A Throng of One: (Looking Back on 2012)


English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

English: New Year’s Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Year’s Eve. It’s that time of year again. Time for looking back. For taking stock. Reflecting. For planning the year to come. A new timetable. Resolutions.

Surprise, surprise; there were many goals I didn’t reach in 2012.  Instead of bemoaning all that I didn‘t achieve, I’m going to celebrate all I did achieve. I’m not saying I won’t be trying to figure out what I need to change in order better to reach my targets, it’s just that this year I’m not going to bludgeon myself over my failures. And by the way, there’s no such thing as failure. We’re all works in progress unto eternity.

And in deciding to celebrate instead of bemoan, I realise at once that despite my disappointing performance in many respects, I’ve grown into a greater acceptance of myself, including my failings.

I can write this without worrying that readers will think I’m self-satisfied.  It isn’t self-satisfaction. I’ve developed a greater capacity for self-love which is entirely different to self-satisfaction and entirely necessary to achievement.  If you’re continually pulling yourself down for your shortcomings and not much else, you’re crippling your ability to create. (Leave others to try to pull you down, and they will)!

And if I have found a way of liking myself better, it’s because I’ve had the support of wonderful new friends and can rejoice in that. One in particular who has absolutely refused to let me self-deprecate!

In being urged towards more than one of the arts, I’ve complained that I’m visited by too many of the muses, all clammering for attention at once. That I don’t have time for them all. Yet here I am at the end of 2012, raising a toast to them.  Who are my muses?

Polyhymnia, muse of sacred poetry. Detail from...

Polyhymnia, muse of sacred poetry. Detail from the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the nine muses, long ago, a poet saw in my work (flatteringly), the influence of Polyhymnia – muse of the sacred hymn, eloquence and dance. She is often depicted as veiled, long-robed, and leaning (pensively) on a pillar. Extremely flattering!

Urania, muse of astronomy, ponting to a globe ...

Urania, muse of astronomy, ponting to a globe with a stick. Detail from the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Am I also visited by Urania, the Muse of astronomy and astrology?  Well, I am fascinated by the cosmos, stare at the moon through a telescope and subscribe to an astronomy magazine. She is said to carry a globe in her left hand, and a peg in her right. (I can’t figure out the peg – I use pegs to hang out my washing).

What about Clio, the muse of historical and heroic poetry. Have I seen anybody hanging about carrying scrolls?  Well, I have been wrestling with my past in 2012 (my The Books of the Dead series). And as for poetry, I’ve a poem on the theme Looking Back (about an aspect of my childhood, my history) entered in a competition right now.

Thalia, muse of comedy, holding a comic mask. ...

Thalia, muse of comedy, holding a comic mask. Detail from the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And then there’s Thalia. She’s the muse of comedy and pastoral poetry. I became acquainted with Tracy Shaves this year, stand-up comedian (and charity fund-raiser). And I have always been known for my sense of humour (which is generally of the self-deprecating kind, of course!). My poem The Voice in the Wind is pastoral.

Yes, I can say that I’ve played host to all of the above muses this year.  But also, for the first time, to these others:

Calliope, muse of epic poetry, holding a volum...

Calliope, muse of epic poetry, holding a volumen. Detail from the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calliope, known as the muse of the fair voice. I’m not saying I’ve a fair voice. But I did stand up on a stage on 15 December and sing solo for the first time in my life. If you’ve read my recent blog about this, you’ll know I was to sing Mozart‘s Laudate Dominum. Well I did it. I cried in the toilet and retched in the sink beforehand, but I did it. And proceeds from the concert did raise money for Macmillan Nurses (MacMillan Cancer Support). I’ll be doing it again in March, when hopefully, I’ll have conquered my stage fright and my voice will be a bit fairer!  (Or, a lot fairer)! So I can definitely say I’ve been visited by Calliope and her wax tablet and stylus this year.

Terpsichore, muse of dancing. Detail from the ...

Terpsichore, muse of dancing. Detail from the “Muses Sarcophagus”, representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD, found by the Via Ostiense. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another newcomer is Terpsichore, not so much as the muse of dancing, (though I’ve modest accomplishments in ballroom, latin american and ice dance) but as the muse of the dramatic chorus, for I’ve performed in 2012 in chorus: Mendelsohn’s Elijah, Walton’s Coronation Te Deum, Patrick Hawes Te Deum and two of Parry’s songs. And I’m about to begin rehearsals for Mozart’s Requiem.  Terpsichore with her lyre has been a frequent visitor this year.

And instead of feeling overwhelmed, I have come to realise that rather than a jostling crowd of nine, my visiting muses are in fact, a throng of one. For they are each interlocking and interwoven components of the One. Each has been with me all along.

I hope 2013 will be a year of consolidation for me. I hope you achieve whatever are your goals in 2013.

Who would you identify as your muse(s)?

Happy New Year.

Ann

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer, Proofreader/Copy Editor
This entry was posted in Singing, spirituality, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Throng of One: (Looking Back on 2012)

  1. I think self-love is a good thing too! It helps us love others more deeply.

    Blessings in 2013 ~ Wendy

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