It’s late, again.
And I’m writing, again.
A deadly habit destined for the sleepless and hopeful.
Tonight, I gave my mind a brief break by watching a few YouTube clips. I’d hit the blinking-cursor-on-a-stunted-thought portion of my evening and needed to creatively excuse myself from the table.
Cooking show meltdowns have been my mind-numbing agent of choice lately. But one clip, in particular, struck my skull with an invisible nail gun.
The show had two teams, separated by gender, going head to head with different dishes. The winner in each round gets to sit on a throne and look down upon the losers- only to be de-throned if the following contestant presents a better dish.
In one head-to-head battle, a contestant faced a seemingly impossible task. She was chosen to cook a plain flank steak while her counterpart received a luxurious cut of filet mignon.
The man lazily leaned into the quality of his meat, going for a simple salt and pepper rub that left the judges less than impressed. The woman sauteed her cut in chipotle butter and other spices, leaving one judge to exclaim;
“Magnificent! You’ve elevated the ordinary into an extraordinary dish!”
Isn’t that the goal of everything creative? To elevate the ordinary?
I remember Anne Lamott saying something similar in Bird by Bird.
People would tell her father, a local writer, stories because they knew he could breathe life into them through his pen by adding different details. Some true, some exaggerated in the pursuit of a better narrative.
So, next time you come across something ordinary with untapped potential, throw some chipotle butter on there.
Let’s see what happens.