There’s a difference between being a muse, a disembodied (or at least, not instantiated) spirit of creativity, and being an embodied mortal. I mean, technically I’m still just as muse-ish as ever. People aren’t any less inspired just because I happen to be here in a body. Perhaps this is only one aspect of me, one part. It’s hard to tell, because I’m that part, and I chose a part that is mortal and by definition, can’t see or comprehend the infinite.

So I’m unlikely to be the one that figures it out, at least until something untoward happens to this mortal body. What happens at that point is anybody’s guess really, but I assume I’ll go back to being more or less what I was before. Hopefully more.

Being mortal was a surprise for me in so many ways. I’ve already talked about how strange some things were to me, how I never understood why people did particular things until I had a body myself. Of course, I still don’t understand some things, but from what I can tell some other mortals don’t, either – so I’m not holding out hopes on those.

But what I didn’t understand was how normal things could become. There’s a routine to life that one falls into, especially when all around us are things which shape our time. A time to be here, a time to be there. Regular biological needs, eating, sleeping, defecating.

Defecating was a surprise, let me tell you. I mean not in the sense that I didn’t know it existed, more that I wasn’t really prepared for the experience. Anyway, I tried to explain this to my poetry class, and they listened intently and suggested I find a different example to focus on. They’re very helpful, but I think they think I’m a bit weird.

It’s all the same, though – food, sex, sleep, all the needs of this body. I mean, they’re not the same. But they are all fuel. Drives. They motivate us, these things we need and desire. Takes us through each day.

And yet each day becomes…more and more the same. I find myself stepping along a path that is already growing familiar and I start to understand how humans forget. I’ve only been here a few months and I can see how routine is seductive to so many. The advantage of not making decisions, of being able to be alive without actually living your life – it terrifies me. To forget joy.

I came here – well, I came here because Zeus told me to – but I came here in a living mortal body because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It seemed fun. Muses are so closely entwined with humanity that it’s hard to tell sometimes if we are who we are because it’s our nature, or because that’s how humans dream about the world. I wanted to know what it’s like to be human. I wanted to understand what it’s like to feel the breeze with human skin, to eat and drink, to hold and kiss and look into a lover’s eyes. I came here to learn.

Because I’m not mortal. I’m masquerading as one. And if there is one lesson I hope I do not take with me when I go back to eternity, it’s this:

I hope I don’t learn how to get bored.

Erato (The Poet)
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