Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's just bread.

The other night as I was feeding the bread starter I contemplated what living with ease really means. Creating a starter from scratch requires an astonishing amount of wasted flour and time (something I didn’t realize when I started the recipe) – so much that this bread better be amazing for what I have had to throw away. On the other hand, it’s only bread and my local economy has several wonderful bakeries, not to mention what’s regularly available at the grocery store.
Why am I trying so hard to make something that’s already easy, difficult? Is using yeast not authentic enough for my family? Is it because it is not satisfying to buy bread in a plastic bag? Just like how it is not satisfying to buy organic baby greens in a plastic box? While it is remarkable to even have this choice, it bears to witness what is happening to people with choices – which I think is technically anyone living in the middle class. It seems that the human condition is to want more, even when you know you want less. I find it so interesting to observe this in myself. Am I trying to please my family? Impress my friends? Is this authentic?
It’s just bread, dammit.
Isn’t it?
That’s my point. We have these amazing choices, time savers, things that free up our time and energy so that we can really address issues with ourselves, our environment, and society. Not to mention giant problems like world poverty or war. But we are so distracted, so easily distracted, from what we really want. Only I know what I really want.
I am making this bread because I'm curious if I can do it too. I love to bake and I like to learn new things. Also, I am trying it because I can. I am fortunate to have a choice. I'm just finding it a little surprising that this is what I have chosen to do with my energy and time. What do you do with yours?
Looking for meaning in everyday life is not a new concept.
We just need it more than we have time to search for it.


Judy Martin said...

Well said.

The search for meaning in life is ongoing, never ending.

Your question, what do I do with my time and energy made me think. I am so busy all the time, and I consider what I do meaningful, but I don't suppose others would find it so.


oona said...

What I was trying to say is that I'm not sure that making bread like this is meaningful to me.

Your answer to the question isn't up for debate by anyone else but you, just like I'm not asking anyone to tell me that making bread is a good use of my time.