their work.
Pia: Do you enjoy your work?
Inspiration: What’s not to love? I make the world a beautiful place.
Pia: Well, I’ve heard that some Creatives have a love/hate relationship with their Muse. They love it when you’re there, and they hate it when you’re gone.
Inspiration: That’s good. I must have suggested that to you.
Pia: Maybe. That makes me wonder; who gets the credit for creating great works of art, you or the artist?
Inspiration: I think of it as a symbiotic relationship, but I must admit that God is the Ultimate Creative and people create to a lesser degree only as much as He has gifted them.
Pia: Well said. Thank you for coming to visit my Blog today, Inspiration.
Inspiration: Good bye, Pia. I hope to see you with your B.I.C., finishing those great story ideas I gave you.
Pia: (hanging head in shame). Yes, you will.