Inspiration is an Empty Word


I was home early last night so I thought that watching a new show would be a great slow-down. I came across Chef’s Table and watched the first episode of the first season. It opened with a scene where Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana talked about how an earthquake almost damaged the parmigiano industry of Modena and how he, through his utter genius, saved it.

Massimo’s wife Lara once brought him to an art exhibit. She recalled how Massimo was always in great disbelief for not getting any of these art. Then he saw pigeons. These pigeons were literally pooping on some of the artworks. They found out that these pigeons were actually taxidermy pigeons and that the artist painted on them and as well as the pigeon shit on the artworks. It was a great Aha! Moment for Massimo.

Since then contemporary art had a lot to do with his recipes and plating. Recreating heirloom recipes with a bit of a post-modern spunk. The Modenese were insulted by it. Food critics thought his work was empty and was trying to be edgy so much that it fails to deliver. To them, all Massimo does is disrespect Italian tradition. But the man did not stop. Now he owns the world’s third best restaurant.

His story reminded me so much of the defense of Socrates. Thorough resistance for the promise of truth. Livid hard work for the pursuit of authenticity. We all can take different sorts of inspiration. Unless you work, inspiration will just be inspiration.

Massimo poured himself an espresso from a moka pot. I was deeply inspired by that short clip. Then again inspiration is an empty word so I poured myself a moka pot espresso in the morning.


The levity of art just makes the ordinariness of life bearable. Always phenomenological, however.


Where’s my pigeon shit moment? I shall start seeking for it.


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