History: gossip well told. -Elbert Hubbard The Story Muse: Muses 101
Somebody recently asked me:
Why do you consider Clio, the Muse of History, your alter ego? It’s a combination of childhood aspirations, past life experience (observation/insight, research/ documentation), diverse cultural roots (Native American Storytelling genes, among others) fueled by an ardent conviction in the power of words to transform ideas, instill new thinking and create positive change in the world.
In my GOOGLE quest for all things Muse-like, Clio became emotionally despondent at the lack of concise accounts of she and her sister’s Mythological Mission Mandates [Homer’s endorsements were kind] encouraging this introductory Blog entry. No doubt it’s a safe bet to assume some of the key players in Ancient Greece might have lost, destroyed and/or misplaced key historical documents due to all the chaos and distractions caused by the myriad of odd mythical creatures they had to contend with: Precisely why I’ve taken the liberty of piecing together the various tidbits of internet speculations creating my own chronicle of The Nine Muses in Greek Mythology, with a specific emphasis on Clio’s creative contributions.
1. Greek Mythology Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
3. muse A poet.
According to Greek Mythology the god Zeus [zju:s] bewildered a young woman named Mnemosyne [nĭ-mŏs'ə-nē], the goddess of memory, consorting with her for nine consecutive nights. The consequence of their ancient Greek dalliance resulted in the birth of nine daughters, aka The Nine Muses, subsequently establishing the first ancient Greek equivalent of the modern day women’s health clinic (3300-1000 B.C.).
Mnemosyne, the memory keeper, fearful of her daughters repeating her ancient err in judgment, piles them all on Pegasus without a seatbelt transporting them to scary Mount Parnassus for a proper liberal-infused mythical education so that each Muse might have an equal opportunity to pursue a deity-based career path in their chosen field of interest. Under Apollo’s tutelage the girls excel in their studies, eventually mastering a myriad of academic/artistic disciplines:
Calliope [kə-LYE-ə-pee], muse of epic poetry, Clio [klē'ō], the muse of history, Erato [ĕr'ə-tō'], the muse of love poetry, Euterpe [yū-tûr'pē], the muse of music, Melpomene [mĕl-pŏm'ə-nē'], the muse of tragedy, Polyhymnia [pŏl'ē-hĭm'nē-ə], the muse of sacred poetry, Terpsichore [tûrp-sĭk'ə-rē], the muse of dance, Thalia [thā'lē-ə], the muse of comedy, and last but certainly not least, Urania [yʊ-rā'nē-ə], the muse of astronomy [think Stephen Hawking came up with all that stuff on his own].
Like many girls with an absentee father the girls futilely cling to their roots looking for gods in all the wrong places. Embarking on frequent jaunts to Athens they could be spotted sipping ouzo, smashing plates and dancing too close with those good-for-nothing, chariot-riding Romans. Not Clio.
Through observation and documentation of all historical mischief including her own absurdly dysfunctional Greek tragedy, she rebels fleeing on the next available western-hemisphere bound Phoenix as a stowaway eventually relocating permanently in the vacant attic space above Alexis Restaurant on W. Burnside, in Portland, Oregon. Even muses need to wet their whistle, and who doesn’t work better after sampling Spanakopita? Oopah! Keep in mind it was I, Clio, who coined the phrase “eat, drink and be merry” not my tofu-slinging sister the Merry Vegan Menace, Erato.
Please don’t judge me because I am different: I grow my own hemp for my parchment paper, recycle my scrolls at the Goodwill, rescued a neurotic Border Collie from hard farm labor, fly in lieu of driving (weather permitting), and only entice my clients with fresh, local, organic goods.
While all of the original Nine Muses continue to provide non-biased, independently derived imagination and inspiration needed for creation to artists, philosophers, scientists or any other group or individual in need of fresh, results-oriented prose, there is only one sustainable choice: The Story Muse.