Friday, January 28, 2011

How To Grow

Last night I went into Portland to attend a reading of Growing a Farmer by Kurt Timmermeister.   Kurt  was  the owner /operator of Cafe Septieme, which started as a single room with four tables in the Belltown area of Seattle lo these many years ago-- when it was still rough and cheap and relatively free of condos. I was one of a number of his neighbors who fell in love with the place and ended up working there for a time.   I attended the reading with my friend Hugh, another Septieme veteran and we ran into a third -- Patrick, Kurt's first-ever employee.  (It tells you something about Kurt that three of his former kitchen/wait-staff went to some effort to hear him talk, support his book and celebrate his success.)

The guy is inspiring.  In the most surprising way.  He does not talk big.  He pays scrupulous attention to the details of what pleases him, has endless curiosity and the kind of courage to "stumble around in a dark room and run into walls until (he) finds the door."  And every door I have seen him open leads somewhere marked by beauty and simplicity.  Authenticity.  Them's mighty words of praise in my book.  Kurt's the real deal.

Asked about this courage last night, he said something I thought pretty profound;
There Is No Permanent Record-- unlike what they told us in school.  So failure does not bother me.  I fail again and again and again.  That's how I learn.
Remarkable.  And he is a good writer, too!  Don't take my word for it.  Check out the book, and be inspired for yourself.

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