a continuation of the Chef's dialogue
I sit here listening to the Surfacing album by "Sarah" and am hit by a feeling...
I am smacked again and again by many feelings of impotence and arousal.
There are moments when I feel as though the world will suffer greatly without my presence. I am a guiding light in the world of food. I support other chefs and student-chefs alike. I am at the center of the web. My arms, ears and voice stretch outward in all directions touching all and bringing all together in an embrace of brotherhood.
If there is cooking, I am there. If there is food, I am there. If there is a dream, I am there. I am a servant of the culinary world.
It arouses me to know that I can inspire and educate. It is the greatest feeling of importance to know that others grow to higher realms because of the guidance I provide. (It is the calling of every chef to educate and groom younger cooks and chefs.)
It distresses me to know that there is only twenty-four hours in a day. It has been said, "No man on his death bed will say that he wished to spend more hours at his job". A chef does not think like this.
A chef will go to bed only when the work day is over and nothing else can be done that day. A chef will awake before the sun to begin his day, ahead of the world, because there is so much to accomplish before he can rest again.
My days are like this. My days are twelve to thirteen hours long. I am on my feet eight to ten hours every-single-day-of-the-week! My work week has no end. If I am lucky, I will have one day to sit and ponder the course of the coming week's chores.
My mind is astute, agile and always moving. Stress is candy to me and I am overindulgent to my sweet tooth.
In the kitchen I am obligated to think for everyone. I hold the keys to all the secret ingredients and every method of cooking conceivable. I am a magician, a sage, a benefactor, a brother, a father, a soothsayer, a friend, a banker, a lover, and a criminal.
Just as I feel the world will suffer greatly in my absence, I also feel as though I am the smallest speck of a speck underneath to heel of the world. Chaos sings with every breath and threatens to tear apart the precise foundation of my realm. Inefficiency clamors around every corner. Paperwork looms overhead in an uncertain tower of pressure. My back is breaking under the strain of holding too many responsibilities intact. The standards of perfection that are my guides fall drastically apart at the slightest gust. The glue that holds my world together is quickly loosening its bonds.
For every advance there is also set back. For every feat of accomplishment there is also an act of idiocy. For the life of me, how can I succeed when the world is so uncertain?