My Muse

About the image:
It’s The Corinthian Maid, circa 1783-84, by Joseph Wright. I found this on one of my many frequent visits to the National Gallery of Art while assigned to the Money section at USA Today.

A postcard-sizTheCorinthianMaided version has been ensconced in an ornate frame on my desk for decades. To me, this seemed reflective of my relationship with my muse.

Sometimes, she seems to be drawing ideas out of me.

Sometimes, she seems to be using the implement to insert ideas into my brain.

The truth, I recently learned, is that the painting depicts a practice that existed long centuries before photography – a lady tracing her lover’s image on the wall before he goes off to war.

This painting is not a single frozen moment in time.

It is a doorway. A portal.

My muse gives me a nudge by asking: “What happens next?”

And with that stirs a tempest of plots and subplots and story arcs and character arcs and …

Oh my!