Slow Pursuit

It hit me this week: I spend my life chasing things.  The restaurant is moving quickly now, and I spend most days chasing down information and materials for the builders and the bank.  I cater events regularly and chase elusive ingredients at local stores.  My kids are both on the move, and I chase them every moment we're all at home.  

Hot pursuit is my way of life.

I know it's necessary to work for things to get them done.  And while there's certainly a thrill to the chase, I'm learning that chasing is not always the right way to get what you want.

Case in point.  On Thursday night, I finally got to sit down at the piano to write a little.  I was so revved up, and I started chasing down an idea I've had for a tune.  But as hard as I tried, it wouldn't come to me.  In fact, the harder I worked for it, the more it eluded me.  

I remembered in that moment that there are certain things in life--like inspiration--that need to come to you.  A harried and controlling mind is not one that's ready to receive lyrics and melodies.  Lyrics and melodies come to calm and open minds.  

And mine has been anything but.

Reader, one thing I'm certain of: if you want something, you have to go get it.  No one gives it to you.  But working too quickly and ferociously doesn't leave room for any of those magical, serendipitous ideas that come on their own.  I still think pursuit is important.  But maybe it doesn't have to be quite so hot, all the time.  Maybe we can pursue things at a pace that leaves room for inspiration to strike.  Maybe it's enough to know what we want, and then simply wait and be on the lookout for it.

I leave you with a story of one of the most magical things that has happened to me in the past few months.  For a few years now, I chased down small ceramic pots for my restaurant spreads (butter, jam, etc).  I couldn't find anything that was working, and I was forced to put that idea on the back burner. Then in October, an artist named Tom called.  He heard I had loft spaces to rent.  He wanted to install a kiln and make pottery in my building.  By November, he had installed his kiln.  By December, he was throwing pots.  And yesterday, he glazed and baked his first batch.  Pretty soon, he'll be making small ceramic pots for my restaurant spreads.  And all I had to do was be on the lookout.

Have a tremendous week, Reader.  I hope some of the things that you've been chasing happen to come to you, too.  See you next Sunday. -Em


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