The Mess

Kitchens are chaos.

Go to any restaurant in the world, from the lowest to the finest, and this is one thing I’m certain you will find in common. No matter how good the rest of the place looks, or the presentation that is on your plate, the kitchen is a mess. That beautiful food started out as an ugly mess. The people that prepared it had to work in a near impossible concert of organized disorder in order to ensure that each item arrived to your table at the right time and temperature and looked like something you might want to eat and not some half-prepared conglomerate of various ingredients and uncooked components. You are paying for the privilege of not only eating a well prepared meal but also to not have to get your hands dirty or see such a mess.

This is true of most homes you are invited into as well. Unless the inhabitants are neat freaks in all likelihood they spent a few minutes to a few hours busily “picking up” before your arrival. If they have kids there were likely toys all about the place and a sock or two (but never from the same pair). There were likely dishes on the counter in the kitchen and a pile of unread mail on some surface near the entryway. The point is, if you are a guest, a true guest, you likely never get to see the mess.

The truth is, most of those great things we read — in books, magazines, or blog posts — started out as chaos as well. Half baked ideas, notes scribbled on some scrap of paper, a freely associated stream of consciousness full of typos and mistakes. These things were all cleaned up before they were published. Thoughts were completed. Typos were corrected. Associations became direct connections.

The mess is something we generally reserve for only our closest friends and trusted sources. The mess is the imperfections we know others know but would only reveal to those willing to forgive us for it.

Yet the mess is the very essence of creation. The planets and stars and life itself is born of chaos and disorder and confusion.

And part of my being able to publish here daily will mean that, some days, it will be a bit messy and you will just have to forgive me for that.

home/ books/ newsletter/ archives/ info/ rss