Being a student at USC does mean living in Los Angeles, but only geographically. The situation runs parallel, I think, to a song written by Charles Ives (a song that I love) titled "The Cage":
A leopard went around his cage
from one side back to the other side;
he stopped only when the keeper came around with meat;
A boy who had been there three hours
began to wonder, "Is life anything like that?"
Yes little boy, life is something like that. Since I've been here I can count the number of times I've done "touristy" things, like going to the beach and seeing some of the other sights, and Andy's visit gave me a reason to do some of those things. Southern California is nothing new to him - he did his undergraduate at Pepperdine, but coming out here is still something out of the ordinary for him. From traveling down to Del Mar and sitting on the cool beach, to partying in WeHo, I got to experience some of Los Angeles through him, and it awakened my senses. It's common for people to say "wake up and smell the coffee", but on his visit, I woke up and smelled the sand.
Music has gone through a few awakenings in the past, and specific composers have captured their art through personal muses. One that comes to mind for me is Vivaldi, nicknamed "the red priest". Every bassoonist knows this composer for his numerous bassoon concerti, but we all are familiar with his "Four Seasons", specifically the "Spring" movement:
As you're going through your days, weeks, months, and years, escape from "The Cage" you're pacing in and find your muse. Get in touch with that person, place, thing, or idea that unleashes your thoughts, and gives you a break from waiting around for another proverbial hunk of meat. "The Seasons" in your life may not always be set on spring, but it's always good to set everything down and smell the roses, coffee, or in my case, sand. As my life rolls on, I think more and more about how thankful I am for finding my "awesome" personal muse.