Maintaining my tools


I woke up this morning with a ravishing hunger. Really, my stomach was grumbling audibly, almost like it was trying to actually physically speak to me. So I went to wash my face, thinking about how to satisfy my stomach’s complaining, and headed to the kitchen looking to rustle up some morning grub.

I walked in to the kitchen with pie-in-the-sky visions of smoked salmon, some bacon and eggs, all over a bed of lemon washed arugula; or a bacon and sun dried tomato Paleo Style quiche; or a good old breakfast salad. My mind and body were in sync! Unfortunately, my kitchen was not. There, spread around my kitchen were the reminders of my revelry from the previous day. As you can see from the picture below, there is no small mess.

And as the mess in this picture sank in, those delightful breakfast visions fizzled, the bubble in which they were cooking popped in my head, letting the reality of the situation put cold water on my creative fire. I needed to clean up. And the truth is, I should have taken care of it last night. I put it off, then, in favor of some other task, which seemed important at the time. But now, hungry, my creative juices begging to be set free on the tools of my art, I am in the position of preparing those tools, much the same as I might chop some mushrooms or onions, for the food to come.

I set to work washing, scrubbing, cleaning, drying, soaking. It was slow going. Each piece demands it’s own maintenance. The knives need to be carefully hand washed and dried before being returned to their rack. The wine glasses need to be hand washed, dried, and returned to the wine-glass cupboard. The salad bowl and cutting board need to be hot rinsed, lightly oiled, and set aside to rest the wood. The remainder of the dishes and the counter need to be scrubbed. It’s a big job, but important. Can a painter ignore his brush? Can a musician ignore his instrument? Well, neither can a chef ignore his knives, board, serving tools, and work space.

There, done. Now, where were those breakfast creations I was cooking up?

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