Issue #167 / September 2021

I read a quote in a magazine recently from Susie. I thought it was interesting. “To be honest, I find the word muse to be a little demeaning. I haven’t really got time to be anyone’s muse. However, I am a frequent visitor in my husband’s songs, I seem to be always walking in and out of them. His songs look after me. And if I am to be a muse, then I am his and he is mine.” What do you think about that?


Dear Sandra,

I have never been all that comfortable with the term ’muse’ either. I think the problem with the word is that traditionally ‘muse’ feels female and takes a secondary position, as the source of inspiration for the male artist — a kind of sanctifying of a subordinate role. So there is something about it that feels a little undermining, as if the muse has nothing else to do but hang around energizing the artist. Having said that, Susie is, without a doubt, my point of influence and I spend most of my creative life journeying back and forth along the axis of her wonderfulness.

She is right in saying about my songs, “I always seem to be walking in and out of them”, because I rarely sit down to write a song about Susie, rather, when I am in that indeterminate space it can become difficult to maintain my own perspective and I find myself adopting hers — slipping from one voice to another. Sometimes I hear three voices in my songs — my voice, Susie’s and our shared voice.

I love her words, “His songs look after me”. I don’t know what to say about them, and I’m not sure I completely understand them, but I like them all the same.

Love, Nick





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