Last night, a designer of scarves, a screenwriter, and later a violinist sat at my table. We sat for hours talking about an upcoming marriage, the loveliness of sandwiches (perhaps it was just me talking about sandwiches), what makes stories satisfying (or not), personality profiles and how God works in and through our creativity.
Most of my favourite topics were covered, with only an occasional deviation to talk about technology. Towards the end of the evening, a disturbing but fascinating modern technological reality was explained to me. Apparently, one’s phone can now act like a microphone and can somehow interact with google search engine interfaces and the cookies (I am making this up as I go along – but the gist of it is apparently true) and take in what you are talking about and then provide appropriate search items the next time you’re searching.
We joked about how your phone might now listen to the inevitable ‘lag’ in the conversation as an evening draws to an end, and anticipate the guests’ need of a number to call a taxi.
All jokes (and alarming thoughts of the significance of this technology) aside, this morning I awoke to find a post from a blog I’ve been following, that might as well have been generated from someone overhearing our conversation over dinner that night. But this post was not generated by any computer or google search – this was someone writing creatively about creativity. It was like the writer had listened in on our attempts to explain how God works in and through our creative urges and had then organised those thoughts into a clear, beautiful expression of what we were trying so hard to express.
The following words from the post resonated with me.
And every time I’ve ever tried to do anything even remotely creative, I’ve experienced two simultaneous emotions: disappointment and exhilaration. Disappointment because the end product is virtually never what I was aiming for. Exhilaration because I almost always create something unexpected in the process.
That evening, as I was preparing the meal, I had experienced that familiar combination of exhilaration and disappointment. The chicken dish came together beautifully. Yet the praline, for which I painstakingly chopped many almonds, in no way resembled praline – but more a gourmet granola. This was my first ‘fail’ from Marcella’s book.
Yet, there we were at the end of the meal, crunching our way enthusiastically through the pale, almondy rubble that was my attempt at Marcella’s ‘Italian Praline’. It looked ridiculous but tasted gorgeous!
As I was clearing up the kitchen, the guests having departed in a taxi that may or may not have been magically ordered by an intuitive ‘app’, I resolved to have another meal soon with these creative friends. It was such delicious food for the body and the soul.
Last night: #40 ‘Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Tomatoes’, #41 ‘Sauteed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic, and #42 ‘Italian Praline’ with Brendan, Alexandra (and a Violinist joining us for coffee) at my table.