What is a Muse?
By Juneau, excerpted from On the Meaning of Adam Lambert
[Muse is] one of my current favorite rock bands, as it happens (thanks to Adam), but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Muse who is making me stay up late at night tapping away eagerly on my keyboard. The Muse who inspires me. That sexy, teasing Pan figure who I find myself so rapturously wanting to please with my stories, my sensibility, me. The phantom with whom I carry on witty and provocative conversations all day long. How am I doing? Were you impressed by how I just described that scene? How about with the way I look today, the way I just walked into that restaurant? Aren’t I worthy of your phantom adoration and love? Can we be friends? I have an adult imaginary friend! Sheesh…
What is a Muse? It’s such a hackneyed Romantic concept, but I don’t know what else to call this phenomenon. A Muse is a Being who compels us to create. That feels different from the support and encouragement that comes from one’s real life partner, the one who is in the trenches with you, paying the bills, repairing the plumbing, waiting up for teenage children to get home safely, negotiating whose family to spend the holidays with – all the unglamorous, unending and essential tasks that go into building a life together. A Muse on the other hand is an idealized being who inspires expression. It’s hard to embody that ideal when you’re up at two a.m. clutching a screaming baby and covered in projectile vomit. It seems quite unfair to ask one’s life partner to add being a Muse to the job description.
I understand for the first time why Picasso took so many lovers and wives. Duh!! A Muse must be gifted but also young and fresh — not a peer, but one whom you can instruct and impress, and whose radiance reflects back a flattering image. (Of course Picasso was a jerk who used up and disposed of his Muses.)
So what makes someone a Muse? What makes so many people find a Muse in Adam Lambert? It has something to do with his approachability and humility combined with swoon-inducing beauty of voice and physique. It also has something to do with his having struggled, been in pain, searching for love. You want to create something that will amuse him, comfort him, seduce and excite him. You want to meet him, become his BFF, become his lover. And you want never to meet him, to preserve him as a perfect being who can continue to stoke your engine. He can be the object of an exalted, pure and uncomplicated love, because he is created by Art.