I baked bread yesterday, filled with fantasies that I would do it ALL THE TIME if I didn't have to bother with this pesky employment hoo-ha. Which reminded me of my karate instructor Larry, who is AWESOME, who told me that some famous thinker type said that if you bake bread every day for ten years you will understand the meaning of life.
And I was all, wha....?
But then I haven't forgotten it since, OF COURSE. I'm determined. Once I have the meaning of life, I can SELL it to a pharmaceutical company. And then quit my job and sit aroung all day counting my piles of gold coins. Right?
After baking bread every so often for a few years, here's what I have in my half-assed pursuit of the meaning of life, which I do on and off until I see an interesting bug crossing the sidewalk, and then I do that instead.
I think there's something in there about practice. Doing something every day you must get pretty good at it, no? Sticking with something and such. I'm not NECESSARILY the great authority on this particular topic.
And something about actually doing it. Because it turns out that me thinking that I will make bread does not actually produce a loaf of bread, despite my vivid imagination.
And something about staying attentive to the process without needing to control it. Because yesterday I forgot that my bread was rising and it went like an extra hour. Ooops! (Guess what? Didn't matter.)
But also something about mistakes. Because seriously? Homemade bread is pretty good, even the ooopses. It's all good. And for the real disasters, there is always French toast.
And then there's something about fellowship, because where would I be if I kept all of my flawed bread to myself? Headachey, thirsty, tired and full of guilt, that's what. But shared with people? The best. And they love it! And they adore you, just for a moment! She makes bread.
And I think there is also something about the physical stuff. Being present and letting yourself be soothed by a mindless task. Kneading bread by hand? The best.
And there is probably some deep lesson in cleaning up the slimy dough and flour afterwards, but I'm not there yet. Maybe something about cleaning up as you go.
And I'm probably missing the point entirely. Of life. Look, a bug!