As a deity, I haven’t had many experiences with the Olympian Gods, or the Muses either. There was one muse, though, who I became friends with several hundred years ago.
Rumor had it, Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, was feeling melancholy about the stars and galaxies. Telescopes were invented, and one could view the planets by eye on some clear nights. Yet, there was a separation she endured that made her withdraw and seek solitude.
Concerned gossip flew among the other Pantheon members. It was confusing why the popular muse was spending more and more time alone. The sunny, carefree deity wasn’t looking to organize girls’ nights out or seeking her friends for company.
Trickles of the news dribbled further into the dreamscape, and I decided to try and do something positive about it. By way of dreams, I tentatively approached Urania late one night, when I was sure no one else would be around.
“Greetings, Muse of Astronomy. May I enter?” I never forced my way into another being’s dreams unless dire circumstances were involved. There are boundaries, and I had no trouble defining that threshold.
I believe she knew me, even if we had never met. A lot of gods have a signature about them. Still, she asked, “Who are you?”
“Morpheus,” I replied, and she nodded as if confirming what she had suspected.
“Yes, you may enter.” While her physical body lay elsewhere, I walked into her sleeping mind, joined her, and we talked.
“Other deities are talking and saying you are melancholy about the stars. You wish to travel among them and seek comfort in the planets and vastness of space.”
“They are talking about me?”
“It is nothing negative or hateful by any means. It’s a concern for your wellbeing. They miss your smile and cheerful personality.”
“Oh. Well, I have been lonely, even though I am around people every day. I am the Muse of Astronomy, and I love studying the planets and seeing creativity in scientists and astronomers. But there is more I want. I wish I had a more active role.”
“I may have an idea. What if I created a place for you in the dreamland you could visit whenever you wished during sleep?”
“You can do that?” A small smile curved her lips upward.
“I believe so. It would take little energy from both of us and would only be active when you required it. Hmm,” I thought about it. “Like a template saved for you to access when you needed it. Your tenacity and energy would activate it. It would also be like a lucid dream you could control. I would provide the skeleton of the illusion, and you would build and hold the dream. If that makes sense.”
“I understand. How do we do it?”
“This first time, I will create the dream illusion. You can tell me what needs to be changed or added.” I looked at her for permission to continue and the muse nodded. “Shall we begin with darkness?” She agreed, and the void consumed everything but our voices.
“This is strange.” She laughed nervously.
“You wish for light now to soften the void? Perhaps an array of tiny flickering stars that appear light-years away?”
“Yes. I like that idea.”
Thousands of glittering dots sparkled into the void, and the vast sky changed. “What about a purple tinge with far off supernovas?” And so that detail was added, and so on. It wasn’t too long until Urania had a view of the Milky Way, and other galaxies light-years away.
I did not know how to place the stars, moons, pulsars, and other objects until she instructed me. I would never remember the proper placing of these unfathomable wonders, even with a fantastic memory. But that did not matter.
When we perfected the dream, I turned to face her. “Muse, I do not have many friends outside the primordial realm. May we be friends?”
“I’d like that. Would you like to go for a walk with me tomorrow?” We smiled at each other, and I left her to finish her dream, excited about meeting up the following day.
The next day, we walked deep into a forest and had a picnic of dried meats, cheeses, fruit, and wine. We made what mortals call small talk and learned about each other. Urania’s favorite color is hot pink. Although humans invented the color pink in the 17th century, that particular shade was to come much later. Instead, she said bright pink. I also learned she loved crystals and still does today. She informed me that geometric designs fascinated her.
She spoke of famous astronomers of that time, like Piazzi, who discovered the largest asteroid, Ceres, in the asteroid belt, and before him, Edmond Halley, who calculated the orbit of the comet now known as Halley’s comet. I spent a lot of time listening to her vast wealth of knowledge.
We discovered the two of us collected mythological objects and were fascinated by the philosophical and artistic ideas of mortals. She was also interested in healing, mortal mysticism, and energy work. I found my new friend unique, underestimated, and surprising. Once she started talking, a lot of great ideas spilled out.
After that picnic, I returned to my duties and she to hers. I quietly listened for news and was happy to hear she had slowly returned to the optimistic and thriving muse she had been before. Of course, I did not take credit for changing her outlook or thinking of it from an ego-driven viewpoint. All I did was provide the ingredients for her to create a small place to seek refuge in from time to time.
We still enjoy a close friendship, even when circumstances pull us apart. I recently asked for her advice when the Titan, Epimetheus, caught me in an illusion and tried to use me for revenge on his enemies. There are other adventures we had together before the mortals had computers, laser technology, and learned to harness electricity in their homes. But I will save one of those stories for another time.