Saturday, March 13, 2010

effing the ineffable

I think I was happiest the nights I was making bread. I don't mean happiest in the sense that that time of my life was the happiest I'd ever been, but I think that the hours I spent baking bread while working overnights at the Van Kirk group home were the most fulfilling hours I've ever spent.

this is like trying to describe the undrescribeable. (it was nearly 30 years ago, after all.) I took to mixing, rolling, and pounding dough as if I'd been born to it. I loved coming up with new versions of different breads--sweet breads, herb breads, doughy breads--and it was one of the few consistencies of my life then that I could do it each night and enjoy doing it. as I remember it came about as an accident--I was the only one interested in making the bread the administration insisted we bake on the overnights--and got to be quite good at it. years later, working at b&n, I spent a part of a year just baking bread, making it the skill I could count on when all other things had collapsed.

I think it is in doing things like this that we become closer to what we think of as god, particularly if the bread is for people who depend on us. it's like my once-buddy snake said about the beneficence of meat: that people he did not know bought the ham whose slaughter he'd cleaned up after to put in their mouths, not knowing that it came from him or anything about him, and that somehow that was a holy thing.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a lot like mending a fence to keep a dog out of harm's way. Even though he totally doesn't get the love behind the act.