"are you a writer?"
that is a loaded question.
it was a question i've been thinking about quite a bit recently. the other evening i attended a loved one's staged reading of their farce. i was so proud of them. i loved hearing the pacing of the language, the humor, and could imagine the physicality of the piece as well. it is a major accomplishment. after the reading, a group of us went to a nearby watering hole to grab some beverages and discuss the piece. it was then that someone turned to me and asked "are you a writer?"
i understand why this person asked me this question. the loved one who wrote the farce piece is a writer and an artist. also, the majority of the audience of the staged reading consisted of people involved with the theatre so the question made sense. yet, my instant response?
"no, i am not."
are you surprised dear reader?
the next day, i decided to process and write a bit more about this in my journal while i was on the train (see top image).... and then as i arrived early at the homestead for my hanging out session with SN,
i grabbed a table at this casual neighborhood mission bar (we planned to making our way to the pi bar later for dinner), sipped on my beer, thought about, and wrote more in my journal about why i said i wasn't a writer.
i write. i cook. i take pictures.
yet, i do not see myself as a writer, a chef, or a photographer.
yet, if something happened to me and i was unable to write, to cook, or take pictures....then i would be devastated. i would feel like there were pieces of me missing. i know that i will continue to do these things for the rest of my life...with or without an audience.
i write with no expectation that i will be read. i write for me. i write because i have to write and because i have always written....even when my audience was an audience of "1". am i absolutely tickled that people actually read me? you bet. i still scratch my head a bit sometimes....wondering why i see more people (who i don't know personally) keep returning to the blog when they can just look at my pics on flickr....but i am still tickled.
i cook because i love it. i love the creativity, the nourishment, the sensual aspects of cooking....i love cooking for myself and i love cooking for loved ones. i am a sensual and an emotional cook. when i cook for people (me included), i cook for who they are and their tastes....and when they take a bite....or have a taste....i want them to feel comforted, nourished, happy, taken care of, and loved. i do not cook for people i don't like. i am an asshole like that....which is why i will never be a chef and will always be a home cook....because if i invite you to my table and i cook for you....it means that i love you...and everybody knows that i don't love everybody. i highly doubt that my non-inclusive and curmudgeonly ways are going to change any time soon.
as for pictures....i started taking pictures a couple of years ago to remind myself to live in the moment. the foodie hunter's strategic analytical left-brain driven self definitely leans toward the tendency to think about the future a bit too much and...i end up missing the moment. one of the objectives i gave myself a couple of years ago was needing to be more present in the moment...and taking pictures has enabled me to do this and more. i discovered that i love building a story with images....i love being able to capture a moment and an emotion....and again...it is selfish. i take pictures for me. do i do little dances around my place when i get emails asking to use my pics for sites like pellegrino or when people tell me that they like the pics....and/or feel the emotion i am trying to capture? oh yeah. yet, my main motivation now is that i have....this almost...need....to take pics. i say "almost need" because it isn't as strong as my very prominent need to write and to cook.
yet these actions are selfishly motivated....i do this for me...and for a very small group of loved ones. i do these things that because i get so much out of it.....and while i am glad that people can relate to my random thoughts, pics, and snippets.....i wouldn't do it if i didn't love it so. yet, i do realize there is an oddness associated with my not identifying myself as a writer. i spend a lot of time writing for work, writing for this blog, and writing in my journal.
maybe one day i will identify myself as a writer and photographer. i think the main reason why i don't identify myself as a writer....or a photographer....is because i have a long way to go....perhaps decades even....in learning the craft of writing and photography before i will ever consider adding those words into my identity.
yet i do love to cook, to write, and take pictures.
they are integral parts of who i am today and who i will be in the future.
these are my passions.