Friday, March 16, 2012

"And now for something completely different..."

   So I've been diligently compiling material for a book in progress for the last couple of years. I was so proud of myself, including quantum mechanics, arcane references that only a few would get and nifty quotes from historical figures that no one remembers.
  It got away from me and became this cumbersome tome that, try as I might, eluded all my efforts to make it readable.
  I sent drafts to friends, who sheepishly told me weeks later that they hadn't been able to get through it.
  Rare praise indeed.
  Not their fault at all.
  I felt like Andy Kaufman, creating jokes that only one other person in the room gets.
  I, like many others, are influenced by others that got there first.
  I had to get over my own self judgement as someone who couldn't possibly have something more profound to say than others already had; what could my voice possibly add to the discourse that had already taken place.
  Did I really need to be more clever than the rest and if I did, how would that water down the spirit of what I was trying to get across?
  As someone who prides himself as verbose I was uncharacteristically quiet, dissuaded by my own criticism to continue to try.
  Then I met Gabrielle Hamilton.
  We met at Kimball House in the DR at a social function and based on everything I had learned about her, I was eager to get her advice.
  If you've never seen this house check out this link:
  She asked me one simple question, "Adam, what's your book about?"
  And in that moment I realized how far I had overreached; stammering and blabbering about this and that, vainly trying to convince her that it was worth her time even speaking about it.
  She was kind as she gently stopped me.
 "Adam, just tell a good story"
  Good story, hell I got plenty of them, I thought.
  In that place, in less time that it took me to explain my book to her she had slashed through the bullshit to the core of the matter.
  I had gotten away from the story - my story, and no one can tell that story better than me.
  So Goodbye to "Kanji in the Kitchen" and Hello to 'The Dream of the Dance, the lifetime pursuit of one perfect culinary moment"
  Thanks Gabrielle for your insight, can't wait to come to Prune and eat like the hedonist I am