The muses were nine ancient Greek goddesses who were responsible for knowledge and inspiration. They were believed to be the driving force of plays, music and beautiful art. In the old days you prayed to them before starting a piece, and if you were creatively driven, people said you’ve been kissed by a muse.
Shimmer is my muse. I’ve always been grateful and happy to walk him, but I must confess, six months into our walks, it was becoming a real drag. There’s only so many sidewalks and fields you can cover during a lunch hour and we had visited them all.
However, I noticed Shimmer never grew bored. He loved our walks, and if we went over the same area we did a week before, he found it just as interesting. It started me thinking…Shimmer was noticing things I wasn’t. Sure, for him it was smells, but there were other things, too. A new gopher hole, a three-day old burrito under a bush–there was always something different. So, I, too, decided to go on our walks and notice its subtle changes.
Our walks became much more interesting for me. We are explorers of our neighborhood, keeping track of its changes, the seasons, and the cycle of its hidden life. I started by posting a new photo on Shimmerday every day for a week, then kept it up for a month, and just kept doing it routinely after that. Three years later, I unintentionally became a much better photographer.
Now, I want to be a better writer. And so, I’ll start the same way as before, slowly, hit or miss, until I get better.
I’ve been kissed by a muse and he has dog breath.