The Muses: Singing a Journey

“I sing arms and I sing a man . . . ”

So begins the epic story of Aeneas and his band of Trojans fleeing their home city as it goes up in flames, striking off into a journey that will ultimately lead to the founding of Rome. It’s the way many epic stories begin:  I sing.  I sing of trouble.  I sing of a human life up against incredible odds.  In a sense, it’s this kind of story that inspires me most:  bad odds, deep trouble, human loss, and a journey that leads to unimaginable possibilities.

Today, who are the people telling these kinds of stories, singing these kinds of songs?

Isn’t the Black Lives Matter movement singing that kind of a story?

Isn’t the Dreamers’ movement singing that kind of a story?

Haven’t the many waves of women’s rights efforts for generations been telling that kind of story?

Don’t the current efforts toward equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer human beings qualify as that kind of story, that kind of song?

When we choose to join the efforts of and become allies to and stand and witness for these kinds of movements and causes, aren’t we helping to sing that kind of story?

And when any of us as individuals take on the struggle of our roles in injustice, and the struggle of our roles in the cause of change–aren’t we taking up that kind of song and that kind of story?

What song are we singing today?  What are the troubles, who are the beings involved? What sort of journeys are we on?  It’s my experience that when we can identify what we sing, who we sing, the journey we sing, then, and only then do the Muses show up and help us see the possibilities.

Trouble.  People.  Journey.  Unimaginable possibilities.

Bob Patrick

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