I’ve been watching The Bear on Hulu. This series is about a young chef from the fine dining world who returns to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop after his brother’s death. One of the characters, Marcus, played by Lionel Boyce, is a baker. In the episode I watched last night, he was sent to Copenhagen to mentor under a pastry chef, Luca.
Although the whole episode was interesting, one scene really struck me. As Marcus and Luca were baking, they were also talking a lot about their lives and their paths to where they are now. In talking about hard work and training, Luca says, “I think that at a certain stage, it’s less about skill and more about being open—to the world, to yourself, to other people. You know, most of the incredible things I’ve eaten haven’t been because the skill level is exceptionally high or there’s loads of mad fancy techniques. It’s because it’s been really inspired, you know.” Later, he adds, “It helps to have good people around you too.”
I really like this sentiment. Passion and being surrounded by good people resulting in success, or at least contentment. Maybe it’s not always about finding your passion but being passionate about what you are doing and where you find yourself at any given time.
Take care and stay safe.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.
Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.
Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.
Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.