I am struggling and I mean struggling with a capital S with the writing of the methodology chapter for my thesis.I don’t know how on earth I can write something that makes sense, when I understand little of what anybody else writes. I spend more time looking up words epistemology, noumenal, a priori and on and on it goes than I do struggling with the philosophical concepts. If I was Geoff from Tangental who loves words it would be no problem, but for me, I look them up and forget the meaning by the time I see them again – the drawback to studying as an older person. I make a plan – my chapter is going to be written in a way that anybody could read it and understand it and in the process I would really understand the deeper depths of research design and methodology.
Starting with research design books I found myself going backwards in the effort to understand phenomenology and posivists which led me further back in time past Nietzsche and others to Kant, one of the first of the modern philosophers who put forward a theory that no ‘thing’ is seen as a ‘thing’ by it self but a ‘thing’ altered by the viewers world experience and feelings. Kant, however, I was informed, followed Plato so now I am reading Plato’s Republic and other of his dialogues. Very simplistically Plato was highly influenced by Pythagorus and divided the world into truth/forms and ethics on one hand and the physical world which could be either true or false on the other. In this physical world existed what you thought you saw, shadows, reflections and the like. The only things which were forms were those which could be mathematically proven. Knowledge could only be gained from the forms. Works created by the muses were devalued and when he devised the ideal city, he banned the muses (poetry).
So off to Greek mythology. The muses were the givers of knowledge. Originally three it expanded to nine. All daughters of Zeus and Msemesone (liberal arts and memory.) There was also the muse of history, lyric poetry, comedy and idyllic poetry, tragedy, amatory poetry, epic poetry, astronomy and the muse covering singing, harmony, power of poetry and poetical genius.
And along arrives Charli’s prompt. I’ve never thought of having a muse myself. If I had to choose one it would be Msemesone as memory is such an crucial part of being a memoir writer. In modern day usage it has flowed over to mean anybody or thing which inspires you to create. Anne bought to mind artists whose models often became their muse. My muse of inspiration is varying, forever changing and usually prompted by all manner of unexpected things.
“The advance terms stipulated ‘complete by the 20th October.’ That was two days ago.”
“I know but I just can’t find the inspiration.”
“You have to write. Call on your muse why don’t you.”
“Mnemesone, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Meopomene, Erato, Calliope, Urania and Polhymnia have never visited me. I don’t expect them to start now. I need some more time.”
“Another week. That’s all.”
Polly sat and pondered but no words came. A coffee and the newspaper afforded a small reprieve. The headlines jumped out at her ‘ Camel milk expert says government ban pathetic.”
Coffee forgotten. The words flowed.