For those who don’t know, I live in Wisconsin. In addition to a reputation for cheese and beer, Wisconsin is a state prone to wild swings in weather. Subzero temperatures and snow falling by the foot in the winter, extreme heat and humidity in the summer.
Today is one of those “dog days of summer” that makes me remember the icy winds of January fondly – there’s no pleasing some people is there? To make things even better, the A/C is out in my car, and now the passenger window had decided not to open. Suffice it to say that today’s fifty minute commute in 90+ degree heat left me feeling more than a little wilted. I arrived at my office in need of some serious inspiration!
I walked into the office and this is what I see:
Ahhh, I’m feeling better already! I love the 1st birthday cake pic of my daughter and the collage of Greece, but Richard Armitage seems to act as some sort of balm for me from time to time. Suddenly, I was feeling inspired, so I mapped out another section of Recovery.
When it comes to inspiRAtion for me (and a whole lot of others in the fandom from the looks of it) Richard Armitage certainly functions as a personal Muse. The Greek Muses were a collection of goddesses who functioned as the personification and “patron” divinities of arts, literature and science. The earliest references name three, but by the classical period their number was firmly set at nine. They are most often identified as the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the personification of memory). The Greeks believed that The Muses epitomized the arts and inspired creativity through their own artistic and literary works. By the later Hellenistic period, each Muse became associated with a particular genre of creativity and could be identified visually by an emblem or attribute.
Even earlier than this it became customary for writers to call upon the Muses for inspiration at the beginning of a literary work. Below are the first lines of three famous poems:
Homer is “writing” very early in the Greek literary tradition, so it is in no way surprising that he does not refer to a particular Muse by name (in this case Calliope, since The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic poems), but simply refers to her as “Goddess” or “Muse”. The Latin poet Vergil, writing in the 1st century BC, would have been well aware that Calliope was the Muse specific to epic poetry, but rather than name her, he also simply invokes the “Muse”. This is almost certainly a deliberate homage to Homer. Regardless, this tradition of calling upon a Muse for inspiration was one started by the Greeks that is still in use today.
I think it might be rather difficult to associate Richard Armitage with a specific area of inspiration…he seems to inspire many different people in a variety of different ways. Some are inspired to create original artworks based on him or one of the characters he brought to life, others write stories or poems while still others create fan vids or write and record original songs. Everytime I think I’ve seen it all, something new emerges.
One thing though seems to be timeless… “Sing to me O Muse, a song of…..SQUEEEE!!”
Given his immense and, seemingly, effortless ability to inspire, perhaps we really should inaugurate a new Muse: