My third day at the Vermont Studio Center where I will be for a month. Ample time for musing which is important. Musing is to summoning the Muse as fishing is to catching fish. It is a willed and wily passivity, a passionate patience, the union of being and doing, a way of submitting wholly to the present in order to invite memory, entice the unexpected, even, by allowing the imagination to suppose this and that, guess at the future.
Musing seems to me to be the opposite of what these days too often passes for thinking: the choosing between this position and that one, the preference for this or that proffered alternative, strategies for “getting your needs met,” learning how to use the pull-down menus, the brand-name solutions to discomfort, and the memes and macros that allow us to live on cruise control.
My friends and I, 10-year-old dance students and devotees of Martha Graham, use to recite that poem of Emily Dickinson's (I'm nobody, Who are you?) all day long. I think we were turned on to it my Graham's dance, “Every Soul is a Circus,” which used Dickinson's poems as text.
Appreciated the post, and the delineation of two types of thinking. Sounds like we're in the same camp! (No, not Vermont Studio Center, though I'm hoping to make it over there soon…) You might find this interesting: A Muse to Amuse Your Ego. It was a response to There is no Muse.