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Charles Meynier: Apollo and the Muses, (late 18th century)
Polyptych, from left to right:
Polyhymnia, Muse of Eloquence
Erato, Muse of Lyrical Poetry
Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, Poetry and Fine Arts with
Urania, Muse of Astronomy
Clio, Muse of History
Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry

"Almost anything proves possible given perspective and well-informed choice."

I am not navigating by means of the nearly infamous Ded Reconning, which plays off past positions to imagine future ones. Christopher Columbus was reputed to have been a master Ded Reconner, famous for "finding" North America when he was searching for India. My reconning, the kind I employ here, might be properly referred to as Alive Reconning, for it relies much less upon the fates and intuition than does its Ded Reconning cousin. I might even suggest that I am never entirely alone when I'm navigating, for I firmly believe that my Reconning has always been inspired by muses, Muse-led.

I speak of The Muse when referencing my wife, but I speak now of The Muse
s who guide my trajectory when I'm unable to guide it myself, which is usually. I seem to require inspiration to function, to determine even the sparest direction, and that inspiration comes when I focus upon my muses. I'm uncertain just how many muses the ancients projected. Nine, was it? I might have more or less than that at my disposal. I suspect that I have not called upon all my available muses yet. When I call with sincerity, they provide needed clarity. Believe me, it's not me alone who dredges up all these stories or who navigates exclusively by Alive Reconning. I'm Muse-led.

I've said before that I usually wake up in the morning with little idea what that morning's story might report. I have my experiences just like everyone else, but few seem sufficiently important to become a story. I consider my hand, inevitably unpromising, then focus upon some muse. This morning, I found myself considering The Muse of Musing, whom I guess I might call Muse-ilage because she's so sticky. She suggested that I might gain some mileage as well as direction by reporting on how muses inspire my reflections, how I'm not just aimlessly wandering, but the beneficiary of inspiration, complements of The Muses.

Where I choose to go, I choose to go. Direction and destination remain my decision, for Muse-led Reconning limits itself to presenting possibilities. Muses never, ever choose for another, for their underlying ethic insists that their clients always, always, always make their own choices. Theirs' is only to inspire in the interest of helping the client make better-informed choices, not ever to choose for them. I admit that some mornings, when I involve the muses, I'd just as soon that they decide that day's direction. They gratefully deny me that questionable privilege, pointing what might not seem so obvious even to someone seriously searching for anything with remarkably meager standards. If what they point out proves inspiring, so much the better for everyone. Even if the perspective proves boring, it brings a certain broadening to this writer's perspective.

Muse-led is a learned-if-you-do, learned-if-you-don't initiative. Even the paths not taken tend to enrichen the reconner's perspective. I can always come back later, for the paths I recon are rarely linear or sequential. They might hop all around, for forward, backward, sideways, even upside down are all inspired by one muse or another. Almost anything proves possible given perspective and well-informed choice, even something not particularly special like a Muse-led side trip to introduce Alive Reconning this morning.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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