Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Daily bread

There's nothing homier than the scent of freshly baked bread. I love it and it's something I used to make on almost a daily basis. Especially when my family went through some financial troubles and home cooking proved far cheaper than convenience foods.

In the past couple of years, our financial situation has improved (YAY!), but I fell into a bad habit of purchasing items I would once have taken the time to make. Let's face it, reheating is far easier than crafting from scratch, but what gets lost in the process? Well, the process itself.

My grandmother wished for years for an electric washing machine. Believe it or not, up until the 1980s, she used to wash clothes by hand and hang them out to dry. Once my dad bought her a washer and dryer set for her birthday, she was first. Then she started to grouse about the darn things.

Totally perplexed, I asked my grandmother why she wasn't so keen on her state-of-the-art washer and dryer. She told me she'd lost her "me time". One would think she'd have more "me time" since the chore of doing the laundry was far faster, but no. The time it took to scrub, wring out and hang the washing was time she took to reflect about current goings-on, the world and life in general.

"And now I have to wash on their schedule not mine. The buzzer on the dryer is so demanding," she said.

At the time I thought her insane. Granted, I was a teenager so I didn't know any better, but now I do. By turning to the quick and easy allure of prepackaged foods, I thought I'd write more, blog more and snag a little more time for myself. But that's not what happened. In fact I wrote less, partially because all writers are professional procrastinators, but also because I'd lost the time I would mull over stories, work out plot snags and just let my mind roam free.

There's nothing duller than kneading bread, but nothing so necessary to the bread-making process. It's gotta be done right or the loaf won't develop critical internal structures. It takes time and patience. Period. During that time, my imagination would run wild and then suddenly out of the ether would appear the very thing my current manuscript had been missing. Heck, I even used to call them my "bread dough revelations". I still don't know where they come from, but the fact is they do come.

So I've started taking time to make bread for my family again. It tastes so much better than the store bought stuff and I know exactly what goes into it: all natural ingredients and a whole lot of love. I don't think it's a coincidence that I'm blogging and writing with a renewed vigor. Perhaps I've got to slow down to amp up my creativity. I'll let y'all know how it goes.



wombat345 said...

Sounds like you've found a great way to break your writers block. There's nothing like fresh baked bread :)

Cindy Jacks said...

It's true. It does kill two birds with one stone :)