Also, "ouch," "thud," "Grrrrr," "boing," "splat," "sigh" and for us dancers "pant pant pant." Just to name a few on my personal hit parade.
In a household of creative types, including musicians, we up the ante with lots of musical notes--and misses. BANG, CRASH, "eeeeeeeeek." All part of the glorious adventure called creativity.
Today, for instance, I set about making a new recipe I've been hankering for. Sticky Toffee Date Cake to be exact (Barefoot Contessa's "Foolproof," Ina Garten). Baking it on this grey, dreary day seemed just the ticket for a fresh experience that would, ideally, yield something comforting and yummy.
I set sail with pretty high spirits and even higher expectations, eagerly awaiting the journey of delicious aromas and tastes that I'd be lavishing in our home. Then, WHOOSH, my young helper's exuberant technique was showering sugar and flour in unexpected directions. WHOA--1/3 cup not 3/4 cup, honey.
Then THWAP. We were almost knocked overboard by my major error--baking powder NOT baking soda. Ugh.
The telltale bubbling that was supposed to appear didn't materialize. When I realized my serious mistake, I just wanted to toss out the ruined mixture in my exasperation. But my son's reassuring "it's ok, Mom" reminded me that this creative outing was offering a great parenting opportunity for demonstrating perseverance and flexibility. C'mon, girl, grace under fire. I swallowed hard, and went full speed ahead, i.e., adding baking powder into the mixture, as well. Yahoo! The concoction was immediately bubbling, thanks very much.
We entered more shoals and THUD-- unexpectedly out of a major ingredient for the sauce. As I fruitlessly scoured the cabinet above the fridge, several items CLUNKED to the floor, only to be echoed by my husband's enterprise of assembling a large piece of equipment in the basement. CLANG, BANG.
The clamor was so rhythmic and extreme, it made me laugh. Which helped me get back in the game, and, crucially, improvise. (Same for when the pudding wasn't quite done in an extra 5...10...15...minutes).
As hoped for, the excitingly bumpy voyage buttered and sugared the air with heavenly aromas. And the taste--VAVOOM! Rich, luscious, the perfect English sweet to savor along with "Downton Abbey."
I realize the cacophony is the ideal sound track for the messiness of this magical ride called "creating." Sure, the mishaps, stumbles and clatter may be disquieting. But I've come to appreciate the beauty of the seemingly inelegant awkwardness that often accompanies these adventures.
As Andre Gide wisely noted, a person cannot "...discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." Very often if we can bob and weave, improvise, laugh and persist, our thrilling creative odysseys offer the incredible new oceans of AH- HA and YES and VAVOOM.
To meld metaphors, the proof is in the pudding. Of product AND process.