Friday, February 13, 2009


I finally started work on my Master Copy of the cookbook last night, and then my gluestick ran out around midnight and I was stopped in my tracks at Soups. Very sad. As soon as I finish my coffee I'm going to go invest in another gluestick and hopefully mostly finish that sucker up.
It feels so good to be creative again. It's weird to say that because technically I have two incredibly creative jobs: musician and florist. I'm creating shit ALL THE TIME. But after a year or fifteen, the "creative" aspect of each of these jobs is clearly only part of the picture. In the day-to-day, it's mostly pulling cold wet foliage off of flowers or tuning chords slowly or other less-than-thrilling things. In order to be able to play a piece magnificently or create a beautiful bouquet for a regular customer to bring to his partner, I have to go through all of the legwork that makes the moments of transcendence possible.
I do try to remind myself often that I am very, very lucky to be working in fields that I enjoy and bring me fulfillment. And the truth is, I don't always mind the legwork. Especially in music, but in a limited amount in floristry as well, the legwork fills some sort of deep-seated anal compulsive part of me with joy. I like putting things in order, filling in all of the little details, acting with precision and deliberation. Somebody asked me recently what my favorite part of being a musician was, and (admittedly, this was partly an attempt to be surprising and interesting) I told her that one of my favorite things is the way my part looks at the end of a concert. It starts out clean, and as rehearsals progress I write a million little very precise notes all over it to remind myself to do things. If you aren't me (or, hopefully, my standpartner) it wouldn't make any sense; it's like a whole different language. A measure may contain a few handwritten symbols that tell me, "watch out, look up here, he's going to be slowing down, and don't forget to diminuendo!" Or, "use your whole bow, then set to play again, look up, listen to the snare drum." When I see a fully marked part, it reminds me of all of the work that has gone into the performance, all of the rehearsals and good and bad moments and times I fucked up and times I marked something before the conductor told us to and I felt like a badass orchestral player, not to mention the fact that the only reason it makes any sense to me is that I have years and years--more than a decade now--of those moments behind me. It makes me happy. I'm always sad when I have to give parts back at the end. It's something I anticipate missing if I stop playing as regularly. I guess I'll just have to find something else that fills this deep orderly part of me with as much joy.


ShanaRose said...

Well since you mention it; I imaging you playing your viola whenever I see musicians in modern bands playing - like at the Antony & the Johnsons concert last night, for instance. There were 2 violins, a cellist and very well rounded man who played guitar, clarinet and sax. I don't say much though cos the decisions of your future are yours to make (I'll be cheering from the sidelines).

Rosiecat said...

What a cool post, Ammie! It's fascinating to me how creativity is almost like food for some people. I know I am a lot happier now that I have a creative outlet that is wholly, selfishly, indulgently mine. Life is so much sweeter when you find your creative niche.

By the way, I'm still pacing my kitchen, counting the minutes until Ammie's new cookbook is completed...perhaps I should bake something to distract myself in the meantime?

Emilyon said...

oh, I miss the days of marking up scores.

cassalyn said...

me too, what a lovely thought and i must say that back when i was doing the music thing, i shared your sentiment. thanks for the reminder!