Recently I had the opportunity to handle a number of prehistoric tools that were created between 10,000 and 400,000 years ago. I’d seen such artefacts behind glass in museums on many occasions however now I could run my fingers along the smooth curves, examine the delicate patterns etched on the shafts and wonder at the absolute symmetry of stone blades.
My research into the creative life had sent me down numerous rabbit holes and one of them just happened to deliver me to these handcrafted implements, objects which had been lovingly brought to life by our ancestors as they sat around their fires many millennia ago. The 400,000 year old flint blade still had a sharp edge and fitted perfectly into this modern human’s paw. It was a tool of the moment, chipped into being for a specific purpose and freely discarded once that task had been completed.
Marble smooth and millimetre symmetrical
The stone age axehead was a different being. Marble smooth and millimetre symmetrical it will have taken several generations to create and that realisation helped join up many random dots in my mind. Yep, someone had begun the task of creating a beautiful tool and then handed it to their descendants to complete, and so on down their family line.
Although it was a very functional tool it was so much more. Art for art’s sake. Similarly the bronze tools had spirals, curlicues and other repeating patterns embellishing their hand-smoothed surfaces. Again, art for art’s sake. Beauty beyond purpose.
The drive to create is part of what made us ‘human’. That need to craft with whatever medium fell to hand nurtured something deep inside the psyche of our ancestors and still thrives in humanity today. Our calling to create beauty runs bone deep and heeding this need is key to a healthy mind, body and spirit.
If we track forward from prehistory and linger for a while with the ancient peoples of Greece, Rome and Egypt we’ll find countless references to the desire to create beauty and to the one who was ascribed with delivering the inspiration to do so. The Muse.
The Muse has been calling to creators since the dawn of tribal cultures worldwide and her voice continues to ring out to artists, musicians, writers, creators, problem solvers, deep thinkers and more down to this day. More often than not though she is no longer heard. Life gets in the way. Commitment, responsibility, apathy, weariness and fear can close the door on her. Inspiration takes flight and those who so badly need to create flounder and flail about in a life lived for others.
The Call of The Muse is my shout out to you. Let it become the hollow bone down which the Muse, your Muse, can gently whisper these words into your ear. ‘You can do this. Let’s make beauty together. Let us move beyond the blocks that stop your self nurture, let’s create beautiful photos just because we can.’
Bringing Back the Magic
For too long photography has been locked down in the realms of science and logic, of kit consumers and unfathomable formulas. It’s time to bring the Magic back. Time to reclaim the craft. To create the visions that speak words of soul-deep wisdom and intricately woven connections. Now is the time to grasp Creativity Beyond the Camera and to let the Muse sew you back into yourself.
Walk with me awhile and see if you can tune yourself into the subtle realms wandered by creatives since the dawn of time. Seek the sanctuary of a creative life well lived and taste for yourself the honey sweet freedom the Muse delivers to those who open their hearts to her.
The Call of The Muse treads the path of deep photography and brings home the pure magic and enchantment of a creative practice through numerous online offerings for photographers of all callings. What will you do to clear your way ahead? Email me your thoughts if you like, I always reply.