Books really don’t make me cry but now there have actually been three.  The first was an absolute mystery to me, the second, I could see it coming and the third–I have just finished reading.  I think it is now one of the favourites that I own but oh, does it make me sad.  In content, yes but really, personally also.

The first was ‘King Lear.’  I was reading it during my final year of High School and when I got to the end, I completely burst out in tears! I had no idea why!

Somehow, this came up in conversation with a therapist I was seeing a few years ago.  I don’t know why that happened either but she told me that she could see me as Cordelia.  Huh.  She suggested I read ‘Lear’ again and we talk about it.  This was never done, however, as my ADD was so bad I could barely handle a comic book and I stopped seeing her.  She was not exactly “helpful.”

Oddly enough (again?) I was speaking to someone else not long ago and she said she could see me as, “A Little Cordelia.” Another “Huh.”

I guess I should re-read ‘Lear.’ *PA ponders*

EDIT: I currently am.

The second? It was about a man who had Depression and took in a stray cat.  It is a short and simple true account.  His wee kitty and how she transformed his life so much.  But…? I’m a cat person.  I guess I needn’t say more?

Now, the third! It’s called ‘The Lives of the Muses’ with a subtitle: “Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired.”  The author is Francine Prose.  Oh, even after the introduction I couldn’t wait to start it!

To give you an idea, here’s a bit from the back cover:

The Lives of the Muses demolishes the feminist
stereotype of the muse as a passive beauty put on
a pedestal and oppressed by a male artist.  What do
the nine muses chosen by Francine Prose have in
common? They were all beautiful, or sexy, or gifted
with some more unconventional appeal; all loved—and
were loved by—their artists, and inspired them with
an intensity of emotion akin to Eros.  For these artists,
the love of—or for—their muses provided an element
essential for the melding of talent and technique
necessary to create art.

The nine that were chosen?

–    Hester Thrale
–    Alice Liddell
–    Elizabeth Siddal
–    Lou Andreas Salomé
–    Gala Dali
–    Lee Miller
–    Charis Weston
–    Suzanne Farrell
–    Yoko Ono

So, when did the tears start? Right at the start! Oh, Hester Thrale and her relationship with Dr. Samuel Johnson! How do you spell “Tragedy?” The story had me reeling! I fear it will haunt me forever and I will be scarred for life! I was reading it out in public, saltwater streaming down my face!

ASIDE: Johnson was into Bondage and Domination, curiously enough.  In his letters to Thrale there are vague reference and in her writing to a/his “Lock?” I see.  Also, mentally he was a total wreck! Present dx’s could be all over: Bipolar, OCD, Tourette’s and even the Autistic Spectrum?

Hester? Brilliant, educated and by no means a “Shrinking Violet,” either! Her life was hell though (apart from the time she spent with Johnson?) She was married to a man who had continual affairs while continually keeping Hester pregnant while her babies continually died one after another!

She felt failure and frustration on both sides of her life: What she could have been and what she was.

Artistic reciprocity? She helped Johnson with his writing (and nursed and cared for him—and no doubt loved him back?) He encouraged her to write (which her uncaring husband actually forked over the money for her to do!) She did well and became published.

Still! This was only the first chapter! The First Muse! I was terrified to read further! I did though and for someone who is still struggling with her ADD, I just devoured it—and no, I didn’t cry over the rest of the stories!

Now, some of you out there may know of these tales, these people and the intricacies of the relationships involved.  If so, I think you may be impressed with the research done and the style of writing here.  The book is not dry and handled with such honesty and at times there are points of humour where I even laughed—that’s right, no more crying!

If you do not know of these stories, the majority of them were extremely painful and ended in complete disaster! Undying, unrequited love, shattered hearts all over the floor like broken china.  “A Muse of Utter Control and Manipulation!” You might say two of them were but one was definitely worse, I think.

Addiction and death.  Being trapped and unacknowledged.  People being basically deranged and insane (but hey, not all artists are insane, right?) People (well only one) having a bit of an obsession with faeces! *laughing* He’s well known on the list of the “inspired.”

Alright then, so are any of you wondering if PA has ever had any “Muses?” Not that she considers herself an “artiste.” The answer is, yes.  Several.  However, I’m not sure if any of them and our relationships can compare to the stories in the book! Well…maybe…? *laughing again*

Also, numbers do not matter.  Similar to the book, “My Muses” have all been different, had their separate effects on me, have stood out in ways so completely outstanding on their own parts and yes, I have fallen totally in love with all of these women! I know when I do have a “Muse,” I produce a lot more work! I’m not sure if any of it is noteworthy at all but “My Muses” inspire me to no end!

Does PA have a current “Muse?” No, not at the moment, I suppose.  Perhaps I could try and draw back on the ones where the flames were blazing, so hot, with all of the passion and try and channel that energy somehow now into my work.  I do not know.  I do know that I would welcome them back into my arms with an unbelievably, underestimated, state of enthusiasm and explosion of energy! *PA laughing for third time!*

Well, hell! I was madly in love with all of them!

Even though some of them just about killed me.  So, erm…maybe not those ones? But hey, perhaps I’m one of those “insane artists!” But no, welcome back my…erm…”Muses That Aren’t Going to Kill Me?” Much wiser decision.

So, here is an MP3 that I would like to dedicate to all of “My Muses.”  I think it’s definitely suitable for the book in ways too.

“P.S. I Love You” by Billie Holiday.


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