How to find writerly inspiration while eating a burrito
The minute I finally learned to read, I was hooked on words. I was like a staggering lost child who had crawled out of the Mohave desert and couldn’t stop gulping water from the first faucet I found. I checked out stacks of books at the library and read anything I could get my hands on, including the back of the Cheerios box as I sat at the breakfast table.
So it’s no surprise that when I went to Chipotle yesterday, I immediately glued my eyes to the copy written on my to-go sack as I chomped down on my burrito.
“Hope that, in future, all is well, everyone eats free, no one must work, all just sit around feeling love for one another.” George Saunders
I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Huh? What’s George Saunders, the short story writer extraordinaire, doing on my burrito sack?”
This is what: Saunders and 10 other writers are part of a Chipotle campaign called Cultivating Thought — Author Series. The campaign was the brainchild of Jonathan Safran Foer, a featured author and curator of the project. It’s meant to spark conversation and introspection through essays that take about two minutes to read. The idea, Foer said in a video on the website, was not for the campaign to be any sort of marketing tool. He goes on to say that, “….in the scheme of corporate America, this is not a massive investment of any kind. But it might have really beautiful payoffs.”
Other authors include Toni Morrison, who wrote the essay, “Two-Minute Seduction,” comedian Sarah Silverman, Harvard professor Steven Pinker, and Michael Lewis, author of “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side.”
The essays on Chipotle’s bags and cups are meant to, “create a moment of analog pause in a digital world, provoking introspection or inspiration, and maybe a little laughter.”
Besides the essays, the paper bags and cups feature original art. For a bite of inspiration, go to cultivatingthought.com to see the artwork, author bios, Q&As with the writers, and their essays.
If the Cultivating Thought campaign has inspired you, consider writing your own mini essay. For ideas read my blog post, Cultivate conversation with a mini essay.