My Muse As Diana

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Morrill Hall, University of Nebraska State museum LincolnI just got off the phone with Wendy, a student at the University of Nebraska who works in the gift shop of museum in Morrill Hall which I had googled. I asked Wendy how long the life-size statue off the mammoth had been in front of the museum.

“I don’t remember it being there as I sat on the steps with my muse in 1971.” I told Wendy, who replied;

“It was dedicated in 1998, so it hasn’t been there too long. I can’t make out the rest.”

“Are you looking at this mammoth right now?” I asked excitedly.
“Yes, it’s right outside my window. There is a plaque.”
“You have brought to life a very old and fond memory. Thank you!”

My famous sister had only to render her beautiful women she cut from fashion magazine, while I was bid to love them – and leave them! Rena Christiansen was the goddess Diana the last day I lay eyes on her in person. She broke my heart on the museum steps that I sat upon with her head in my lap, her beautiful form under her green cape lying on the steps, her arms wrapped around my legs. This was her last pose for me that told her beautiful artist he must go, but, if you saw us from afar, my goddess was saying;

“Don’t go. Never leave me.”

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

Rena as Diana

The words, Muse and Play go together. Some people think we are born on the
planet to own bigger toys then the next fellow, but they end up playing by
themselves. The final tragedy in Rena’s and my play, is, that we could have
played together till our dying day. I don’t think we ever got bored when we were
camping. We had no toys. We played in nature as two Bohemians. When I told Rena
I was coming to Lincoln to see her, she prepared a stage.

Once Rena was finished with her caped rival, she now hooked her arm in mine and
propelled me towards the art department. She wanted to show me something. She
took me into the sculpture room where stood a life-size sculpture wrapped in
gauze, which she started to carefully unwrap.
“My boyfriend did this.”
Oh no! Please! Spare me. I can’t stand it. Not but ten minutes ago Rena is
raging at her rival, she all in a froth, and now she is going to destroy me with
sheer envy by revealing a statue her new lover did of her – my Muse! You are so
cruel, Rena, I said to myself, and watched her concentrate on unveiling the
piece de resistance that would put a crack in my heart, forever.
Around and around the maypole Rena walked until the head was exposed. I gasped!
I was truly shocked.
“It’s……it’s your boyfriend!” I stammered. “Why? Why isn’t this you? I don’t
get it! This guy preferred to look in the mirror at his nakedness, instead of
you modeling naked before him! What a waste – of clay!”
I looked at Rena, and this was the second time I saw her defeated. She lowered
her eyes. She more then likely wondered if this would be my reaction, but, maybe
I would not get it, the truth that something had really gone wrong here. Alas
she met her talented Adonis, but he is even more vain then Rena. Indeed, he has
demoted Rena to being a mere observer of his beauty. No doubt when he first lay
eyes on her, he surmised she was worthy to be in his presence and compliment his
Narcissistic life and love affair he was having with himself.
I felt bad for Rena. Even though I stood on the brink of a broken heart, I now
wished this sculpture was of her, because that’s how it goes – the play! This
guy had changed the rules, and I passed my verdict on him. As I watched Rena
rewrap Narcissis, I saw a look on her face that told me – this guy was history.
He’s out of the sandbox – the play!

We now walked to the museum where Rena did the Dance of the Muse. I wondered if
she had rehearsed this part of the play. Rena danced, skipped, glided to one
work after another, she explaining to me why these were her favorite paintings.
Rena was very intelligent. She was a straight A student and got a scholarship to
College. This was the most intriguing thing about Rena, she truly was held
prisoner behind her stunning beauty. I had freed her by the waterfall. Alas she
could be equal with mortals. I had come over to where she lived, planted seeds
of liberty, and now she was blossoming. This beautiful girl is only seventeen –
and at College!
When she told me she was skipped a grade, I learned the truth, she was not
eighteen. It was the only lie Rena ever told me.I was in awe of her, her ballet
in her long green cape, she tossing about her wavy dark hair, her hands now
framing another favorite, she explaining why she is drawn to it, she making
little swirls with her hand – and she now slides to the next work on the wall. I
had tears welling in my eyes, for here was my protégé, my apprentice, she no
longer Pretty Bird trapped in a gilded cage. Rena is letting me know that I had
been her Muse, that I had pointed to her the way in, in to the world of art, and
she had full membership.

