Seems to me God is trying to talk to me lately. Giving me a bit of a nudge as it were. I think somehow He thought I should go to see the movie The Chef today. It put into images and story exactly what I have been thinking of late about passion, art and the need to create.
The movie is about a man who starts out as a very promising chef, getting great reviews and praise. He has earned "two stars", which, I have learned recently is pretty darn good in the culinary field. However years ago, he accepted a job in a pedestrian restaurant where he was promised complete control of the kitchen and that doesn't work out. His creativity is stifled at every turn until after ten years he realizes it isn't going to change. But it takes the bottom falling out, with his world crumbling around him, for him to realize he is not happy.
When everything has fallen apart, the hostess says to him something like, "This is exactly what you needed to have happen. This is your chance." "
"I feel so lost," he says in utter frustration and despair.
"Exactly. This is probably the best thing that could have happened to you."
Sometimes we have to lose everything we have in order to gain what we really need. Security and safety are beguiling seductresses. They can lure us to the rocky shoals of false beliefs. And when we hit a rock and our ill-equipped ship sinks, we can either sink with it, or swim. The hero of the film chooses to swim.
I loves this movie. It is all about passion and creating what your true muse calls you to create. During the credits there is a scene where an actual chef is describing to the actor who plays the role in the movie what it is like for him to create a dish he is proud of. It is a grilled cheese sandwich. But, as is often expressed during the course of the movie, it is not "just a cheese sandwich". It is something to feed not only the stomach, but the soul and the spirit. The chef says that while he is putting together any dish, nothing else in the world exists. You study it, shift it, toy with it, not too much, just enough as your inner guide directs you. You know when it is done. And if it is not, throw it away. This is the blessing and the course of being a true artist.
Okay, so there you have it. Once again, art is something that must be allowed to flow out freely. The artist is the conduit. Some block it and don't let it develope. The artist listens to his gut and gives it form.
I hear you, God. It is time to listen to that still, small voice, cut bait and sail out to sea to see where the spirit takes me.