Yesterday, we thought we had set our favorite Arabia tea cup down on the edge of the bathroom sink, only to hear it smash into the bathtub. Okay, we got the message, we thought: SLOW DOWN. We take small accidents like that as warnings that we are too distracted to be present.
But we got the REAL message the next morning while scanning websites for illuminating ideas, images, and info that would resonate with Improvised Life: CREATIVITY NEEDS REST.
This was a working principle behind elBulli, Ferran Adrià’s paradigm-changing restaurant that closed 6 months each year so the chef and his collaborators could regroup creatively. Says Adrià:
This is essentially the process that all the great artists do when they create art–if you’re a painter, you might take three years off to think about what you’ve done, as compared to the corporate world, where you’re going going going constantly. In order to be creative you have to have that rest period.
Adrià planned regular incubation periods devoted to rest, research, and experimentation in order to step back and see the bigger picture. For his staff, this was part of essentially creating a new restaurant each year. “Whether you’re a butcher or somebody who works for NASA, everybody has access to that creative process.”
And look what the guy DID with that principle! Every recipe he and his team created over seven years is documented elBulli 2005-2011, a catalogue raisonné of wonders like his iconic Vanishing Ravioli (Video link HERE):
We hadn’t quite realized how exhausted we were until we read Adrià’s words at Fast Company. We have been working on all cylinders for months posting 4 times a day, moving forward new ideas for Improvised Life (2 steps forward and 1 step back!), handling the many unexpected turns of our own improvised lives. Over the past few days we’ve been moving as slow-as-molasses, so are going to heed the signs —the broken cup being just one — and take a break for a couple of weeks, to recharge our spirits and refresh our vision.
We’ll be back on Monday, April 7th. In the meantime, you’ll find more elBulli video’s here.