Later on she would give me the photo of her naked in the woods that a young
photographer had taken of her, he seeing Rena as a work of art. Her old
boyfriend was an artist, and her new boyfriend was an artist. Life doesn’t get
any better then this. She was free, out of her grandmothers house, and a great
big wide world lay before her. I was in the position of releasing her completely
into that world, because I was her teacher. It was graduation time. So far, I
have given Rena strait As.
We now came to stand before a standing statue of Diana, the goddess of the hunt.
Rena appeared to at a loss for words. But then, she fell to one knee, and drew
back her invisible bow.”This is how I would sculpt Diana!” Rena spoke with fire
in her eyes. I was awestruck. The sculpture we beheld was of a sedate Diana, she
walking erect ready to shoot her little bow as if she was at a garden party.
Rena’s Diana was all business. You could feel the strength in her arms, the
tension in the bow. And then there was the look in Rena’s firey Arie’s eyes. She
was going to bag her prey, take out its liver and devour it, because that’s what
she needs. This is a serious huntress.
This is why I will love Rena till the day I die. You could make out her lovely
body beneath her green cape. The pose she struck was extremely dramatic, and she
held for me to study. Here is the solution to her boyfriends blunder. Is it any
wonder that she became a dancer and chorographer. This moment is frozen in time.
There was no one else in the museum, just an artist and his Muse.

“The Last Time I Saw My Muse

Yesterday, as I walked to the dentist, I composed words for the image of Rena
and I in our tent. This scene will be at the end of my story about my Muse, who
is Rena Christiansen. When I got home, I searched for her again on the computer
with my cursor. Something caught my eye, and I looked out the window and beheld
a rainbow. I went out on my balcony so I could see the whole arc. Standing there
in awe, another rainbow appear, and lay itself upon the first. With my soul
resonating I said;

“She restoreth my pallet and soul, then lifteth me up to heaven to paint
rainbows.”

The words I had already composed, were;

“And she lifteth me up and carry me over the river and sea, then up to a
mountain top. From there, she taketh me into the clouds, to be amongst the
stars, and I beheld the Kingdom of Beauty and Truth.”

Perhaps I have been too harsh on Rena, but she broke my heart. She did this not
to be cruel, but to show me she got it, she got me, she understood the lessons I
had been giving her. And now, it was time for us to part.

She had taken me to the University Museum, the Home of the Muse, and it was
empty but for she and I. When she was finished showing me her favorite images,
we went outside and sat on the steps. It was a grey sad day. Then, Rena
stretched out her beautiful form on the steps, and gently lay her head on my lap
and embraced my legs. Her green cape flowed down the granite stairs. I stroked
her beautiful head and shoulder, and she closed her eyes.
This beautiful being maketh a painting for me, for us, that I will do my best to
make sure – will live forever! Here are the Archetypes, in Greece long ago,
sitting on the stairs of the Temple of Art. Behold the Artist and his Muse, and
hear the rustling of angel rings.
There was a reverent silence as we worshipped each other for the last time. Then
I heard the great roar of a crowd close by.
“What was that?” I asked Rena, and not opening her eyes, she said;
“That’s coming from the stadium. There’s a football game today! We must have
scored.”
There was another loud roar, and I was transported back in time to the Olympics.
It was then I understood how old Rena and I are, how far back we go – our Mad
Love Story. We part to meet, and then we part again. It has to be this way, the
Way of the Muse, who always leaves us inspired. She comes to us when we are in
need of inspiration. But, she must part and leave us alone to maketh our
Masterpiece.
Thanks to my Muse, I own the solution to a great problem. When the rainbow
appeared in the sky I was given approval to apply the solution. I always seek
validation from my Muse, her seal. When searching for a photo of the rainbow, I
was amazed to see the University of Oregon football stadium at the end of it.
And once again, I heard the gods standing up, and applauding us! For our Love
Story brought high art and culture to Nebraska that day, thanks to Rena. She put
on a great show, in gratitude of the show I put on for her in Monte Rio. She was
just eigtheen. What a Genius! She blew my mind, drove me mad! And this is
payment for saving her!?
“Socrates goes on to say that the man “who, having no touch of the Muses’
madness in his soul, comes to the door and thinks that he will get into the
temple by the help of art–he, I say, and his poetry are not admitted; the sane
man disappears and is nowhere when he enters into rivalry with the madman.”

http://www.kval.com/younews

The third image from the top is from a ballet and is titled ‘The Taming of the
Muse’. The fifth image is ‘The Kiss of the Muse’. The bottom painting is of
Morrel Hall just after it was built in the style of a Greek Temple. What a
stage! What a play! What a beautiful world!
Thank you Rena!
And now, back to my masterpiece.
Jon Gregory

In Plato’s “Phaedrus” Socrates explains the power of the Muses:

« Come, O ye Muses, melodious, as ye are called, whether you have received this
name from the character of your strains, or because the Melians are a musical
race, help, O help me in the tale which my good friend here desires me to
rehearse, in order that his friend whom he always deemed wise may seem to him to
be wiser than ever. »

Further on in “Phaedrus”, Socrates describes how the Muses give “an inspired
madness which was a noble thing”:

« The third kind is the madness of those who are possessed by the Muses; which
taking hold of a delicate and virgin soul, and there inspiring frenzy, awakens
lyrical and all other numbers; with these adorning the myriad actions of ancient
heroes for the instruction of posterity. »

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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